6.7/10
144
9 user 4 critic

Sword in the Desert (1949)

Approved | | Action, Drama, History | 31 October 1949 (Sweden)
In 1947, with only months remaining until the partition of British-administered Palestine, an American freighter captain smuggles European Jewish refugees ashore under the nose of the British authorities.

Director:

George Sherman

Writer:

Robert Buckner
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... Mike Dillon
Märta Torén ... Sabra
Stephen McNally ... David Vogel
Jeff Chandler ... Asvan Kurta
Philip Friend ... Lt. Ellerton
Hugh French ... Maj. Sorrell
Liam Redmond ... Jerry McCarthy
Lowell Gilmore ... Maj. Stephens
Stanley Logan Stanley Logan ... Col. Bruce Evans
Hayden Rorke ... Capt. Beaumont
George Tyne ... Dov
Peter Coe ... Tarn
Paul Marion Paul Marion ... Jeno
Marten Lamont Marten Lamont ... Capt. Fletcher (as Martin Lamont)
David Wolfe ... Gershon
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Storyline

Cynical freighter captain Mike Dillon hopes to take the money and run after helping to smuggle Jewish refugees ashore in pre-Israel Palestine. But against his will, he's drawn into the escalating fight between British occupation forces and the founders of Israel. In a battle doubly terrible because the audience sympathizes with both sides, how long can Mike remain a bystander? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Their story is written in the burning sands and Bullets Sing the Fame of Their Deeds !

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1949 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Desert Legion See more »

Filming Locations:

Monterey, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Jeff Chandler, a Jew whose real name was Ira Grossel, was extremely proud of his Jewish heritage. Kurta was the only explicitly Jewish character he ever got to play in his career. See more »

Quotes

Col. Bruce Evans: What an extraordinary people. Do they think we relish our position as policemen in this god-forsaken land?
Maj. Stephens: Perhaps they prefer that we forsake it, Sir - and let God police it.
Col. Bruce Evans: But we have agreed to leave, if they can reach an agreement with the Arabs on partition. But if we pull out before there's an agreement between them, the entire Middle East may go up in flames. And with it, the world. No, Stephens, this isn't a Jewish or Arab or British problem. This is the problem of all mankind.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Young Man with a Horn (1950) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting little picture
14 February 2003 | by frankfobSee all my reviews

This tidy little Universal "B" about the Israeli fight for independence would be interesting if just for the subject matter alone--there were few, if any, contemporary Hollywood pictures that dealt with that particular struggle--but this isn't a bad picture in and of itself. Dana Andrews plays a ship captain who smuggles Jews into Israel purely, at first, for the money, but finds himself being caught up in the cause his "cargo" is fighting for--and also falling for an Israeli girl (the exotic beauty Marta Toren, who, although she looks like she just stepped out of an Arabian Nights tale, is actually Swedish). Director George Sherman was an expert at turning out tight, energetic little actioners, and continues that tradition here. The Andrews/Toren romance slows things down a bit, but not enough to do any fatal damage. A neat little picture with an interesting perspective on a subject not often touched upon, with a capable cast, good pacing and quick bursts of action that all combine to hold your interest. Check it out.


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