6.2/10
405
21 user 3 critic

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 »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Paul Hudson, leads a group of desert bandits against some Nazis, who want to use them as cheap labor for their railroad.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Dennis Morgan, Irene Manning, Bruce Cabot
New Moon (1940)
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

On a Louisiana-bound ship, a nobleman planning a campaign for liberty encounters an heiress.

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Mary Boland
Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Desert Song is a 1929 American Pre-Code operetta film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring John Boles, Louise Fazenda, and Myrna Loy.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: John Boles, Carlotta King, Louise Fazenda
Boom Town (1940)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two buddies who rise from fly-by-night wildcatters to oil tycoons over a twenty year period both love the same woman.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Claudette Colbert
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A musical remake of Ninotchka: After three bumbling Soviet agents fail in their mission to retrieve a straying Soviet composer from Paris, the beautiful, ultra-serious Ninotchka is sent to ... See full summary »

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Janis Paige
Dancing Lady (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An attractive dancer is rescued from jail by a rich man, who helps her to have her first big opportunity at a musical play on Broadway.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone
Biography | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Biopic of opera star Grace Moore, who was killed in a plane crash in 1947.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Merv Griffin, Joan Weldon
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The struggle of a lady's garment workers' organization to unionize a New York clothing sweat shop; the owner of which is determined to keep the union out of his business at any cost.

Directors: Vincent Sherman, Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee J. Cobb, Kerwin Mathews, Gia Scala
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A successful novelist falls in love with her married publisher, to the consternation of her boyfriend, who arranges for her to meet the publisher's wife.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Joan Crawford, Robert Taylor, Greer Garson
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Louis XI of France drafts Paris's popular "king" of criminals as Provost Marshal in his fight against usurper Charles of Burgundy and the traitorous nobles who rally around him.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Oreste Kirkop, Rita Moreno
The Sea Hawk (1940)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Edit

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
Edit

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 most glorious musical adventure of all! See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Practically all of the lyrics for "The Riff Song" have been rewritten, even the words that did not have to be changed. This was common practice in several Broadway musical adaptations made before 1955; it was done frequently in the Nelson Eddy- Jeanette MacDonald operettas and it was done in the 1954 film version of "The Student Prince". Movie studios did this so that royalties from all sales of sheet music for the film versions would go to the studios that made the films, not to the original lyricists. Exceptions included the 1936 film version of "Show Boat" and all of the songs except "Cotton Blossom" in the 1951 "Show Boat", as well as the 1943 film version of "Girl Crazy". 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

Version of The Desert Song (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

The Desert Song
(uncredited)
Music by Sigmund Romberg
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Otto A. Harbach
Sung by Gordon MacRae and Kathryn Grayson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed