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USA 1943
Directed by Zoltan Korda
Running time 97 minutes

3 stars

Effectively gritty (yes, it's a corny pun as there's an awful lot of sand involved) war-time flic has Bogart as a Tank Corps sergeant, Joe Gunn, leading a motley crew out of the Hun-infested Sahara to safety. This was based on a 1937 Russian film, Trinadtsat (The Thirteen, unseen) and has been re-made many times since including as a Western, Last of the Comanches (1953), starring Broderick Crawford and, for no apparently good reason, a 1995 US-Australian made-for-cable co-production also called, Sahara, directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith and starring that guarantor of hackdom, James Belushi, in the lead. It is heavily propagandistic with America firmly centre stage and bringing enlightenment to British, French and Italians and vanquishing the nasty Nazis, but the film stands up thanks to Bogart’s strong presence, a decent script by Korda along with James O'Hanlon and John Howard Lawson (who was one of the Hollywood Ten) and because much trouble has been taken to make the film realistic.  BH




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