During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
Newspaperman Bill Bradford becomes a special agent for the tax service trying to end the career of racketeer Alexander Carston. Julie Gardner is Carston's bookkeeper. Bradford enters ... See full summary »
Two years ago, hunting guide Mike Davis was with a client who trespassed on diamond company land and found a rich lode; Paul Vogel, sadistic commandant of company police, beat Mike nearly to death but failed to learn the location. Now Mike is back in Diamantstad, South African desert, and manager Martingale has a better idea: he hires delectable adventuress Suzanne to ferret out Mike's secret. But she soon finds she's playing with fire.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The title "Rope of Sand" refers to the Sahara Desert, however the setting is "Southwest Africa" and Capetown is mentioned several times - these geographical features lie at opposite ends of the continent (the Sahara in the north). See more »
This part of the desert of South Africa, where only a parched camel thorn tree relieves the endless parallels of time, space, and sky, surrounds like a rope of sand the richest diamond-bearing area in the world -- an uneasy land where men inflamed by monotony and the heat sometimes forget the rules of civilization.
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A man (Burt Lancaster) abused by a sadistic mining company cop (Paul Henreid) before he could tell where on their desert property he had found diamonds decides to steal them instead.
Glenn Erickson reflected on the background of the film and how it was received when first released, "Although William Dieterle's direction is capable, the script works too hard to introduce an overly familiar collection of stock thriller types ... Critics generally liked Lancaster's performance, even if they slighted the work of Claude Rains and Peter Lorre and saved the bulk of their praise for Paul Henried's nasty villain." Indeed, those who watch the film for Lorre may be disappointed on little screen time he receives.
Reflecting decades later, Burt Lancaster singled this out as his least favorite film. That was due to personal reasons, however, so may not necessarily reflect whether this was (in his opinion) his worst performance.
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