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Sirocco (1951)

Humphrey Bogart , Lee J. Cobb , Curtis Bernhardt  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Lee J. Cobb, Märta Torén, Everett Sloane, Gerald Mohr
  • Directors: Curtis Bernhardt
  • Writers: A.I. Bezzerides, Hans Jacoby, Joseph Kessel
  • Producers: Henry S. Kesler, Robert Lord
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Arabic, English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007G1V7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,555 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sirocco" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

NTSC/Region 0. Humphrey Bogart produced this action vehicle, in which he stars as Harry Smith, an American gun runner selling weapons to the Arabs in Damascus, circa 1925. As the French and Syrians wage war against each other, Smith is pursued by Feroud (Lee J. Cobb), a French colonel. Smith complicates matters for himself by stealing Feroud's girlfriend (Marta Toren), who has been eager to get away from the commander.

Humphrey Bogart is in familiar territory as an American expatriate in the Middle East, selling arms to the Syrian rebels under the nose of the occupying French army in 1925 Damascus. Bogie's Harry Smith, dressed in a modest cream suit and natty bow tie, is a hustler in a shady world of brittle alliances where the sound of mortar and gunfire never lets up. His nemesis is incorruptible French officer Lee J. Cobb, who is no gentleman when it comes to his lady (Marta Toren), a European beauty who catches Smith's eye. This mercenary, unsentimental Casablanca knock-off is dominated completely by a Bogart who has kissed romance and redemption goodbye. His ruthless, increasingly desperate performance makes up for the chilly Toren and the generally bland supporting cast (the exception is the animated Zero Mostel), and lights a fire under the film. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Bogie Film June 4, 2006
This is a film about the French military occupation of Syria after World War I. The French were given Syria after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire as a mandate by the League of Nations, and are engaged in a guerilla war with the Syrian natives who are fighting for their independence. Bogie plays the role of a quasi-legitimate businessman in Damascus who is illegally selling weapons to the Arabs. This film was not well received by critics when first released in the early 50s, and is still not widely acclaimed by Bogie fans 50+ years later. As a great fan of Bogie myself, I'm a bit puzzled by this reaction to the film. While I agree that this is not up to the standards of Bogie's great films, this film is not as bad as it's detractors make it out to be. This is the type of film and the type of character that Bogie was meant to play: the gritty, morally ambiguous, profiteer who lives somewhere between the good guys and the bad guys. In fact, one thing that I really like about this film is that there is a surprising level of moral ambiguity at the beginning. Both the French and the Arabs claim the moral high ground, and the story line lends legitimacy to each sides claims. Bogie darts between the protagonists not caring who is right or wrong. Unlike most Bogie of the best films, he really does lie uncaringly in the middle for most of this film (perhaps this is why it is not well regarded - he really doesn't play a very sympathetic character in this picture, although in the end, Bogie finds his moral compass and `tries to do the right thing'). Overall this is an interesting, if not outstanding, story. I would give it 3.5 stars if I could (rounding to four because of Bogie and to balance out some of the other more negative reviews). Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sirocco - Same old Bogie March 13, 2004
Bogie could do this type of role with his eyes closed, and possibly did, but it's far superiour than what many of the actors today can turn out. It's certainly not the best Bogie ever done, but he's just creating, once again, his role of Rick Blaine from Casasblanca and I can watch this very fine actor do that time after time after time. Marta Toren as the female lead was good to look at in any scene, and Lee J Cobb was at his pre-"On the Waterfront" smoldering best. Zero Mostel was Zero Mostel, what can one say about another master at his craft? All in all it was worth watching and brought back memories to me of when actors had to learn their craft and not just be good looking with a great body. Thank you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Bogart seemed destined for a painful end as he plied his despicable trade in a tale set in French-occupied Damascus around 1925...

Casting his lot between the French and Syrians, depending upon which suits his own greedy plan most profitably, he earns the enmity of both sides...

There were good supporting performances by Lee J. Cobb, thumping his desk as usual as a French colonel, and Everett Sloane as a volatile general, but the film was of little consequence and a sorry end to Bogart's solo production credits...

"Sirocco" remains a tedious romantic drama in the "Casablanca" vein but with none of the magic...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
We know Bogart liked to keep working. The movies he made in the late Forties through the mid Fifties, however, sometimes give "work" a bad name. He veered effortlessly between fine movies that to this day continue to challenge, satisfy or do both and movies that are nothing more than nearly forgotten commercial hackwork. He knew what he was turning out; he called Sirocco a stinker. What an odd and undiscriminating selection process he and his agent must have had. In 1950 he makes Chain Lightening but then makes In a Lonely Place. In 1951 it's Sirocco and then The African Queen. In 1953 it's Battle Circle and then Beat the Devil (maybe a confusing failure, but not hackwork).

With Sirocco Bogart gives us Harry Smith, a gunrunner who finds himself in Damascus. The year is 1925. The French run things. A lot of Syrians don't like that at all. They're called "rebels." Harry? He doesn't care one way or another as long as he's paid. Harry is tired, sour, cynical and a skeptic. He doesn't believe in anything except money and the value of his own hide. He's Bogart. Harry quickly finds himself involved with a martinet of a French general named LaSalle (Everett Sloane) who thinks shooting five Syrians for every dead French soldier will be educational for everyone; a sympathetic French colonel named Feroud (Lee J. Cobb) who thinks he can avoid bloodshed if he can just sit down and talk things over with the rebel leaders, especially Emir Hassan (Onslow Stevens); and Feroud's mistress, a cool drink of water named Violette (Marta Toren), a beautiful woman who seems to be aroused more by the prospect of shopping than the prospect of making love. In other words, a courtesan to scriptwriters, a sophisticated prostitute to the more realistic; something akin to a wealthy CEO's trophy wife.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Goodtimes Home Video??? Avoid like the plague! December 29, 2008
By Mataka
Format:VHS Tape
Goodtimes had a deal with Columbia, and later Universal to make cheap EP prints for sellthru while the two studios made SP quality versions for the rental market. Here's the link to the Wikipedia article that confirms I'm telling the truth.


These are BAD prints. Go for the RCA Columbia sold
in another listing. Good luck!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 26 days ago by ERNEST THOMPSON
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Boggie, what more can you say.
Published 2 months ago by Bartley Rejrat
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Painful to watch.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Believer
2.0 out of 5 stars ''You never let go of an idea, do you?'
Another attempt to rekindle Casablanca. Unforunately Sirocco is a very dull movie. Not terrible, just dull and tedious.
Published 3 months ago by William D. Jempty Jr.
1.0 out of 5 stars Love Bogart, but...
I love Bogart but I had to turn this one off. It sucked. You would think that with Bogie and Lee J. Read more
Published 7 months ago by R. Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Sirocco
Humphrey Bogart is wonderful in this film. (Yes, he's wonderful in all his films.) I mistakenly ordered a second copy on DVD, but my friend Jarrett is thrilled at my mistake! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Beammeuplori
2.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of Casablanca
Very derivative ie Casablanca. Same theme of gritty American with a good heart. Guess they were trying to copy the earlier success.
Published 11 months ago by alex s
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Display of Humphrey Bogart's Acting
Humphrey Bogart gives a nuanced performance starting as an egotistical arms dealer and evolving as a character with a dawning of moral and ethical awareness. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Edward J. Wardwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Bogie
The look, his speech, the way he moved. None since had the moxie of Bogart. I wish he would've starred in ten more Marlow

Published 17 months ago by william larsen
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