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RALPH MEEKER AND MARLA ENGLISH IN 'DESERT SANDS'

Marla English in DESERT SANDS Year: 1955 Rating: ****

A kind of ZULU one decade earlier, b-movie company Bel Air made this Foreign Legion adventure about a group of soldiers trapped in their fort in the middle of the Arabian desert... 

During act two they fight off Arabs, and act three, after being captured from within, try outsmarting the captors, led by a very American Keith Larsen as El Zanel with sexy sister Marla English: thus the biggest flaw is how many other Americans or Brits work within the French army, and it's never really explained why Ralph Meeker's the captain or young Texan John Smith's there with Australian scoundrel Ron Randell barked at by sergeant J. Carrol Naish...

Yet DESERT SANDS is an above average war movie with many layers, including a forced yet intriguing romance between Meeker and Marla English, and a backstory where John Carradine's lethal Arab had tricked his niece and nephew into becoming the vengeful legion-haters they'd grow into, with the power to take over the fort, which includes a neat bloody battle leading to what could've been superfluous downtime as the men await their doom, but having been properly fleshed out in act one, ironically griping about not having enough to do, not only does their fate matter, but their dialogue, never filler, does as well. 

Ralph Meeker in DESERT SANDS
Marla English in DESERT SANDS
Ron Randell in DESERT SANDS
John Smith in DESERT SANDS
J. Carroll Naish in DESERT SANDS
Credits in DESERT SANDS
Credits in DESERT SANDS
Ralph Meeker in DESERT SANDS
Ralph Meeker in DESERT SANDS
John Smith in DESERT SANDS
Marla English in DESERT SANDS
Marla English in DESERT SANDS with Ralph Meeker
Marla English in DESERT SANDS with Ralph Meeker
Keith Larsen and John Carradine in DESERT SANDS
Marla English in DESERT SANDS

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