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The Desert Song (1953)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 30 May 1953 (USA)
Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor... See full summary »

Writers:

Roland Kibbee (screen play by), Laurence Schwab (based upon the play by) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Kathryn Grayson ... Margot Birabeau
Gordon MacRae ... El Khobar / Paul Bonnard
Steve Cochran ... Captain Claude Fontaine
Raymond Massey ... Sheik Yousseff
Dick Wesson ... Benjamin 'Benjy' Kidd
Allyn Ann McLerie ... Azuri (as Allyn McLerie)
Ray Collins ... Gen. Birabeau
Paul Picerni ... Hassan
Frank DeKova ... Mindar
William Conrad ... Lachmed
Trevor Bardette ... Neri
Mark Dana Mark Dana ... Lt. Duvalle
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Storyline

Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor who is studying the desert, and whose attacks on the supply trains intended for Yousseff keep the Riff villages in food. Foreign Legion General Birabeau arrives to conduct an investigation, accompanied by his daughter, Margot. Birabeau hires Bonnard to tutor her, and she is attracted to a Legionaire captain, Claud Fontaine. While the general, Bonnard and Fontaine pay a visit to Yousseff, an American newspaper man, Benji Kidd, discovers a secret way in and out of Yousseff's palace, with the aid of Azuri, a dancing girl in love with Bonnard. The latter is forced to resume his role as the Riffs leader, and kidnap Margot until he can convince her of Yousseff's treachery. But Yousseff's men attack the Riff camp and take Margot prisoner. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The wind-swept sands of North Africa! Screaming Arab terror raids! The Harem Dance of Desire! The embattled Foreign Legion! The sheik's palace stormed! And the glorious music of the new "Desert Song" See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 May 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El Khobar - Schrecken der Wüste See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The names of most of the main characters were changed from previous versions to avoid legal issues. See more »

Goofs

When the desert messengers are sending the message with their flutes, the fingering doesn't match the tones being played at all. See more »

Quotes

Azuri: It's you - the one with the face!
Benjy Kidd: It's you - the one with the body!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: It is written in the burning sands of the Sahara: When there is wrong, there will always be an El Khobar, the Avenger, riding with his Riffs to right it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hi-de-Hi!: Raffles (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Azuri's Dance
(uncredited)
Music by Sigmund Romberg
Played by orchestra conducted by Ray Heindorf
See more »

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User Reviews

Bright and Cheerful Film
14 June 2004 | by marik4meSee all my reviews

Though it seems many criticize this in comparison with the stage play, I have always been in love with this movie version. The characters are fun (especially Benjy), the music is heavenly (I could sing it all day!), and the plot is nonstop action. I look at the play and this movie almost as two different shows completely, since there are, admittedly, many differences. Here, Margot is the general's daughter (as opposed to his child being the Red Shadow/El Khobar). Pierre is now Paul. Captain Fontaine's first name is Claude. Benjamin Kidd's nickname is now Benjy instead of Bennie, and his secretary Susan is absent. And there's an evil sheik, making two different foes for the Riffs: The Legionaires and the sheik and his men. All in all, I find the movie quite satisfying.


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