Combustible Celluloid
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With: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges, Rex Ingram, Richard Nugent, Dan Duryea, Carl Harbord, Patrick O'Moore, Louis Mercier, Guy Kingsford, Kurt Kreuger, John Wengraf
Written by: John Howard Lawson, Zoltan Korda, James O'Hanlon, based on a story by Philip MacDonald
Directed by: Zoltan Korda
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 97
Date: 09/02/1943

Sahara (1943)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Desert Topping

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

During WWII, people wanted to see stories about the war, but they didn't want message movies; they wanted stories about people. And wouldn't it make you feel better to imagine that Humphrey Bogart was out there fighting for us? In Sahara (1943, Columbia/TriStar, $19.95) Bogey plays an American tank commander who teams up with a band of British soldiers in the Sahara desert. They hole up at an oasis, then find they must make a stand when a platoon of Nazi soldiers head for the same oasis. Some of the story nuggets are cliché -- soldiers talking about their sweethearts just before getting shot, and the character who pretends to not speak English but can really understand everything that's being said. But Bogey's presence lends a hard-boiled nature to the picture, and director Zoltan Korda keeps everything nicely paced and on track. The cinematography was by Rudolph Maté and the score by Miklós Rózsa. J. Carrol Naish received an Oscar nomination for his performance as an Italian prisoner.

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