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March Or Die


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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Legion Major Foster (Hackman), an American haunted by his memories of the recently-ended Great War, is assigned to protect a group of archaeologists at their dig. Foster's unit includes the charming, thieving rascal Marco (Hill), who joined the Legion only to avoid prison. After long stretches portraying the boredom and hardship of day-to-day life in the Legion, Foster's command occupies a small village where the archaeologists believe they've found a burial site sacred to the Arabs. An Arab leader (Holm) uses this affront to unite the tribes in Jihad, and attacks the tiny Legion garrison at the dig. An epic battle follows, very reminiscent of the film "Zulu". Costumes, firearms, and props are all very authentic-looking, and show great attention to detail.

Product Details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Jef Films/Mvd
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007CIM1K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,788 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Avid on January 22, 2006
Format: DVD
It is difficult to say which of Gene Hackman's movies is "best", but this little known movie is certainly among them.

The complete story is actually very good. I saw the uncut version one time, which enhances the characters and explains the storyline more fully, certainly in the case of Hackman's character and several of the other major characters. There is much more to Hackman's character than the cut version shows, which makes him, and the movie, exceedingly more interesting. This US release, unfortunately, is the cut down version, which has, of course cut out some of the most important aspects of the story.

I would like to see the uncut version, which I believe is the European release, made and re-released for American audiences. In total, it is a great adventure movie and certainly a great view of La Legion Etrangere in the 1920s.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Russell C. Longmire on September 30, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great foreign legion movie with Gene Hackman in the lead role. Great supporting cast to include, Ian Holm, Max von Sydow, and Catherine Denuve. Filmed at the height of his career (he's still there)on location with no studio shots. Gary Cooper's Beau Geste and this film are the best foreign legion films made!

It would be nice if hollywood would reissue this film so we would not have to buy foreign copies because it is not available otherwise. You can find a copy of "Bride of Chucky" which is disgusting but not of a classic like this. In any case, I would highly recommend this film to all Hackman fans.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
The original, uncut European version of March or Die, about the Foreign Legion in North Africa, was a damned good movie, with Genre Hackman, as always, portraying his character, a battle-weary veteran of WW I, to the full. The US version, the only version that seems to be available currently, is pathetic by comparison as it has been cut to pieces. It does not show the character detail of the original cut, losing much of the storyline and, therefore, the point of the story and why the characters are where they are at that given time and place.
The original cut was an excelently shot period movie, with time and place well portrayed. The cast, in addition to Hackman, includes Terence Hill, Max von Sydow, Catherine Deneuve, and Ian Holm.
For those who enjoy a good adventure, this is it. Those who enjoy stories of the military, specifically the Legion with few punches pulled, this is it. Also, romance is not forgotten, as it would not be a Legion movie without it. There is also mystery and intrigue.
Strong acting, good story, excelently filmed - in the original, European, version. The US version is not worth the bother.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Pro on May 15, 2006
Format: DVD
A fantastic DVD of a fantastic movie. Image quality perfect and unedited. Don't buy the crummy Domino Principle/March or Die double feature. The film there is bad quality and very very edited.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth L. Whittier on September 18, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie has been edited from it's original release. Also the film quality can only be considered poor or average at best.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Patton on August 7, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Don't believe anything written by AmazonPro, the second review is a bald face lie. This DVD has all the earmarks of a chinese pirated copy. It is a poor direct from VHS copy. Thier so-called "digital remastering" is nothing more than poor color saturation during the lousy transfer. The picture quality is fuzzy and the colors tend to the orange side. Take a close look at the cover photo and that is EXACTLY what the movie colors look like. The poor quality of the DVD case photos should have been enough to clue me in, but I wanted to see the movie, so I bit and wasted the money. I am firmly convinced these are pirated copies. So avoid this merchandise unless you like throwing you money away.

The movie as a bundle of time worn cliches' that we have seen in god knows how many war movies. From the lover prostituting herself to save a lover who doesn't want to be saved, to the hard but loved by his men commander, the suicide of the soft recruit who can't hack it, to the evil but chivalrous enemy to the rousing last stand, to the once rebellious recruit, now seasoned veteran standing before new inductees, filling his dead commanders boots, quoting the dead commander's now famous lines, and getting knowing nods from his veteran brothers and survivors at arms. The cliches just keep on coming. The plot will have you shaking your head in disbelief or rolling on the floor with laughter.

Yes I am a Hackman fan, but Terrance Hill gives the same performance he gave in every spagehtti western he ever starred in since My Name is Nobody.
Pretty blue eyes and a cleft chin are two attributes onto which only a shaky career can be built.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Cooke on October 19, 2009
Format: DVD
The quality of the DVD copy is so bad.
Not sure were the Digitially Remastered copy went, they must have put that on a different disk.
Looks like a copy made from a VHS tape.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2006
Format: DVD
March or Die was one of a number of massive box-office disasters that nearly brought Columbia to its knees until CE3K rescued it from the brink. On the surface it belongs alongside the trilogy of mid-70s adventure films that Sean Connery made for the studio, with Gene Hackman's embittered Foreign Legionnaire reluctantly leading his surviving men to protect Max Von Sydow's archaeological dig. It's a perfectly workable premise for an adventure but it never really works. It's a schizophrenic film at best, and not just because of the usual international co-production vagaries: Gene Hackman is starring in a bleak, revisionist drama while Terence Hill is starring in an old-fashioned swashbuckler, and despite John Alcott's strikingly subdued photography neither strand quite works - not enough panache or too much depending on whose turn it is in the spotlight. The final (and only) battle scene is a particularly odd affair, with Hackman's character behaving very oddly indeed, depriving the audience of the expected climax in a way that seems more bizarre and just plain wrong than innovative. Heavy pre-release cutting probably didn't help (the original US TV broadcast, which many wrongly assume was given a theatrical release in Europe, included a number of deleted sequences, including an additional battle scene), but this is more an interesting failure than a successful reinvention of a subgenre it all but killed off for good. It certainly managed to kill of director Dick Richards' career.

The UK DVD is a decent fullframe transfer of the same theatrical version released both in the US and Europe with no loss of picture area: for the original 1.85:1 widescreen version you need to track down the Australian DVD. There are no extras on either issue: a shame, as it would have been interesting to see the deleted scenes, and the film's trailer was a very good example of wildly overhyping a film (it pitched it as an experience that would become one of the most important of your life!).
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