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Desert Legion (1953)

Approved | | Action, Adventure | 8 May 1953 (USA)
Paul Lartal of the Foreign Legion meets the princess of a lost city in the Algerian mountains.

Director:

Joseph Pevney

Writers:

Irving Wallace (screenplay), Lewis Meltzer (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... Paul Lartal
Richard Conte ... Crito Damou / Omar Ben Khalif
Arlene Dahl ... Morjana
Akim Tamiroff ... Pvt. Plevko
Oscar Beregi Sr. ... Si Khalil (as Oscar Beregi)
Leon Askin ... Maj. Vasil
Anthony Caruso ... Lt. Massaoud
George J. Lewis ... Lt. Lopez
Sujata Rubener Sujata Rubener ... Dancer (as Sujata)
Asoka Rubener Asoka Rubener ... Dancer (as Asoka)
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Storyline

Paul Lartal leads a troop of legionnaires into ambush at the hands of Omar Ben Calif. Returning later at the request of Princess Morjana he is led to the hidden city of Madara, currently harrassed by the evil Crito. Lartal must do in the bad guys (which includes participating in a bare chested spear-throwing contest), save the city and comfort the Princess. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A RECKLESS LEGEND OF THE FOREIGN LEGION! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 May 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La legión del desierto See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,650,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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

Based on a 1927 novel by Georges Arthur Surdez titled "The Demon Caravan". Surdez (1900-49) contributed many "adventure" stories to such publications as "Collier's", the "Saturday Evening Post" and "Argosy". He was especially noted for his French Foreign Legion tales. See more »

Quotes

Crito Damou aka Omar Ben Khalif: [to Paul Lartal] Oh, I've forgotten to tell you. You were tried this morning by my followers. A fair trial. The verdict was unanimous. Death by stoning.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
About what you'd expect from Ladd.
22 June 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I enjoy watching Alan Ladd films but I still will be the first to admit that his choice of acting assignments was often suspect. For every exceptional film he made like "This Gun for Hire" or "Shane", he made a half a dozen movies that were essentially B-movies with A- movie budgets. So, they look great but are pretty much mindlessly entertaining...and that's how I see "Desert Legion".

When the film begins, French Foreign Legionnaire Paul Lartal is in command of troops who are attacked and massacred in the desert. Somehow Lartal is knocked unconscious and spared. When he awakens he sees a sexy redhead (sure, there must be millions of them in the North African desert) and then he lapses back out of consciousness...and now finds himself with the Legion. His superiors think he's imagining seeing the sexy redhead (Arlene Dahl) but when he realizes it must be true, he takes off looking for the hidden city of Madara, as the hot redhead, the Princess, needs his help. There he must fight against the evil Crito (Richard Conte) who is an amazingly jerky jerk! Lartal gets locked in mortal combat with Crito and spares him...and almost instantly Crito tries to kill him! What's next? See the film...or not.

If you're looking for an excellent Foreign Legion pic, I suggest you keep looking. This one is just silly with redheads and none of the Madarans looking even remotely North African. Overall, it's once again Ladd going through the motions to pick up a paycheck and it's far from his best work.


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