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Zoltan Korda's Sahara

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I always enjoy watching that ragtag entourage led by Bogart trudging through the desert in "Lulu Belle" and eventually coming upon a desert mosque to give them shelter from a sandstorm. I've long been curious about that rather unpretentious-looking desert mosque. A real one or something made for the film? All the pictures of mosques on google all seem more elaborate than the one in Sahara. This sand-drifted mosque seems the closest in appearance to the one in Sahara. 

 

 

 

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Check out the IMDb message board for the movie SAHARA 1943.  It would seem safe to assume that the "mosque"  was made for the film, just a front facade   and a separate interior set.  The posts on IMDb  go into detail about the equipment used in the film.  While the wartime made film is very preachy and meant to be patriotic it is very well made and stands up on its own today.  Bogart is very much into his new "Bogart persona"  and there's a fine group of supporting actors (including Dan Duryea as one of heroes, not much in line with the roles he would later specialize in).

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I have always liked this WW2 update of The Lost Patrol story line as one of the better fighting man actioners of its time.

 

Great ensemble cast, with Bogart giving one of his better performances, I feel, in the lead. But it's the wonderful performance of J. Carrol Naish as the Italian prisoner that I have always particularly enjoyed watching.

 

Emotionally, the highlight scene of the film for me has always been that in which Bogart makes the practical, cold blooded decision to leave the Italian behind in the desert (thus condemning him to death) because there are too many in the tank. Naish is incredibly touching in this scene, rushing forward, showing Bogart pictures of his wife and little bambinos.

 

Bogart is wonderful too, at this moment, holding fast to his decision. One can see by the expressions of the others in the tank crew that they feel for Naish and sympathize with him.

 

Finally there is that memorable tear stained closeup of Naish's face. "Compassion," he pleads to Bogart in broken English.

 

saharalivesoftenmen_vd_188x141_012820090

 

Even now, as I write about a scene that I haven't seen in a few years, I get a little chocked up thinking about that closeup. What a wonderful opportunity this film was for a great character actor like J. Carrol Naish.

 

I would also like to commend this film's screenplay for allowing a black actor, Rex Ingram, to play a brave Sudanese soldier, treated very much as an equal by Bogart, and allowed to have a true hero's death in the film. I can't think of any other WW2 era films that did this.

 

By the way, you might want to change the title of this thread to ZOLTAN Korda's Sahara. Famed Hungarian film producer Alex had nothing to do with this production. It was his brother that directed this American made film for Columbia.

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A great film.  GREAT cast (including John Wengraf as the German officer).  Naish is simply amazing in this picture.  Superb score by Rozsa.  A wonderful, wonderful film.

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I have always liked this WW2 update of The Lost Patrol story line as one of the better fighting man actioners of its time.

 

Great ensemble cast, with Bogart giving one of his better performances, I feel, in the lead. But it's the wonderful performance of J. Carrol Naish as the Italian prisoner that I have always particularly enjoyed watching.

 

Emotionally, the highlight scene of the film for me has always been that in which Bogart makes the practical, cold blooded decision to leave the Italian behind in the desert (thus condemning him to death) because there are too many in the tank. Naish is incredibly touching in this scene, rushing forward, showing Bogart pictures of his wife and little bambinos.

 

Bogart is wonderful too, at this moment, holding fast to his decision. One can see by the expressions of the others in the tank crew that they feel for Naish and sympathize with him.

 

Finally there is that memorable tear stained closeup of Naish's face. "Compassion," he pleads to Bogart in broken English.

 

saharalivesoftenmen_vd_188x141_012820090

 

Even now, as I write about a scene that I haven't seen in a few years, I get a little chocked up thinking about that closeup. What a wonderful opportunity this film was for a great character actor like J. Carrol Naish.

 

I would also like to commend this film's screenplay for allowing a black actor, Rex Ingram, to play a brave Sudanese soldier, treated very much as an equal by Bogart, and allowed to have a true hero's death in the film. I can't think of any other WW2 era films that did this.

 

By the way, you might want to change the title of this thread to ZOLTAN Korda's Sahara. Famed Hungarian film producer Alex had nothing to do with this production. It was his brother that directed this American made film for Columbia.

Okay, but how about that mosque? Was it an actual desert mosque or what? That was after all my reason for starting this thread. To find out about that mosque. Hey, maybe that mosque in my pic is the mosque from the movie! Yes?   :P

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I always enjoy watching that ragtag entourage led by Bogart trudging through the desert in "Lulu Belle" and eventually coming upon a desert mosque to give them shelter from a sandstorm. I've long been curious about that rather unpretentious-looking desert mosque. A real one or something made for the film? All the pictures of mosques on google all seem more elaborate than the one in Sahara. This sand-drifted mosque seems the closest in appearance to the one in Sahara. 

 

 

 

xp1w78.jpg

Heaven forbid I should ask about that bombed-out siegfried line pillbox in Hell is for Heroes.  :P  :P  :P

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Okay, but how about that mosque? Was it an actual desert mosque or what? That was after all my reason for starting this thread. To find out about that mosque. Hey, maybe that mosque in my pic is the mosque from the movie! Yes?   :P

Well, according to Wiki, the film was made in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. Not a lot of real mosques there, I'll wager, particularly in 1943.

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MY guess? Well, that ain't no "mosque".

 

That's that old abandoned Texaco station along old Route-66 just outside of Barstow...and all that sand is coverin' up all the pumps! ;)

 

(...and btw, yeah...this IS one of the best WWII movies made during that conflict in my opinion also...AND btw, nice write-up again here, Tom!) 

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Well, according to Wiki, the film was made in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. Not a lot of real mosques there, I'll wager, particularly in 1943.

What a jip!  :angry: It's suppose to be the sahara desert.  :huh:  Where was black narcissus shot? Yosemite?  :P  

At least my pic is a real mosque somewhere in the sahara.  :)

 

 

 

ztw0p3.jpg

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What a jip!  :angry: It's suppose to be the sahara desert.  :huh:  Where was black narcissus shot? Yosemite?  :P  

 

 

 

No, not Yosemite, but in Shepperton Studios in England. Sorry to destroy another illusion.

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Thanks for the kind words, Dargo.

 

The Italians were often portrayed as slightly comical stumblebums, clearly reluctant "warriors," in Hollywood WW2 films. The studios apparently couldn't really bring themsleves to hate them in their propaganda portraits at the time. That was left for the Germans and Japanese.

 

There's nothing comical about Naish's sympathetic portrait, however, nor in the manner in which his simple, humble character forced to go to war wins over the grudging affection of the mixed nations tank crew, including "hard hearted" Yank Bogart. Naish plays a humane individual, obviously designed as a real contrast to the stereotypical German also captured by the tank crew.

 

Naish would get one of two Oscar nominations in his career for Sahara. The other would be for A Medal for Benny made two years later.

 

Actually, I can't recall any nasty portraits of the Italian enemy from the Hollywood product churned out during the war years (or afterward either, for that matter). Can anyone else think of any?

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No, not Yosemite, but in Shepperton Studios in England. Sorry to destroy another illusion.

What? No catholic mission high in the Himalayas? Nuts.  :huh:

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Actually, I can't recall any nasty portraits of the Italian enemy from the Hollywood product churned out during the war years (or afterward either, for that matter). Can anyone else think of any?

 

I can't think of one either, Tom. However, the following film(which I think is excellent but didn't do well at the box office) while not made during nor about WWII and isn't a "Hollywood  movie", doesn't place the Fascist Italian government and its military in the best of light is 1981's "Lion of the Desert" starring the great Anthony Quinn as the Libyan tribal leader Omar Mukhtar and Oliver Reed as Italian General Rodolfo Graziani. 

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Columbia Pictures remade "Sahara" in 1953 with Broderick Crawford, Barbara Hale and yes again Lloyd Bridges as "Last of the Comanches:. A well done western with Andre De Toth directing. This time it the Calvary and stagecoach passengers fighting off the Comanches at a desert ruin...

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Thanks for the kind words, Dargo.

 

The Italians were often portrayed as slightly comical stumblebums, clearly reluctant "warriors," in Hollywood WW2 films. The studios apparently couldn't really bring themsleves to hate them in their propaganda portraits at the time. That was left for the Germans and Japanese.

 

There's nothing comical about Naish's sympathetic portrait, however, nor in the manner in which his simple, humble character forced to go to war wins over the grudging affection of the mixed nations tank crew, including "hard hearted" Yank Bogart. Naish plays a humane individual, obviously designed as a real contrast to the stereotypical German also captured by the tank crew.

 

Naish would get one of two Oscar nominations in his career for Sahara. The other would be for A Medal for Benny made two years later.

 

Actually, I can't recall any nasty portraits of the Italian enemy from the Hollywood product churned out during the war years (or afterward either, for that matter). Can anyone else think of any?

 

Like others here I think the director and screenwriter did a very good job with having Bogie be hard and only bending slowly to Naish's sympathetic character.      When Bogie does 'give in' I get the feeling he does so because of how the other men in the unit feel not because he's really buying into what the Italian is saying (but I'm not say the Italian is trying to game him).

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