Beau Geste (Universal Backlot Series)
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William Wellman's picture (loosely based on the 1924 P.C. Wren novel) is in part a who-dun-it but primarily an adventure yarn. The story begins with all the men stationed at a desert fort lying dead from combat. A letter confessing to a crime is found on the body of one of them.
Flashback to Michael ("Beau") and his brothers as children (Beau is portrayed by 12-year-old Donald O'Connor). The three orphaned Gestes and Isabel Rivers were adopted when very young by the boys' aunt, Lady Patricia Brandon. They all live at Brandon Abbas with Aunt Pat and her son Augustus.
In raising the four adoptees, Aunt Pat exhausts her estate's finances. To pay debts she determines to sell a family heirloom, the Blue Water sapphire but first Pat shows it to all for the last time. The lights suddenly go out and when they're restored, it's discovered that Lady Brandon's precious gem has vanished. Suspicion falls on the three Gestes, so the young men join the French Foreign Legion to escape accusations or embarrassment.
The Saharan portion of this film is the lion's share. We meet several members of the Gestes' outpost. Later attacks by Arabs make it clear that their fort is doomed-- the only question is when all will die. The Legionnaires' valiant struggle against daunting odds is one you won't soon forget. A great cast, story and cinematography make this Beau Geste a genuine classic, and one of the best films of that superlative year of 1939.Read more ›
The wholesome Gary Cooper along with Robert Preston and Ray Milland play three brothers, Beau, Digby and John Geste, adopted into the affluent baronial lifestyle of English Lord and Lady Brandon. When the lord threatens to sell the family's most precious possession, the Blue Water, a huge cerulean sapphire, to finance his gambling, one of the brothers absconds with it. In a chivalrous gesture the three brothers flee and enlist in the French Foreign Legion and get shipped to North Africa.
While in the foreign legion they are cruelly commanded by star of the movie Brian Donlevy, who plays the facially scarred, sadistic heavy Sergeant Markoff. The brothers strive to survive the elements, the Arabs and Markoff while they protect the secret of the prized sapphire.
The flick is hopelessly dated but still remains hugely entertaining to a classic movie buff. A youthful and ravishing Susan Hayward plays Milland's love interest, Isobel Rivers, a ward of Lady Brandon in one of her earliest starring roles.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
saw this on saturday matinee in b/w when i was a kid. always remembered the bit about being burned with a dog at his feet.
Great product. Quick delivery. Will buy again....5 star....thanks.Published 2 months ago by Norma Swede
I finally discovered this old classic, and I liked it much more than I expected. It aged a little, but it still remains a darn good film! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Maciej
A so-called classic film from that magical Hollywood year - 1939 - starring Gary Cooper, Ray Milland and Robert Preston and Directed by William (Ben-Hur) Wyler. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Parker
One of the all time classics. There have been a number of remakes since and versions of same before this one but I feel this is the best version of them all. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bronnie Whitelaw
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