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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Playing Cowboys and Indians in the Western Desert, 2 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Sahara [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Filmed after the victory of El Alamein by the British 8th Army under Montgomery, this story capitalises on that campaign with an unabashedly American twist. The premise of the plot, as stated in the film's introduction, is a lone American tank crew, seconded to the British Army for training purposes, lost somewhere in the Sahara desert. En route to join their main battle group the crew encounters a mixed bag of lost or misplaced soldiers from various countries, allied and hostile, including a German pilot whose plane is shot down by the tank.

Command of this group is yielded by the only British officer present to the tank's commander, Sergeant Joe Gunn (Bogart). After standard difficulties of travel through the desert, sandstorm and all, the party reach an ancient and abandoned Moorish oasis site, which is low on water and scenery. Here they make their stand, one by one being shot at and killed by a mechanised batallion of wandering and parched Germans.

The storyline is improbable, and the American jingoism, though muted, is to be expected. This film was intended to keep the sympathies of the American public on side. Unfortunately, it's one of many that have resulted in an unbalanced and political view of the Second World War as seen from the U.S., which has, in the intervening decades, claimed ownership of the conflict, to the disparagement of British and Allied titanic efforts in the struggle.

Having said that, and using a pinch of salt, this film is enjoyable, and worth the three stars, if only for Bogart's performance.
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Location: Manchester

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