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.
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>
During his first discussion with Burt Lancaster's character (a hunting guide), Peter Lorre's character mentions that the hunting guide had been leading an expedition to "kill a lion" during his earlier mishap - there are no African lions in the Sahara, which is the "Rope of Sand" mentioned in the film's title. 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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Rope of Sand, an adventure thriller supposedly set in post-WW II South Africa, certainly receives the vote of "classic" in my book. Far away places, a romance triangle, suspense, even a bit of humor at times...it's all there in a neatly executed, well-acted plot that makes you wish YOU could have been there and tried just what Burt Lancaster did. I have watched this movie more than half a dozen times over the years and still get that sense of intrigue and mystery and fascination with the setting and story that I got on the first occasion, as a child. The film noir era was coming to a close when this movie was created in 1949 but most of the crucial elements are there including use of the black and white, music score, contrasting dialog and action scenes, and so on, right up to the final scene. Perhaps the screenplay might have gotten a little more mileage out of Corrine Calvet and Burt but we need to remember that we're judging films of this era against a different yardstick. I seriously don't think that this movie would have come together at all using actors working today because they would all be hungering for a bigger piece of the movie than anyone got here or typically does get in film noir. This is not to mention what current directors typically do as a substitute for what film noir did with the camera and timing of scene combinations. So I disagree with the previous reviewer. Watch this if you can and enjoy!
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