This movie is allegedly based on an entry in U.S. Navy records, that refers to a consignment of saddles for the Navy. Richard Widmark (always a bit under-rated in my opinion), plays a navy officer who is detached to a meteorology team in the Gobi desert, who are collecting weather data for the Navy. A wandering tribe of Mongol's and their horses, come in one night and also set up camp. When radio reports are received about possible Japanese cavalry patrols, Widmark puts in a request for sixty saddles for the Mongol's horses, in return for their help in defending the camp. I won't give too much of the plot away, but when contact with base is lost, Widmark decides to lead his men across the Gobi desert to the sea. How much of this yarn is based on true events, is questionable, and some aspects of the storyline stretch credibility, but this really misses the point. This is best seen as an entertaining blend of war movie and adventure movie that is slightly different from the norm. The storyline and characters blend well together, and it's beautifully filmed, using some gorgeous, atmospheric, Arizona locations as a substitute for the real Gobi, made more enjoyable by a fine DVD transfer. Tightly plotted and skilfully directed by acclaimed director Robert Wise, who gives this film some qualities that it may not have had with a lesser director. Maybe not a great movie, but not dross either.
This Spanis import, plays with the original English sound track without subtitles (only Spanish subtitles are supported and no English). To play in English, most DVD players have buttons that allow you to toggle between the languages and subtitles, but if not You will have to go into configuration from the main menu and select the audio and subtitle options.