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Destination Gobi (1953)

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In 1944, US Navy specialists run a weather station in the Gobi desert where they are harassed by Japanese warplanes but aided by local Mongol nomads.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Everett Freeman (screenplay), Edmund G. Love (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Richard Widmark ... CPO Samuel T. McHale
Don Taylor ... Jenkins
Max Showalter ... Walter Landers (as Casey Adams)
Murvyn Vye ... Kengtu
Darryl Hickman ... Wilbur 'Coney' Cohen
Martin Milner ... Elwood Halsey
Ross Bagdasarian ... Paul Sabatello
Judy Dan Judy Dan ... Nura-Salu (as Judy Dann)
Rodolfo Acosta ... Tomec
Russell Collins ... Lt. Cmdr. Hobart Wyatt
Leonard Strong ... Wali-Akhun
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Storyline

A group of US Navy weathermen taking measurements in the Gobi desert in World War II are forced to seek the help of Mongol nomads to regain their ship while under attack from the Japanese air force. The Mongols are rewarded by an airlift of the finest saddles. Written by Peter Fawcett <pdfawcet@brad.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ADVENTURE AS FIERY AND FURIOUS AS THE FLAMING SANDS OF CHINA'S GOBI DESERT! (original ad - all caps)

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1953 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Gobi Outpost See more »

Filming Locations:

Yuma, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,340,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Nixon and Fallon, NV were both used as location sites, and Paiute Indians residing on a reservation in Nixon played Mongol extras. See more »

Goofs

In the very beginning of the film, Richard Widmark enters a Navy office to learn a new assignment. He enters the room and closed the door, latching it. Then one of the other two officers in the room walks over to the door and closed the door again, latching it. See more »

Quotes

[Walter flirts successfully with a Mongolian woman]
Jenkins: Well, looks like you made a hit, Walter my boy. Tell me, how do you do it?
Walter Landers: My training as a meterorologist. I can take one look at a girl and tell weather.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In the Navy records in Washington, there is an obscure entry reading "Saddles for Gobi."

This film is based on the story behind that entry--one of the strangest stories of World War II. See more »

Connections

Edited into All This and World War II (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Saddle Up, Mongols
23 October 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Destination Gobi finds Richard Widmark assigned as the ranking non-commissioned officer on a Navy weather station in the Gobi Desert. Wrap your mind around that concept, Navy personnel in the middle of the Gobi Desert.

It's not an assignment that a guy who was a CPO on the USS Enterprise in 1944 is looking for. But that's what he's drawn. Widmark is to assist Captain Russell Collins in setting up one of a series of weather station in Inner Mongolia, that is that part of Mongolia located inside the Great Wall of China.

Collins is a meteorologist with a Navy commission, so Widmark is really the guy in charge. Setting up the advance outpost, the dozen or so sailors have to establish good relations with the local Mongol tribesmen who pretty much live as they did under Genghis Khan. The gifts that put it over are a requisition for some old army saddles from the late U.S. Cavalry.

Later on the Japanese bomb the station and Collins and others are killed. It's up to Widmark to get his men out of the Gobi Desert and avoid falling into the hands of the Japanese. The Mongols and their saddles prove to be of invaluable assistance.

I think Destination Gobi got a bit off track after the Japanese attack. The first part of the film was quite good, especially depicting the Mongol culture. But after the attack the escapades of the men trying to get to U.S. lines which in this case means to Eastern China and across the water to Okinawa was a bit much. The Japanese were shown to be as dumb as the Axis powers were shown during World War II and the height of the propaganda films made back then. Richard Loo who played so many nasty Japanese back in the day was the Japanese commander and he must have had a recurring case of deja vu.

Still Widmark does a fine job as does Murvyn Vye who is the head Mongol. They are ably supported by such stalwart character players as Don Taylor, Martin Milner, Casey Adams, Darryl Hickman, and Earl Holliman.

Destination Gobi could have been a much better film.


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