Based on Jean Larteguy's novel 'The Centurions', the 1966 film 'Lost Command' is one of the few films set during the 1954-62 Algerian war of independence. Anthony Quinn stars as Colonel Pierre Raspeguy (based on the real-life Colonel Marcel Bigeard), a Basque peasant risen from the ranks through sheer ruthlessness, who after the defeat in Indochina is given one last chance in command of a reservist parachute regiment. Desperate to prove himself, he turns his bunch of misfits into a crack unit and leads them into a private war against the FLN guerillas commanded by one of his former Algerian officers, Mahidi (George Segal). Alain Delon and Maurice Ronet play Captains Esclavier and Boisfeuras, the angel and devil, respectively, on his shoulders and whilst the film doesn't shirk the torture and massacres which were such a stain on the French Army in Algeria, it's a world away from the harsh realism of 'The Battle of Algiers' (made in the same year) or the more recent 'Intimate Enemies'. 'Lost Command' is basically a good old-fashioned second world war film set against an exotic backdrop, and in this perhaps the film it most closely resembles is the John Wayne Vietnam potboiler 'The Green Berets'. Uncomplicated fun but you'll have to look elsewhere to understand what led the real-life 'centurions' into mutiny and the brink of civil war in 1961.