Michael "Beau" Geste leaves England in disgrace and joins the infamous French Foreign Legion. He is reunited with his two brothers in North Africa, where they face greater danger from their own sadistic commander than from the rebellious Arabs.Written by
Marg Baskin <email@example.com>
Throughout the film the legionnaires wear the collar insignia of the 2nd Regiment of the Foreign Legion (2e REI.) Yet most of their geographic references are to Algeria. When the detachment relieves Ft. Zinderneuf the previous commander's orders are to return to Sidi bel Abbes, the Legion HQ in Algeria. Likewise, during the mutiny the legionnaires discuss escaping across the border to Morocco. Additionally the legionnaires are in combat with the Tuaregs, a Saharan tribe found in Southern Algeria. However, during the period of the film (and throughout the inter-war period) the 2e REI was stationed in Morocco, fighting the Berbers, and not in Algeria, which was instead garrisoned by the 1e RE. See more »
Sergeant Major Dagineau:
[to Beau Geste]
So, you couldn't wait till my back was turned. Good, because it won't be a bullet you'll get from me, but you'll beg for one before you die. I promise you.
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This qualifies as a tolerable "time-killer" largely because it's the kind of movie which, alas, Hollywood hardly ever makes anymore, but it pales in comparison to the 1939 version with Gary Cooper or the 1926 version with Ronald Colman. Guy Stockwell and Doug McClure play brothers, (the third one having been deleted from the story), and while both are agreeable actors, they seem too "modern" and "American" for this kind of period piece. (It's set in 1906.) However, these two good-looking and athletic actors fit nicely into the movie's blatant and unapologetic penchant for "beefcake in bondage." McClure, stripped to the waist, is punished by being locked into a sweat-box, and boy does he sweat, while Stockwell, also stripped to the waist, suffers a flogging -- which ranks 85th in the book, "Lash! The Hundred Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in then Movies" -- as well as a punishment which has him buried to the neck in the sun-scorched sand. (Just one year later, Stockwell and McClure were re-teamed for "The King's Pirate." In that movie, McClure was the one who got to feel the sting of a whip across his bare back.) Telly Savales is given free rein to snarl and glower but he's almost too well-cast as the villainous sergeant. The ending borders on the laughable with its high fatality rate for actors entirely dependent on their rank in the movie's official billing.
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