Outpost in Morocco (1949) Poster

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Good location, but that is all!
dougandwin10 January 2007
Let me start by saying this was not a "Beau Geste" by any means - it was set in Morocco and the locations looked very good, but that is the end of the "penny section!" I had always found George Raft to be completely wooden, and he proved it again in this one, but he did show me he was a very good dancer (clearly the highlight for him in this epic!). And well into his 50's when this was made took away any believability for him to be a romantic hero. The role, had it not been made on a shoe string, needed a Tyrone Power or a Errol Flynn to make it worthwhile. Marie Windsor looked like she wanted to be somewhere else, while Akim Tamiroff was clearly the best performer in the cast. Seeing Raft "act" makes me so glad to rejected the leads in "High Sierra" and "The Maltese Falcon" - had he not done so, they would not be genuine movie classics.
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Artistic ambition and small funds
manuel-pestalozzi16 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
If you are looking for something new and exciting I cannot recommend this movie. The story is pedestrian, a mixture of Beau Geste and Casablanca. It has been told better.

But there are several points that I found very interesting. For its low budget look this movie has a lot of scenes shot on location in the desert in Morocco. It is not stock footage like, for example, in Fort Algiers, but custom made stuff with an artistic quality that fits in very well with the footage shot on a Hollywood studio lot. Another reviewer suggests that Raft, Windsor and Tamiroff had a nice time in Morocco doing this movie. My guess is that they never left California when working on it. For long or medium range shots some locals took their parts, closer shots are all made with rear projection or on studio sets. This never disturbs the flow of the picture in any way and one might really think the stars are in that faraway country. This shows that some true craftsmen were involved here.

I've seen several films directed by Robert Florey. They are B movies but all have memorable scenes, often related with nature. Like Edgar G. Ulmer, Florey never seems to have lost his artistic ambition, however small the budget, however corny the script. Outpost in Morocco has a well filmed, dramatic climax when the fort is surrounded and the water supply is cut by the assailants. The commanding officer orders the horses to be released into the desert which is a little like dying for the cavalrymen. The scenes showing the horses galloping through the gate of the fortress and out into the desert plain are powerful. The following night the water supply is exhausted. The second in command starts praying, and suddenly the half asleep soldiers hear raindrops fall, one or two splatter on the leaf of a small plant. These really are very poetic moments one would not expect in a run off the mill picture, as are the sometimes interesting camera angles. Incidentally, the set design and the lighting are also very good, compared with pictures like the afore mentioned Fort Algiers.

Fans of Marie Windsor (and there are lots of reasons to be a fan of her) will like this movie. She plays the sheik's thoroughly Westernized daughter which is completely incongruous – and nevertheless works amazingly well. I credit this to the talent and commandeering presence of this underrated actress whose sole handicap seemed to have been that she was very tall. At one moment she is seen swimming in a pool, by all appearances completely naked.
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Stimulating adventures film about the Foreign Legion in Africa
ma-cortes24 February 2009
This adventures and lackluster desert opus deals about Paul Gerard(George Raft) a French legionnaire officer. The philander legionnaire is sent a dangerous assignment, escort an Emir of Bel-Rashad's daughter(Marie Windsor) and investigate the Emir's(Edward Franz) activities. Then Paul discovers a Mouser rifles for a possible rebellion. Meanwhile he falls in love with Cara and befriends a sympathetic lieutenant(Akim Tamiroff).

Acceptable action/adventures movie blending drama of self-sacrifice, love story and spectacular outdoors. The film concerns about the French Legion, an instrument of conquest of the North of Africa and Indochina. This regiment was employed for bloody fights and futile wars in a vain attempt to retain territories . Some moment is rather dull but in the second half is a bit more exciting with forced march and taking place in an isolate fort as well as Arab attacks. Atmosphere is appropriately depressing and and gritty, especially during the blockade when the regiment bears starvation and with no water. Evovative and adequate musical score by Michel Michelet.The picture was shot in Imperial County, California and Morocco, at the beginning the producers thanksgiving the French army for its collaboration. The story belongs a genre which has given classics, such as ¨Beau Geste(Gary Cooper)¨ and ¨Under two flags(Ronald Colman)¨ and full of humor as ¨Beau Hunks¨with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The motion picture is professionally directed by Robert Florey, a nice craftsman. He's expert on adventures genre: ¨Tarzan and the mermaids¨, ¨Rogues' regiment¨ also with the Foreign Legion and Terror genre : 'Beast with five fingers'and 'Murders in the Rue Morgue'. Rating : Acceptable adventures movie is passable at its kind , providing some of entertainment and fun.
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Good French Foreign Legion Adventure
anthonyrwaldman27 February 2008
Although "Outpost in Moroco" was made in 1949 it has more in common with adventure films that were made during the 1930's. I suppose along with "Morocco" "Beau Geste" and "under Two Flags" is makes up a quartet of American black and white French Foreign Legion films. "Outpost in Morocco" was actually filmed in Morocco with the co-operation of both the French government and the Legion. The story has the romance of the Legion with a love affair between a rebel Amir's daughter Cara, played by Marie Windsor and a french officer Captain Gerard played by George Raft. The are the desert campfire scenes, escapes over rooftops, an outpost on the frontier, desert marches and men struggling to survive through lack of water. The action sequences are very well produced and photographed. The story obviously does not take place in 1949 because there is nothing mechanized in this film. Also we get to see George Raft and Mari Wilson dance the tango in an early sophisticated cafe scene( it has a cirtain similarity to Rik's in Casablanca) - the film is probably set in the 1920's. Good fun.

The film was serialised as a strip in a British comic called "Film Fun" after its release in Britain in 1950.
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Remote locale, some romance and tribal strife
lora6426 September 2001
A bleak, remote setting is the background for this Foreign Legion tale of adventure which moves along steadily with few dull moments, at least for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Akim Tamiroff in his role as Lieutenant Glysko. He certainly excels as a character actor, breathing new life into whatever role he takes on. There's quite an exciting battle scene midway and some fierce racing horses as a battle unfolds.

George Raft and Marie Windsor were seldom at the top of my charts yet they are well suited in this film and meld nicely in the romantic episodes. I'd regard this one as standard entertainment, no frills.
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Hollywood's Foreign Legion vs. the Ay-rabs.
rmax30482317 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I tried to count the number of times George Raft, Cavalry Captain in the French Foreign Legion in Morocco, in the early years of the 20th century, blinked, but I didn't see any blinks at all. I wouldn't advance the proposition that George Raft never blinks in this movie. That's not it at all. It's just that I never caught him at it. Possibly because I blinked myself.

Why, man, he doth bestride this narrow movie like s Colossus astride Rhodes. He wears the same expression, whether making love or shooting rebels. He looks grim always. He moves purposefully. Everything he is involved in generates the same contour of his facial muscles and, as in a Kuleshov experiment, we interpret it according to context.

Excuse me for making a little fun of George Raft. He actually suits the role and the movie pretty well. It's an unpretentious and action-filled, mostly studio-bound, story of proud French soldiers opposing a conflicted culture of Islamic colonials. A leader of one tribe, Eduard Franz, is pretty hostile to the French presence. So much so that he wipes out one of their outposts, despite some friendly gestures on the part of the French. At the same time, Eduard Franz has a very pretty and sensual daughter, Marie Windsor, she of the large and doe-like eyes and a mouth that bespeaks passion. Raft has delivered her from the city to her father's oasis and they have fallen in love with each other. (Over an enormous bowl of rice.) The two of them are torn between their conflicting allegiances. Windsor has been to some extent Westernized. She's been away from the tribe long enough to have acquired one of those pointed brassieres that were to become so common in 1950s movies. Not that she needs it. She's superbly feminine and nubile beyond measure. Raft too is torn between his love for her -- his enemy's daughter -- and his commitment to La France, though he never seriously wavers.

I don't want to spell out the end, but it really is a little confusing. Eduard Franz's cavalry make a suicidal line-abreast charge against a fortified position that has automatic weapons. Somehow, Marie Windsor gets mixed up in the ruckus and the conflict between enlightened Westerners and benighted tribesmen is resolved.

Without being sure why, I can say that I quite enjoyed it -- the stereotypes, the shootings, the battles, the galloping horses, the eyeballs of Marie Windsor, the Russian slurring of English by Akim Tamirov. I think maybe I had OD'd on political arguments and the economic calamity that happened on the day I watched this, but -- whatever -- I loved the action and the mindlessness.

All in all, a splendid way to take your mind off things.
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George Raft, first wearing a Foreign Legion kepi, then in Arab pantaloons. And he dances a tango with Marie Windsor
Terrell-428 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
George Raft, either as a gangster or a truck driver or a French Foreign Legion officer, was a poor actor. I'm sure there have been doctoral dissertations by enthusiastic students of American contemporary culture on how Raft managed to carve a star career in Hollywood. Yeah, there are all those criminal connection rumors but so far they've just been that, rumors. We know he was a good dancer, but as an actor he was without animation. Often he just looked plain worried. He was wooden and unresponsive. Any actor might have turned down the chance to play the lead in The Maltese Falcon, High Sierra or Casablanca...but Raft turned down all three opportunities. Was he insecure, just realistic about his talent, or basically without a clue? Who knows? What we do know is that after a few big pictures in the late Thirties, he began a long, not-so-slow decline into some pretty awful stuff for the rest of his life. His coin-flipping tough guy persona, however, stayed with him and made him at least marginally bankable. I like him in a few of his movies, mainly Nocturne and Mr Ace from 1946 and, even though it's a tear-jerker, Christmas Eve from 1947.

Outpost in Morocco is a disposable adventure movie, complete with the French Foreign Legion, desert outposts, restless tribes and a desert princess with a figure usually seen only in a teen-ager's dreams. Still, as a basic Hollywood product it delivers the goods. Robert Florey, the director, keeps the action and the story moving along. Marie Windsor as Cara, the daughter of the Emir of Bel-Rashad, is zaftig. Akim Tamiroff as Lieutenant Glysko provides humor as well as bravery and energy. Eduard Franz as the Emir is suitably anti-French and, surprisingly, not simply a caricature of an untrustworthy native leader. And there's George Raft as Captain Paul Gerard, assigned to deliver Cara to her father in a journey across the sands, who then finds himself caught between love and a perilous rebellion, complete with a remote desert outpost on his hands to defend. Raft at 54 shows his age. His director makes him do the coin flipping thing a couple of times. Even when he's sneaking into the Emir's compound to find out what's going on, then escapes by leaping off parapets, racing across the sands and mounting briskly his horse, he shows as much emotion as when he's smooching Cara...not much. Once when asked about his acting Raft is supposed to have said, "I'm afraid to look, because I'm probably awful." It doesn't help Raft that he must wear a Legionnaire's uniform much of the time, complete with kepi and shoulder cape. When he's not in uniform he's in disguise, wearing a turban and what appears to be pantaloons. Raft, to his credit, does the job and doesn't seem embarrassed.

One of the pleasures of the movie is seeing Marie Windsor, the quintessential noir bad girl, playing Cara. Windsor gives us an emir's daughter who can be arrogant, sweet, loving and brave. She manages to avoid looking ridiculous even while photographed on what is supposed to be a horse galloping in front of a rear screen projection to stop her father. She's eye-catching at the start of the movie when we watch her and Raft dance a tango in a nightclub. For that matter, Raft looks great dancing the tango, too. To see Windsor at her best, which is to say her worst, just watch her deal with poor Elisha Cook, Jr., in The Killing.
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Shot on Location in Morocco
bkoganbing18 November 2006
When I read the book The George Raft File I was shocked to learn that this Foreign Legion epic was actually shot in Morocco in actual locations with the cooperation of the Moroccan Royal Family and the Legion. If the French were looking for a recruiting tool for the Foreign Legion, they'd have been better doing a remake of Paramount's Morocco or Beau Geste.

Some elements of those two films get into Outpost in Morocco. The story such as it is has George Raft in a role that should have been Tyrone Power's if it had been a better script seducing lovely Marie Windsor, daughter of one of the local sheiks. Windsor's father is Eduard Franz who's stirring up rebellion against the French. Can Marie stop it and save her beloved Raft at the same time. If you care you might give this a look.

This film has the look and feel of a tax write off. Everybody here just goes through the motions. Raft is too wooden to seriously be considered as a romantic figure and Windsor does so much better when she's playing bad girls. Akim Tamiroff as a transplanted Cossack in the Legion comes off best, a dubious distinction for this film.

I guess the American cast also did it for a free trip to Morocco. Good a reason as any.
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A suggestion of other directions for the lead actors
occupant-13 September 2001
This effort shows that, if Raft and Windsor had had better luck of the draw, he may have gotten more light romantic lead parts (rather than tough guy things) and she might have done Kubrick-style films more and science fiction less. Raft shows a flair for underplayed humor and Windsor, clearly no fool, outclasses the usual female leads (she later served as a director of the Screen Actors Guild).
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Well, it certainly had some interesting casting...
MartinHafer3 August 2009
This is an odd film from the onset due to the odd casting choices. First, having an older (and decidedly lazier) George Raft in the romantic lead seemed silly, though most of his manly roles at this point his his career seemed to think he was 10-15 years younger. Second, and this is the most serious, who would have thought that Marie Windsor could look like the Emir's daughter?! She looks about as North African as Zsa Zsa Gabor and sounded like a débutante! The film begins with Raft being asked to go on a special mission to escort the sultry Ms. Windsor to her father at his fortress. Why was Raft chosen? Well, according to the film he is some sort of super-stud ladies' man and the Commanding Officer wanted Raft to romance Windsor and get her "on our side"!! Really. I'm not making this up, folks! George Raft is a major stud in this film(!). Naturally, at first they don't get along but then later they are quite snuggly (a standard cliché in such films). When she discovers that her Daddy, the Emir, is a nasty jerk, she helps Raft. What a dame. Well, more like what an anachronistic dame--one who acts like no woman in her situation would have acted like.

After the romantic stuff, the film becomes a movie about French Foreign Legion troops being besieged in the desert--like BEAU GESTE, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION, BEAU HUNKS and a dozen other films. NO surprises here and it looks almost like a slow motion and dull version of the standard "White man in the desert" film.
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Pretty Predictable, Does Have A Couple of Good Action Sequences
Snow Leopard29 March 2006
This does have a couple of good action sequences, but overall it is too predictable to be anything more than average, at best, for its genre. The Foreign Legion setting is fairly interesting, at least as a reflection of its time, and it provides for a couple of relatively interesting possibilities.

George Raft stars as a Legionnaire who combines a hazardous mission with a romantic involvement with an Emir's daughter. Once things get started, Raft is good enough in the role, but the first several minutes of the movie are wasted trying to portray his character as an incurable skirt-chaser, which doesn't really work. Marie Windsor plays the Emir's daughter, and while there's nothing wrong with her performance, she doesn't really fit the part, and she and Raft never quite seem to click together. The script is straightforward enough, but it could have used some sharper dialogue to pick up these scenes in particular.

Once Raft's character gets his assignment and meets the daughter, the story follows a pretty standard formula. The action sequences are the highlights, which include a good chase scene with Raft trying to elude a palace full of pursuers. Otherwise, there are only occasional moments of good drama to hold your attention.
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George Raft plays a wolf in sheik's's clothing . . .
oscaralbert7 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
. . . as he schemes to lessen the "White Man's Burden" in Northern Africa. In this virtually humorless attempted spoof if the classic Pre-WWII British Empire epics, Mr. Raft's character has his "GUNGA DIN" stand-in shot dead for trying grab a cup of water. Stranger still, this flick's doomed "CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE" is undertaken by the natives against an impregnable Imperialist French fort. Adding insult to injury, Raft isn't content to merely dishonor the Muslim Hot Chick. When he's had his fill of her, he blows her up with land mines, and then machine guns what's left of her for good measure. OUTPOST IN MOROCCO recycles LIGHT BRIGADE's fort massacre and GUNGA DIN mountain pass ambush scenes. But if the one-time French tradition of exporting youthful petty criminals as a Foreign Legion were to be applied to America, everyone would be happier. The world's Trouble Spots would stay better pacified, and it would be safe for baseball fans here in Baltimore to watch Orioles home games INSIDE Camden Yards!
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"We're not going to stay here and be shot like a bunch of rats".
classicsoncall6 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
As I considered Marie Windsor's role in this picture, I had to wonder what kind of life a real emir's daughter would have in the middle of the desert. It seemed to me like it would be all kinds of boring, even with all that imported wealth to walk around in. Not very satisfying if you ask me. Which is why I guess, she would be smitten with French Captain Girard (George Raft) at the start of the picture. More so than in other films I've seen Raft in, his composure here is one of somber duty and reflection. It wouldn't have hurt to crack a smile every now and then, but that just wasn't to be.

Upon completion of the story, I couldn't think of a single practical reason why it should have been made. The Emir of Bel-Rashad (Eduard Franz) resents the presence of the French Foreign Legion in his lands, and makes preparation to rid their headquarters from his territory. In another film, his daughter Cara (Windsor) might have been able to bring the opposing sides together, professing her undying love for the Captain. Not here. In a rather well staged final battle scene, the Arabs are defeated at the Tasket outpost, but not before Windsor's character and her father are decimated by explosive charges detonated by soldiers at the fort. Girard is momentarily conflicted.

Raft and Windsor may have been the nominal stars here, but it's Akim Tamiroff who provides most of the animation as French Lieutenant Glysko. Suitably deferential to the Captain, he nevertheless has some good moments that might be described as lightly comedic. I would like to have seen more of Girard's orderly who started out in the picture, but then was never heard from again. I couldn't figure that one out either.

Other reviewers have characterized Raft's portrayal here as wooden, and I would concur. Interestingly, Marie Windsor has the kind of look that would suit either a charmer or a villain. Either way, I enjoy it when she turns up in a film. For a look at Windsor's dark side, try her manipulative role as Elisha Cook Jr's wife in "The Killing", or on a lighter note, as the evil Madame Rontru in "Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy".
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Not a particularly engaging film
rdoyle297 August 2017
George Raft is a French Legionnaire who leads a convoy to bring the Emir's daughter Marie Windsor safely home. He learns that her father is buying guns and planning to rise up against the French, so he has to oppose him even though he's fallen in love with her daughter. As is often the case, Raft is a dud in this one, and the silly, strictly by the numbers plot is barely saved by the presence of Windsor (not exactly convincing as an Arab) and Akim Tamiroff as Raft's second in command.
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My duties have taken me to many strange places
sol121822 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
**SPOILERS*** Just about to go on leave French Foreign Legionnaire Capt. Paul Gerard, George Raft, gets the news from his boss Col. Pascal, John Litel, to escort a company of legionnaires to the far off French outpost, some 12 days of traveling on horseback, Bel-Rashad and transports the Emir Al-Rashad's, Eduard Franz, beautiful non Arabic looking daughter Cara, Marie Windsor, there for her usually off-season, when the weather is cooler, stay! What Col. Pascal is worried about is that instead of October, when it's cool and pleasant, when Cara visits her father the Emir this time it's in mid-June! The hottest time of he year for that desert town!

The French are suspicious that the Emir has been supplied with thousands of modern and highly effective, unlike the 19 century muskets that his men have, German Mauser rifles! And with those modern arms he's planning to start a revolt all over French Morocco and end up throwing the French out. Something he's been dreaming about for years and now is finally able to make that dream come true! Unknown to the Emir Capt. Gerard has gotten his daughter to fall madly in love with him by his dancing ability that has her now going to great lengths, like hiding him in the privacy of her boudoir, in protecting him from her fathers men.

It's when Capt. Gerard uncovers, by going undercover, the fact that the Emir had the means, the Mausers, to cause real trouble for his French occupiers that he, by the skin of his teeth, makes it back to headquarters and Col. Pascal with the news. That turns out to be a bit too late for the French Foreign Legion unite, some 100 legionnaires, at Bel-Rashad who ends up getting slaughtered by the Emir men before help could arrive!

***SPOILERS*** With thousands of the Emir's horsemen now moving on the main French Foreign Legion outpost outside Bel-Rashad Morocco it's up to Capt. Gerard and his trustful sidekick Let. Glysko, Akim Tamiroff, who always wears in clean shirt in combat so if he gets killed he'll end up being buried with it wait for the inevitable end as the charge of the "Mauser Rifles", some 10,000 strong, is about to begin!

**MAJOR SPOILER*** Just when things look like they can't get any worse Cara, in what looked like a fit of insanity, jumps on an Arabian Stallion and takes off to the far off desert battlefield in order to stop her father the Amir from doing in her lover Capt. Gerard and the men he's in charge of. Starting way behind but, with her excellent riding ability, getting to the front of the charge Cara ends up getting blasted together with her father the Emir by a volley of French cannon fire and dynamite explosions! The ironic thing about all this is that Capt. Gerard never knew what Cara's motives were since, by being killed, she wasn't around to tell him.
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french foreign legion must save damsel not in distress
ksf-229 July 2008
One of four films George Raft did in 1949, this one takes place in dark and exotic Morocco, with his assistant Bamboule, played by Erno Verebes. Verebes and the author Joseph Ermolieff both appear to have had interesting backgrounds; Verebes was apparently born in New York, according to IMDb, made many German films, then suddenly pops up in Hollywood around 1937. Ermolieff started in Russia, moved to Paris, and also appeared on the Hollywood scene in 1937. Co-star Marie Windsor was also busy in 1949, making four films. Here she plays "Cara", the daughter of the emir, who Captain Gerard escorts back to the emir at his fortress. Cara not only dresses in a frilly, white, western-style blouse and makeup, but "forgets" to wear a veil to cover her face in public. The picture quality is pretty iffy, and shakes quite a bit of the time; someone with more expertise would probably know if this is due to poor film quality, poor photography, or just the age of the film when copied onto the DVD. I have the Treeline/Reelmedia Action Collection DVD pack from 2004. Everyone gives a pretty stiff performance here. Inevitable war breaks out, and Cara is stuck in the middle of all those she loves, although they may be on opposing sides. In spite of all the background mattes used, this gets one of its stars just for the foreign, exotic setting and the foreign legion storyline.
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Just Awful
arfdawg-129 January 2017
The Plot.

Capt. Gerard, greatest lover in the Foreign Legion, is assigned to escort an emir's daughter to her father's mountain citadel and find out what he can about the emir's activities.

Gerard enjoys his work with lovely Cara, but arrives to find rebellion brewing.

Can the garrison be reinforced in time?

Stupid plot for a stupid movie that is totally miscast. The sets look like the same sets laurel & Hardy used when they when into the Foreign Legion.
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