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The Films of the French Foreign Legion [Paperback]

Philip Leibfried
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Book Description

10 Nov 2011
Arguably the most famous fighting organization of all time, the French Foreign Legion's fame is largely due to the motion pictures that used it as a subject. Well over one hundred films have been made since the first two-reelers in 1912. They have been produced in a number of countries, mostly in the United States and France, but also in Europe and as far afield as China and Turkey. The Legion itself saw action in many nations, having its origins in the imperialist nineteenth century. Beginning in Morocco and Algeria, units of the Legion later were sent to Mexico and Vietnam, then known as French Indo-China. Novels and stage plays about the Foreign Legion began to appear in the late nineteenth century, and were followed by motion pictures in the second decade of the twentieth. Eventually, many leading names of the film industry, such as Gary Cooper, Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich, would appear in Foreign Legion films in both the silent and sound eras. Cartoon characters like Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny appeared in animated films, for not even the French Foreign Legion could escape being satirized. Radio and television productions about the famed fighting force followed in due course, as did a number of documentaries. Films featuring the Spanish Foreign Legion are also included here. All media productions through 2007 are listed chronologically in their various sub-topics in this volume.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: BearManor Media (10 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593936737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593936730
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 791,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
BearManor Media presents "THE FILMS OF THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION" (Paperback) -- by Philip Leibfried (Author)

Have many films on the 'French Foreign Legion', but was not aware of the ones I've missed. As the author points out in his introduction -- Created by an order of King Louis Philippe of France in 1831, the LEGION ETRANGERS originally served as a means of ridding France of thousands of political refugees who had sought asylum there after revolutions in their own countries in Southern and Eastern Europe.

One of the most famous and a great story BEAU GESTE, by Percival Christopher Wren, published in 1924, of an unshakable bond among three brothers, which featured action, adventure, mystery, and a character by the name of Sgt. Lejaune, who became a symbol of cruelty as great as Simon Legree. Something I didn't know was, BEAU GESTE was remade three times as a theatrical feature, but its leading characters, including an ogre of a sergeant, have influenced generations of filmmakers and film goers. Beau Geste (1926) (Silent) with Ronald Colman, Neil Hamilton, Ralph Forbes & Noah Beery ... also, Beau Geste (1939) with Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy & Susan Hayward (This is one of my favorite films, great acting and direction by William A. Wellman) ... also Beau Geste (1966) with Guy Stockwell, Doug McClure, Leslie Nielsen & Telly Savalas.

In both silent and sound eras, many leading actors appeared in FOREIGN LEGION FILMS, but these motion pictures have been given short shrift in biographies and autobiographies of those performers, as it turns out films about the FOREIGN LEGION are not as highly regarded as the outfit itself.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Films of the French Foreign Legion ... Philip Leibfried (Author) ... BearManor Media (2011)" 2 Dec 2011
By J. Lovins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
BearManor Media presents "THE FILMS OF THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION" (Paperback) -- by Philip Leibfried (Author)

Have many films on the 'French Foreign Legion', but was not aware of the ones I've missed. As the author points out in his introduction -- Created by an order of King Louis Philippe of France in 1831, the LEGION ETRANGERS originally served as a means of ridding France of thousands of political refugees who had sought asylum there after revolutions in their own countries in Southern and Eastern Europe.

One of the most famous and a great story BEAU GESTE, by Percival Christopher Wren, published in 1924, of an unshakable bond among three brothers, which featured action, adventure, mystery, and a character by the name of Sgt. Lejaune, who became a symbol of cruelty as great as Simon Legree. Something I didn't know was, BEAU GESTE was remade three times as a theatrical feature, but its leading characters, including an ogre of a sergeant, have influenced generations of filmmakers and film goers. Beau Geste (1926) (Silent) with Ronald Colman, Neil Hamilton, Ralph Forbes & Noah Beery ... also, Beau Geste (1939) with Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy & Susan Hayward (This is one of my favorite films, great acting and direction by William A. Wellman) ... also Beau Geste (1966) with Guy Stockwell, Doug McClure, Leslie Nielsen & Telly Savalas.

In both silent and sound eras, many leading actors appeared in FOREIGN LEGION FILMS, but these motion pictures have been given short shrift in biographies and autobiographies of those performers, as it turns out films about the FOREIGN LEGION are not as highly regarded as the outfit itself.

Very reasonable and a good value for the price --- For product description and editorial review check this out on the Amazon site above my review.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: (Chapter, Title and Page Numbers)

Acknowledgements --- vii
Introduction --- ix
CHAPTER ONE: --- 1
Seminal Sands: Under Two Flags
CHAPTER TWO: --- 17
Celebrated Sands: The Novels of P.C. Wren
CHAPTER THREE: --- 37
Silent Sands: Cinema de Legion 1914-1928
CHAPTER FOUR: --- 49
Sound Sands: Cinema de Legion 1929-2000
CHAPTER FIVE: --- 67
Singing Sands: Legion Musicals
CHAPTER SIX --- 75
Shifting Sands: Films of the Post-World War II Legion
CHAPTER SEVEN: --- 85
Subtitled Sands: Foreign Foreign Legion Films
CHAPTER EIGHT: --- 113
Satiric Sands: Comedies and Cartoons
CHAPTER NINE: --- 131
Sundry Sands: The Legion on the Stage, Radio & Television
CHAPTER TEN: --- 149
Superfluous Sands: Marginal French Foreign Legion Films
and Spanish Foreign Legion Films
Bibliography --- 159
Index --- 163

In closing, author Philip Leibfried has given us much in depth, a complete listing of such depictions as possible through 2007.

Thank our lucky stars for Ben Ohmart and his staff, BearManor Media, a small press that publishes BIG books. They pride themselves on publishing quality entertainment biographies, so they often put out the first book on unique subjects -- plus specializing in books with nostalgic themes and keeping classic Hollywood alive not only thru his publishing house, but thru his own books.

An interesting must read ~ Highly recommend!

Total Page: 180 Pages ~ BearManor Media #ISBN-13: 978-1593936730 ~ (November 10, 2011)
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