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Joseph L. Mankiewicz
In 1925 Damascus Harry Smith runs guns to the rebels under Emir Hassan. The French arrest him along with others and force him to sell weapons to them. He develops an interest in French intelligence officer Feroud's mistress Violette.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to actor Jamie Farr, the movie debuted on Saturday night at the Rivoli in his home town of Toledo. Most of Toledo's Arab-American community turned out to see it. As a scene where Bogart walks though a crowded bazaar begins to fade, an Arab voice is heard shouting, "Ya hallah deen bayak!" which caused most of the audience to collapse in laughter. The non-Arabs in the house did not understand why everyone else was laughing until the line was translated for them: "Goddamn your father!" See more »
In a very key plot point scene Balukjiaan goes to Smith's warehouse on behalf of French intelligence and tries to find out if there are any dried apricots. He uses as an excuse that he is throwing a birthday party for himself and has plenty of pilaf and pahklava, but nothing sweet for dessert. Pahklava is the Armenian name for baklava, which is a very sweet Greek and Middle Eastern dessert. Either the writers didn't know what pahklava is or the whole premise of needing dessert is mistaken. See more »
What an oddity you are, Mr. Smith, - an American in Damascus. No morals! No political convictions!
I've had a few.
I find that difficult to believe.
I had a bellyful of them. I left them in the states with my first wife!
Isn't there anything you believe in?
You mean right now? Sure!
[looking through the envelope of money he has just been paid off with]
I believe in this, and it's two thousand short!
See more »
Not a great flick, but interesting to see that conflicts between foreign occupiers and arab locals has been going on for a long time, with similar results. Its a recurring theme in Arabia - foreign armies come in hoping to pacify the locals, only to fall into a bloody pattern of terrorism and retribution. The amazing thing is that its been going on for so long and in so many places. It's an insight on today's middle-east events.
And like so many middle-east conflicts, in this movie you are left being not very sympathetic to either side. Yes, its the Syrian's home, but their tactics are sickening. The French come off no better as the aggressors and oppressors. The third parties, such as Bogart's character, are just vultures feeding off the tragedy.
Good one to watch if you're thinking of invading an Arab nation.
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