Written by / 5/15/2021 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , ,

DANA ANDREWS & MÄRTA TORÉN RULING 'SWORD IN THE DESERT'

Sword in the Desert Year: 1949 Rating: ***1/2

Although approved by the British Film Board, SWORD IN THE DESERT was banned in England, and it's understandable as British soldiers are basically Nazis in this story of Jews shipped from Europe to Israel, beating Otto Preminger's EXODUS by over a decade and, starring his stock star Dana Andrews, here directed in a propaganda fashion by George Sherman, there are decent sand-leaping action sequences alongside preachy symbolism, but it could have been worse since DESERT feels like the usual WWII programmer, and Dana's in his cocky prime as a maverick freighter captain so overly reluctant to finish the job — taking the immigrants from his boat to the beach where Stephen McNally has the payment — it's hard to believe he'd signed on at all...

And his bitter reluctance sustains through most of the story; usually the anti-hero would join the cause a lot sooner, and mostly because of a gorgeous dame... in this case by Dana's future ASSIGNMENT PARIS beauty Märta Torén as the rebel's very own radio-goading Tokyo Rose, and, with handsome head honcho Jeff Chandler by her, McNally's and feisty Irishman Liam Redmond's side, the British soldiers have only their bullying tactics (only two officers feel guilty), eventually attempting to use the captured (and still on-the-fence) Andrews to name-names in the 11th hour... But as mainstream as this SWORD gets, there's no hackneyed wind-swept romance or any cheap melodramatic last words by dying soldiers, and it all goes down pretty well. The main problem, and the Brit's biggest gripe, is that the Arabs get off scot-free while hymn-singing Christians get all the blame... And in that, cinema hasn't changed one bit. 

Jeff Chandler, Stephen McNally, Märta Torén and Dana Andrews in Sword in the Desert
Dana Andrews in Sword in the Desert
Dana Andrews in Sword in the Desert
Dana Andrews in Sword in the Desert
Märta Torén in SWORD IN THE DESERT
Märta Torén in SWORD IN THE DESERT w/ Liam Redmond
Jeff Chandler in SWORD IN THE DESERT with Dana Andrews & Stephen McNally
Märta Torén in SWORD IN THE DESERT with Dana Andrews and Jeff Chandler
American actor Hayden Rorke as a Brit dreams of Märta Torén in SWORD IN THE DESERT
Märta Torén in SWORD IN THE DESERT
Dana Andrews and Stephen McNally in SWORD IN THE DESERT
Future Curse of the Demon stars Dana Andrews & Liam Redmond in Sword in the Desert
Dana Andrews & Liam Redmond in CURSE OF THE DEMON
Stephen McNally, Märta Torén and Dana Andrews in Sword in the Desert

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