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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2011
This is a great little war film with a super cast. However the VCI release is in pan and scan. What a let down especially as the film starts in full widescreen and then zooms in. I wouldnt care but they state on the box that they have restored it. Whats even better is they have a clip at the start of the film dedicating it to Guy Green the director. He will be turning in his grave at VCIs attempt at putting this film on dvd. When are dvd companies goign to realise that fans of films want them in their true glory. Not cropped. Great film let down by a poor dvd transfer
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
SEA OF SAND (1958), also known as DESERT PATROL, was shot in the Libyan Desert and takes place just before the climatic North Africa battle of El Alamein.

Michael Craig leads a secret commando mission against Rommel's forces. The target is a German fuel dump, located hundreds of miles behind enemy lines, and their job is to destroy it. However, Craig and his men also discover that the Germans are equipped with many new tanks, a fact that desperately must be reported to their superiors. Unfortunately, with their radio out, their vehicles damaged or destroyed and German patrols hot on their trail, accomplishing that is not going to be an easy task.

Directed by Guy Green and co-starring Richard Attenborough and John Gregson, SEA OF SAND is an exciting, action-filled drama that features some stunning desert photography.

© Michael B. Druxman
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
Sea Of Sand
Sea of Sand is a well acted story about a group of British soldiers, who were sent after the fuel and ammunition of the German occupants of the desert. It shows the hardship of what the North African desert meant; as also the sufferings of the soldiers during this operation (IT WAS A SMALL CONTINGENT) where they had to blow the German Storage Camps and stop the Desert Fox from continuing the occupation of North Africa.
This film had fascinated me when it was released in the early sixties. I remember that I had seen it a few times during that period..
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VCI Entertainment and Tempean Films presents "SEA OF SAND" (aka:Desert Patrol) (1958) (99 min/B&W) -- Starring Richard Attenborough, John Gregson, Michael Craig, Vincent Ball, Percy Herbert, Barry Foster, Andrew Faulds, George Murcell, Ray McAnally,Harold Goodwin, Tony Thawnton, Wolf Frees & George Mikell

Directed by Guy Green

Another great film from the British Invasion from VCI.

Director Guy Green has plenty of talent and was good at getting the most out of his actors. Simple heroics are eschewed - though heroism is at the core of the film's denouement and anyone who derives pleasure from seeing British acting staples like Michael Craig, John Gregson, Richard Attenborough and Percy Herbert are in for the best of film performances.

Percy Herbert whose death scene is extremely moving. Unrest within the classes, rank and experience are familiar elements from other films of the genre, but here are rendered a little more interesting and unpredictable, but comes off quite nicely.

Recommend as each character is well defined and their motivations and backgrounds are more detailed than many films of the genre, wonderful direction and story.

BIOS:
1. Guy Green [aka: Guy Mervin Charles Green] (Director)
Date of Birth: 5 November 1913 - Somerset, England, UK
Date of Death: 15 September 2005 - Beverly Hills, California

2. Richard Attenborough [aka: Richard Samuel Attenborough]
Date of Birth: 29 August 1923 - Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Date of Death: Unknown

3. Michael Craig [aka: Michael Francis Gregson]
Date of Birth: 27 January 1928 - Poona, Maharashtra, India
Date of Death: Unknown

Nominated BAFTA Film Awards:
1. Best British Actor (Michael Craig)
2. Best British Film
3. Best Film from any Source

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 99 min on DVD ~ VCI Entertainment ~ (May 3, 2011)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2009
`Sea of Sand' is a British war film that tells the story of the Long Range Desert Group (L.R.D.G), who fought an unconventional war in the desert of North Africa during WWII. The L.R.D.G along with the more popularly known S.A.S were tasked with carrying out "road watch" missions and nuisance raids far behind enemy lines in what was called Rommel's back yard. While their exploits may have been exaggerated over the years, it's true to say that the damage caused on these raids were out of all proportion to the numbers of men carrying out the missions and without a doubt the information provided by their reconnaissance efforts proved to be invaluable in the battle against the famous Afrika Korps.

It's one of these raids that is the subject of 'Sea of Sand', in which an L.R.D.G group has been ordered to blow up a fuel dump (a common target) in preparation for the forthcoming Battle at El Alamein. The raid is part of many other such raids being carried out at the time across North Africa and Captain Williams (John Gregson) and Captain Cotton (Michael Craig) are tasked to lead the men (which a young Richard Attenborough) into the desert.

There is little in the way of surprise in 'Sea of Sand', as it plays out pretty much in a very ordinary way, which is par the course for a British war film from 1958. There are no spectacular battle scenes and very little other action too, but this is actually one of the films strengths and fitting too for a movie about an outfit who's moto was "Not by strength, by Guile." In short, it all feels quite realistic, for the most part anyway. The equipment, at least for the British, passes for real (except that they use Sten SMG's rather than Lee Enfield rifles). Efforts were made to get the famous 30 ton Chevrolet trucks, or vehicles as close as possible, which makes for a more believable experience. The Chevy's are really the star of the film and anyone who knows anything about the L.R.D.G will know what I mean. Unfortunately, the poor Germans have to make do with American Half-Tracks (painted with absurdly oversized crosses) and disappointingly they use Sten guns too. All in all though, these drawbacks tend not to interfere with the film too much, but was it really that difficult to get hold of Mausers or MP40's?

There are several scenes that are quite powerful in 'Sea of Sand', including a brilliantly handled minefield clearing scene and a genuinely moving piece between best mates, "Blanco" (Percy Herbert) and Brody (Richard Attenborough).

The men of the L.R.D.G are presented as sand bitten dishevelled types and unsuited to the army, which is an indication that the film-makers were listening to the technical advice of W. B. Kennedy Shaw, who served as an intelligence officer with the real L.R.D.G. That is not to say that is no stereotyping or cliché on offer in 'Sea of Sand', there is. But, for the majority of the film it's kept to a minimum. It's really only in the last 20 minutes that the film goes down the usual well worn paths (even for 1958). Also, one gets the impression that the film-makers were at a loss on how to actually end their film, which is evident in the speed of the final scene.

For people who are interested though, 'Sea of Sand' offers a nice little window onto a subject that was rarely handled in the war movie genre. I can think of only one other film that deals with the subject, that was 1968's 'Play Dirty', which presents are more realistic and more cynical view of war and people in general. Both films have the strengths and weaknesses though and if you can look past those in 'Sea of Sand', you'll have a pleasant 94+ minutes.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
This is a pretty good film that shows a lot about what the LRDG, Long Range Desert Group, went thru in the North African desert during the early days of the war. Strong performances throughout and very realistic settings. I can recommend this to anyone who is a history or WW2 buff.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2012
I absolutely love this film. it is one of the fine 1950s era British war films long on character development, high in suspense with short, concise, subdued action scenes. it is similar to another desert placed film of the era: "Cold One in Alex" (pick THAT ONE up if you liked this film). Starring Richard Attenborough in one of his early roles among others. Character actor Geroge Mikell (Guns of Navarone and Great Escape)is the pursuing Afrika Corps officer. The title is apt because the desert is like a sea and the "ships" were jeeps and lorries. I purchased a PAL copy from Amazon UK some time ago and highly, very highly recommend this little known but wonderful film.
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on February 10, 2014
The Long Range Desert Group was a British special forces unit from WWII that specialized in behind the lines reconnaissance work and small scale raids against The Italian Army and later Rommel's Afrika Korps. This movie give a small glimpse into what it was like to be with such unit during these times. The technical advisor to the movie was W.B. Kennedy Shaw, who was the unit's Intelligence Officers at one time. You could also say Kennedy Shaw wrote the book on the LRDG as he was the first member of the organization to write about its exploits after the war. (See: Long Range Desert Group (Greenhill Military Paperbacks))

The movie is obviously dated as it came out in 1958 (alternate title is Desert Patrol). As others have mentioned it has a well respected cast. The plot is typical for the time as are the special effects. You're not going to see a lot of blood and gore when people die. They pretty much grimace, and fall over. The good guys die a little more dramatically than the bad guys.

The problems. The trucks are converted Dodge trucks made to resemble the 30CWT Chevrolets used by the Actual LRDG. They are a little smaller than the real deal but overall they are acceptable. I can live with this minor flaw. The trucks were not easy to come by.

The real problem is the use of Sten guns by both the Germans and the LRDG. The LRDG never used the Sten Guns while serving in the desert. They used the Thompson SMG and the SMLE rifles. (the Sten Guns were never sent for use by British and Commonwealth forces fighting in the Mediterranean). As you can assume the Germans also would not have used the Sten gun. Considering Kennedy-Shaw was the technical adviser and was with the LRDG. he had to know they were flat out wrong! When these movies were made, these were small matters ignored by movie makers and have been bones of contentions with war movie enthusiasts ever since.

On the positive side, While not expressly pointed out, the LRDG primarily recruited from the New Zealand Cavalry, British Guards Regiments and the British Yeomanry Regiments. The movie also mentions in passing the rivalry and respect felt between the volunteers from diverse backgrounds. It helps to clarify that while they have a scruffy exterior borne of the desert, the men themselves are professional and highly trained, not a bunch of thugs not fit for regular service but soldiers who better serve the military because of their expert abilities, thus a special force unit.

While not a gritty as play dirty, the movie is truer to the actual make up and missions normally conducted by the LRDG. Little tidbits such as the use of flimseys (a type of fuel can), for cooking, the use of the sun compass and stars for navigating are touched upon. Much has also been touted about the LRDG "Rum Ration" which is well documented. A central theme of the movie is that it was "rationed." Richard Attenborough's character has a secret stash of whiskey which puts him under arrest for being drunk on patrol. These little tidbits are probably lost on viewers not familiar with the unit but add an air of authenticity for those who know something about the LRDG.

As for the style of the movie; you're not going to find the the outcast cynical hero that you find in movies like Hell is For Heroes or Play Dirty. Instead you'll find the comradery of like minded men facing hardships as portrayed in movies such as Battle Ground The Desert Rats.

Bottom line if you like war movies from this time period and enjoyed movies like the Desert Rats or The Young Lions or even later movies and other late fifties early sixties war movies, then you'll probably like this one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
Anyone who is a fan of the more obsure WWII movies wil love this film. It is done well with out all the glamorizing that movies place on war films...definitly a keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2014
Acting was very poor and sound and picture quality also were poor. Would not recommend this movie unless you particularly into old black and white war movies.
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