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135 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAHARA, Bogart's Desert War Classic now on DVD !
It was 1943 and the United States was at war. Humphrey Bogart had just finished "Casablanca" (considered the #2nd greatest Movie of the last 100 years by the American Film Institute (AFI)1998) with Ingrid Bergman at Warner Brothers.
As the war effort continued Hollywood began to use the power of their stars with patriotic themes, against all odds stories to give...
Published on February 13, 2002 by forrie

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Sahara" is emblematic of its time
Anyone wishing to understand the American mindset in the middle of World War II would be hard pressed to do better than "Sahara". It successfully combines the elements of Allied unity against great odds and the willingness to sacrifice oneself for ultimate victory against Nazi tyranny.
Paradoxically, the even-handed relationship between the caucasian...
Published on March 1, 2000


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135 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAHARA, Bogart's Desert War Classic now on DVD !, February 13, 2002
By 
forrie (Nashua, NH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sahara (DVD)
It was 1943 and the United States was at war. Humphrey Bogart had just finished "Casablanca" (considered the #2nd greatest Movie of the last 100 years by the American Film Institute (AFI)1998) with Ingrid Bergman at Warner Brothers.
As the war effort continued Hollywood began to use the power of their stars with patriotic themes, against all odds stories to give Americans and the world hope for victory.
Warner Brothers having the greatest stable of stars lent the services of Humphrey Bogart to Columbia Pictures for the making of the Classic Desert War story "Sahara".
This movie had a great ensemble cast which included a very young Llyod Bridges, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish and Dan Duryea. Filmed in the Mojave Desert near the great Salton Sea in Southern California. The filmed was endorsed by the War Department and the extras were supplied by the United States Army (playing the Germans, Americans and Allies).
"SAHARA" became Columbia Pictures top grossing film of 1943 at a whopping $2.3 million and a very effective propaganda war vehicle.
Summary: Sgt Joe Gunn (Bogart) a WWII tank Commander and his crew (Bennett & Duryea) are surrounded by Germans in the Sahara desert. Their only escape is south into the desert with only their tank "Lullabelle". The race is against time, finding gas, water & their allies before the Germans find them.
This DVD quality is outstanding !! (remasterd video & audio.) FullScreen (before Widescreen) and Black/White presentation. Extras include a picture montage of original lobby poster art, trailers from other WWII movies and star film chronoligies.
This is a "WWII Sleeper Classic Bogart Film". Bogart is a master craftsman, an American Icon Hero. You become very attached to this cast of desert marooned characters in a grand story about unsummountable odds and the pure devoted attitude to succeed!! Enjoy.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rouser of a war film, with messages for the home front and a first-class performance from Humphrey Bogart, September 17, 2006
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sahara (DVD)
If anyone wants to see how effective a WWII propaganda movie can be, I'd recommend Sahara. It's the story of a small group of Allied soldiers, led by Sergeant Joe Gunn (Humphrey Bogart), lost in the Libyan desert, who are determined to defend a small outpost against a battalion of Germans. The outpost has a well, but the well is almost dry. It produces only drops of water. Joe and his comrades will use the promise of water to delay the Germans, fighting them off in an almost hopeless battle, to give the Allies after the fall of Tobruk a chance to regroup. Please note that elements of the plot are discussed.

Sahara hits its marks to get all of us civilians back home a reason to be proud of our fighting men, to be resolute in the fight against the Germans, and to dedicate ourselves to do what we must to win. Let's see. We've got Humphrey Bogart leading us. His Joe Gunn is sympathetic, tough and smart, a natural leader, and at heart Gunn is just an average guy. The men he winds up leading are his tank crew and a collection of men from other countries he encounters in the desert. They come from Brooklyn, of course, and from Texas, from London, South Africa, Dublin, France, the Sudan. We have the black Sudanese portrayed as a resourceful and brave man, not as comedy relief, who not only develops a friendship with the Texan but who twice saves the day for his comrades. We have an Italian prisoner who represents an Italy which is oppressed by the Germans, and a Nazi prisoner who is arrogant and vicious. We have a battle in which ingenuity and bravery manage to hold off brutal frontal attacks. We have good men dying for a cause which is larger than they are. And we have two quiet but effective speeches which establish why we fight and why the fight is worth the cost.

Sergeant Gunn calls everyone together in the blazing sun just outside the mud-brick outpost to explain what he wants to do against the oncoming battalion of Germans. He intends that they will fight to hold off and delay the enemy. He has fewer than ten men. The Germans have several hundred. "I look at it this way," he tells the group. "Because it is a 100-to-one shot, because it is so much more than line-of-duty, because there's so little chance of us coming out of it, I felt I ought to put it up to you. You've all got families at home, wives, mothers, sweethearts. I ain't got none, so it doesn't matter about me. I know how you feel about 'em...maybe havin' none I know even better. What you decide, you'd better decide quick." One British soldier speaks up, "Well, nobody minds giving his life, but this is throwing it away. Why?" "Why?" Joe answers, "Why did your people go about their business when the Germans were throwing everything in the book at 'em? Why did your little boats take the men off the beach at Dunkirk? Why did the Russians make a stand at Moscow? Why did the Chinese move whole cities thousands of miles inland when the Japs attacked 'em? Why Bataan? Why Corregidor? Maybe they were all nuts but there's one thing they did do. They delayed the enemy and kept on delayin' 'em until we got strong enough to hit 'em harder than they were hittin' us. I ain't no general, but it seems to me that's one way to win."

Joe and the others start digging in. They only have a few hours before the Germans, with no water of their own, arrive. Joe bluffs the German commander. "Water for guns!" He knows they won't give in, and he knows he has almost no water himself. The Germans attack and keep attacking. One by one, Joe's men die. The lone British officer, a medical man who has backed Joe up, is with Joe in a shallow trench. "We've got to do it," Joe tells Doc. He sounds tired. "It looks like somebody's gotta work a miracle." Doc looks at him. "It seems to me," he tells Joe, "the four of us holding off several hundred of them is nothing short of a miracle. You know why we're able to do it? Because we're stronger than they are." Joe looks at him. "What do you mean, stronger?" he asks. "Oh, I don't mean in numbers," Doc says, "I mean in something else. You see, those men out there have never known...well, the dignity of freedom." "Dignity? That's a funny way to put it," Joe says, "but maybe you got something there." "We've all got something," Doc says quietly.

Soon, we're down to two men. Then that miracle happens. See the movie and find out. Yes, the speeches are obvious, but they work in the context of the movie. The first third is Joe, his tank and his crew, trying to find their way back to their lines and slowly gathering up the others. They are attacked by a German fighter and have to keep moving through a scouring sandstorm. The middle of the film is spent watching their struggle to collect the few drops of water coming from the well. More importantly, now we get to know most of the men as individuals. We also get to know just how dangerous the Nazi prisoner is. And the last third is a rouser...the preparation for what appears to be a hopeless battle, the dedication of the men as they fight and die, and then the final victory.

For a film that isn't especially well known, this is, in my opinion, one of Bogart's best roles. There's no false heroics about Joe Gunn. He's just a gritty sergeant who rises to the occasion. With the exception of J. Carrol Naish, who gives one of his over-played little-man Italian performances, the actors all do fine jobs. I particularly liked Dan Duryea, Rex Ingram and Louis Mercier. One other thought. If you're ever in a battle, never show your pals a photo of your sweetheart or your child. You'll soon be dead if you do.

The DVD transfer is just fine. There are no significant extras.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Great War Movie, May 27, 2005
By 
Randy Keehn (Williston, ND United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sahara (DVD)
The release of the current movie titled "Sahara" brought back to mind one of the great WWII movies of the same name. It doesn't seem to have the fame and respect that it derserves but it will stir a lot of emotions when watched from beginning to end. It tells the tale of a lost American tank in the African Desert. They pick up a few straglers looking for water, their unit, etc... Without giving away the plot, let's just say that fate pits them against a large force of German soldiers. The action is hot and heavy and the ending is rather unique.

The cast is pretty good and it's lead by Humphrey Bogart in just his kind of a role. I remember J. Carol Nash in another one of those ethnic roles he was always so good at. One thing struck me about his role ever since the first time I saw the movie. Nash plays Guiseppe, a Italian soldier who is one of the enemy yet not one of the Germans. Apparently, in 1943, there was already a sense that there was a difference between Italians and Germans. Either that or there was somebody influencial in the script who wanted to put Italians in a good light. I don't have any problem with it either way; I just thought it odd that a movie would depict a beligerent soldier in such a sympathetic manner.

I grew up watching a lot of the movies and cartoons of WWII vintage. I got used to cheering for the US military in combat to save the world. This is the style of movie that got me energized back then and it's good enough to do it again now.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ECLECTIC ENSEMBLE CAST REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ALLIED WAR EFFORT AND PERSPECTIVE, November 19, 2006
This review is from: Sahara [VHS] (VHS Tape)
IN A NUTSHELL: A WORLD WAR II ACTION EPIC FILMED DURING THE WAR

This is an fictionalized action war film starring Humphrey Bogart set in the Sahara during the Desert War in 1942. With a great deal of emotional, ideological, and personality components blended into the story, the audience too is drawn into this against-all-odds adventure with the vaunted "Afrika Corps."

WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT:

The British 8th Army has just been dealt a decisive blow by the Axis and they are broadcasting the order for a "general retreat." Among those hearing the bad news is Sergeant Joe Gunn [Humphrey Bogart], a rare American already on station near Tobruk and in command of a very campy looking M3 [General Lee] Medium Tank.

-----> THE M3 'GENERAL LEE' MEDIUM TANK IS AN IMPORTANT CHARACTER IN "SAHARA"

I could go right off on a tangent here and discuss the amazing evolution in tank design that led to this very unusual-looking but capable medium tank that was the immediate precursor of the universal and more conventional "Sherman Tank" which has been accurately depicted in literally every World War II film, except this one. Nevertheless, the unusual design of the M3 tank was probably deliberate, as it mirrored the rather unusual configuration of the ensemble cast that ultimately operated in and around this high-profiled military vehicle. In the end, the M3, like the international cast, shows itself to be superior both to the Master Race itself and its "superior" machinery.

"SAHARA" IS A FICTIONALIZED ACCOUNT, BUT A REPRESENTATIVE ONE:

It is true that Sergeant Gunn did not really win the battle of El-Alamein, but what happened to them was a kind of microcosm, in spirit, of the actual climactic battle in the desert. "Sahara" is a sort of myth or fictionalized legend about how a band of men from diverse backgrounds joined together for a common cause to defeat an awesomely-powerful foe, just like the multinational Allied war effort that was the key to the Allied victory in World War II.

-----> THE CAST <-----

Humphrey Bogart - Sgt. Joe Gunn

Bruce Bennett - Waco Hoyt

Lloyd Bridges - Fred Clarkson

Rex Ingram - Sgt. Tambul

J. Carrol Naish - Giuseppe

Dan Duryea - Jimmy Doyle

Richard Nugent - Capt. Jason Halliday

Pat O'Moore - Ozzie Bates

Louis Mercier - Jean Leroux

Carl Harbord - Marty Williams

Guy Kingsford - Peter Stegman

John Wengraf - Maj. von Falken

Hans Schumm - Sgt. Krause

-----> THE PRODUCTION CREW <-----

Zoltan Korda - Director / Screenwriter

Harry Joe Brown - Producer

John Howard Lawson - Screenwriter

Philip MacDonald - Short Story Author

James O'Hanlon - Screenwriter

Rudolph Maté - Cinematographer

Miklos Rozsa - Composer (Music Score)

Morris W. Stoloff - Musical Direction/Supervision

Charles Nelson - Editor

Lionel Banks - Art Director

Eugène Lourié - Art Director

William Kiernan - Set Designer

Lodge Cunningham - Sound/Sound Designer

Abby Berlin - First Assistant Director
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'An all round clasic', August 2, 2000
By 
Warren V Thoms (Wulkuraka, Queensland Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sahara [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I would have to say that this 1943 classic rates in my top 3 war films of all time. The acting, script, filming and soundtrack is superb. 'Sahara' tells the story of a mixed allied unit seperated from its own armies by the advancing German forces in the North African campaign of World War 2. Their desperate struggle for freedom turns into a fight for survival as they endure the many familiar (and not so familiar) hardships of war. In the seemingly endless search of desert wells, Bogart's 'small army' unwillingly stumble across the path a German Motorized unit whos interests in water is as desperate as its enemies. What transpires is a life and death decision which will leave you on the edge of your seat. A must see for any war film enthusiast.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Sahara" is emblematic of its time, March 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Sahara [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Anyone wishing to understand the American mindset in the middle of World War II would be hard pressed to do better than "Sahara". It successfully combines the elements of Allied unity against great odds and the willingness to sacrifice oneself for ultimate victory against Nazi tyranny.
Paradoxically, the even-handed relationship between the caucasian British and American troops and a British Sudanese soldier in the movie flies in the face of the official segregation in the U.S. armed forces of the time.
How good is "Sahara"? Good enough to inspire a retiree who lives in my area to construct a full-scale, wooden replica of Bogart's tank Lulubelle in tribute to the film!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quest for water..., January 2, 2004
By 
A Customer (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sahara (DVD)
Sergeant Gunn (Humphrey Bogart) is the chief for an American tank in the war against the Nazi's during World War II. As they pull back they come across a group of soldiers consisting of a Frenchman, a South African, and four Brits. These soldiers join the Americans on their retreat, since it is easier to ride on a tank than walking and because they are low on water. As the party journeys deeper into the Sahara desert, they meet a Sudanese soldier who has an Italian prisoner. The Sudanese soldier is great help for the international group of armed forces, since he knows where there is water. The journey becomes a pilgrimage for water and it leads the men into a tough decision, which will most likely lead them to their death. Sahara is an interesting film, since it was filmed during the war and enhanced the support for soldiers that were fighting in World War II. In addition, it has some elements that offer some understanding for different cultures, which was needed in the time of war. Overall, the film offers an adventure for those who seek entertainment, which in the end provides the audience with a good cinematic experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT WAR FILM!, June 4, 2006
This review is from: Sahara (DVD)
This is a very realistic war film,with a great cast.It is the kind of a movie that makes one feel GOOD about being an American.Humphrey Bogart leads with cast in this story of rag-tag bunch(of mixed nationalities) of soldiers on a retreat mission from Tobruk and their search for water,where they are joined by a shot down(nasty) Nazi pilot Kurt Krueger,who tries to spread discord in the ranks,especially with the Italian prisoner(J.Carroll Naish-who steals the film)but Guiseppe(Naish) who is now anti-fascist will not fall for Krueger's tricks,and he delivers a very eloquent speech against fascism.Rex Ingram lends geat dignity to the proceedings with his excellent portrayal as a Sudanese officer AND he is treated with respect by his fellow soldiers,except of course Krueger.This is truely a FINE PATRIOT ,anti-fascist,and anti-racist film.Directed by Zoltan Korda,with the screenplay by Korda and Marxist John Howard Lawson,who latter a foul of HUAC-HUAC won and Lawson went to prison. See this film!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogey's Best., March 28, 2002
By 
"jgjaunty" (South St. Paul, Mn.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sahara (DVD)
Bogart should have gotten an Oscar for
Sahara. His portrayal of the Captain
in The Caine Mutiny, was good, but the
Sargeant in Sahara, is ten times better.
The DVD's sound and picture quality is
excellent. The film is in Black and
White and as such, compliments the
story line. If anyone tries to Colorize
Sahara, they'll ruin it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogie in top form, one of the most thrilling films of genre., June 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Sahara [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Sahara proves that propaganda wins minds not bombs and guns. This film combines beautifiully coreographed action with gut-wrenching dialog. The mis-matched group of Allied soldiers come together to overcome their natural fears and misconceptions about eachother. And in doing so, highlight what World War II's ultimate achievement namely the unity of human endeavor when faced with a common task. Although a propaganda film, Korda directs a study of human character often lost in other films of the era. Bogart is fantastic as Sgt. Joe Gunn (from)"nowhere, just the Army" as he puts it. Look for LLoyd Bridges in his first film. This film is highly recommended not just for its war action but for its excellent acting, direction and realistic script. And the coreography of the guns firing, bombs exploding is a symphony of sound and power. There is no glory in war only in the efforts and sacrifices of those involved. Sahara shows the absurdity of war and extra human effort that some men rise to when called upon.
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Sahara [VHS]
Sahara [VHS] by Zoltan Korda (VHS Tape - 1995)
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