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Sahara [VHS]


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Product details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges, Rex Ingram
  • Directors: Zoltan Korda
  • Writers: Zoltan Korda, James O'Hanlon, John Howard Lawson, Philip MacDonald, Sidney Buchman
  • Producers: Harry Joe Brown
  • Language: English, German, Italian
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • VHS Release Date: 13 Jan. 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJWY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 259,244 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A semi-propaganda film made by the Americans to show how the Second World War was affecting the various European nations. Sergeant Joe Gunn (Humphrey Bogart) leads an American unit who escape from the fiasco of the Battle of Tobruk and then pick up stranded European soldiers as they cross the Sahara Desert. The motley band of survivors finally have to outwit a huge group of German soldiers in a battle for supremacy over that most precious of desert commodities, a well. The film was later re-made as a Western, 'The Last of the Comanches'.

From Amazon.co.uk

Columbia's biggest hit of 1943, Sahara confirmed the superstar status Humphrey Bogart attained with his Warner Brothers' North African adventure, Casablanca (1942). Surrounded by the Germans on three sides, Bogart's tough-as-they-come Sergeant Joe Gunn takes his tank and a crew of American, British and French soldiers into the Sahara to reach the retreating allied forces. But when they find that the only water for 100 miles is also the target of a German battalion they decide to take a desperate stand. Early scenes present the characters with assorted perils: thirst, sandstorms and a German air attack. The characters are rather stereotypical: the cowardly Italian prisoner, the Frenchman obsessed with food, the German humourless and fanatical, though the British come out well, and there's a sympathetically drawn black British Sudanese soldier (Rex Ingram).

The director was Zoltan Korda, the man behind such British classics as The Four Feathers (1939), and though Sahara lacks the scale of that adventure, Korda's experience pays off in mounting the extended and suspenseful siege/action climax. With support from Lloyd Bridges and Dan Duryea, Oscar-nominated photography by Rudolph Mate and a fine score by Miklós Rózsa, Sahara is a taut, gripping desert war thriller which wouldn't be bettered until Ice Cold in Alex (1958).

On the DVD: The black and white picture is presented in the original 4:3 ratio and looks very good for its age, though there are numerous brief instances of substantial print damage. Audio is strong, clear mono. Given the age of the movie it is not surprising the only extras are filmographies and a small selection of beautifully reproduced original advertising posters. The film is presented with alternative soundtracks in French, Italian and Spanish, as well as with English, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Finnish subtitles. There are trailers for The Caine Mutiny (1954), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and The Guns of Navarone (1961). --Gary S Dalkin --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Warren V Thoms on 10 July 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This would have to be one of the greatest war movies of all time. With a brilliant cast in support, Bogart delivers a captavating performance unequalled by any actor of his time. Set in the Sahara Desert (North African campaign of world war 2), 'Sahara' brilliantly outlines the hardships of one particular unit of allies trying to reach their own lines after being surrounded by 'Rommels' advancing Afrika Corps ... After rescuing a group of British soldiers from certain capture, Bogart's single tank unit scrambles to find water in the unforgiving desert only to find themselves in the path of a German amoured unit. The desicions they are left to make highlite the great sacrafices made by men in war time. The movie has more recently had the rare privelledge of having another movie of the same title made in its honour. 'Sahara' is a must for any clasic movie collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: DVD
Just after the fall of Tobruk, tank commander Sgt. Joe Gunn and his crew slowly make their way thru the desert. As they move on they pick up a number of passengers, some British soldiers, a Sudanese corporal with an Italian prisoner, a Frenchman, a South African and a grounded Nazi Fighter Pilot. As this unlikely mixture of a unit moves on it becomes paramount that they find water, however, there is a fully armed German unit in the area and they also are in desperate need of water.

A great cast boasting Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges, Rex Ingram and Dan Duryea, are expertly directed by Zoltan Korda while the wonderful cinematography from Rudolph Mate helps to seal the deal for this being a technical pleasure. Yet as good as the technical aspects are, this really has a firm emphasis on story. Written by John Howard Lawson (who would become one of the Hollywood Ten), it's chief triumph is with the humane approach, there's no fancy dan cloaking to smoother the picture, this is the perfect movie for those seeking a change from gun blasting bravado war films.

Easy on the eyes and ears, Sahara is a very enjoyable film experience that I recommend to lovers of finely crafted golden oldies. 7/10
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This black and white war film was made in 1943 for propaganda purposes and it was one of better Hollywood WWII morale raisers, mostly, but not exclusively, because of stellar performance by Humphrey Bogart. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

1. Origins and descendance of "Sahara"

This film traces its roots to a short novel called "Patrol", written by Philip MacDonald, a British veteran of World War I. It told the story of a group of eleven British soldiers surrounded by hostile Arab tribesmen in a small oasis in the middle of Iraqi desert, during 1918 Mesopotamian campaign. The novel became popular and was adapted to the screen first time in United Kingdom as a silent movie in 1929, under the title "Lost patrol". The film was quite good, Hollywood noticed it and in 1934 John Ford directed an American remake. His version, named "The lost patrol", became a worldwide success, thanks in large part to the amazing performances of Victor McLaglen and Boris Karloff.

Amongst people who loved this film the most was Stalin himself, who, unknowingly to most people, adored American cinema - when in the same time refusing his subjects the right to watch those "decadent" movies. Stalin enjoyed greatly those private séances in Kremlin's projection room during which he could relax between two campaigns of mass murder... "The lost patrol" pleased him so much that he ordered a Soviet remake, and it was indeed turned in 1936 and released in 1937, under the title "The Thirteen".

Soviet director Mikhail Romm changed of course the story, transferring the time of action to Russian Civil War (1917-1922) and the place of action to Central Asia deserts.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IP on 13 Jan. 2015
Format: DVD
The perfect companion for all film enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

This outstanding war movie was filmed in 1943 when WW II was raging and the outcome still very much in doubt. As might be expected, you will find some rally-round-the-flag propaganda elements, but they do not detract from the overall excellence of the film. Humphrey Bogart is at his best in this story as the aptly named tank commander, Joe Gunn. Gunn has named his tank (an M3 Lee) Lulu Belle, not after his girl, but after his favorite horse from his horse cavalry days. Gunn commands the only surviving tank after a battle in the Eastern Libyan Sahara that culminated in the British defeat at Tobruk. Surrounded on three sides, he and his crew head south, picking up British, French and British Commonwealth troops along the way, plus an Italian and German POW.

They must find water and eventually do...but the Germans want it too. The rest of the film portrays the standoff by 9 allied troops against an entire battalion of Germans. Bogie is supported by a superb ensemble cast that includes Lloyd Bridges, Dan Duryea, Bruce Bennett, J. Carroll Naish, as the Italian prisoner, and Kurt Kreuger as the German prisoner.

Zoltan Korda does a masterful job behind the camera. There are some liberties taken with the actual history of the North African Campaign, but overall, this is an entirely believable and well written story and carries my highest recommendation.
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