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Sirocco 1951 NR CC

3.4 out of 5 stars (34) IMDb 6.3/10

A ruthless gun runner (Humphrey Bogart) turns to his rival (Lee J. Cobb) to help him escape from war-torn Syria. A powerhouse of action.

Starring:
Humphrey Bogart, Märta Torén
Runtime:
1 hour, 38 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Action
Director Curtis Bernhardt
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Märta Torén
Supporting actors Lee J. Cobb, Everett Sloane, Gerald Mohr, Zero Mostel, Nick Dennis, Onslow Stevens, Ludwig Donath, David Bond, Abdullah Abbas, Leon Alton, Tony Barr, John Bleifer, Dick Botiller, Peter Brocco, Argentina Brunetti, Jack Chefe, Tristram Coffin, Edward Colmans
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I was expecting something in the vein of a post-Casablanca film, with Bogart in the desert fighting against the Nazis. Instead, the movie is set in Syria in 1925 and Bogart's character is supplying arms to the Syrians who are fighting the French in order to enforce the Mandate given to them by the League of Nations. The French are facing an urban insurrection and are proposing to execute hostages. Lee J. Cobb as the French officer in charge of intelligence wants to meet with the Emir leading the insurrection to propose a cease fire. Cobb has a mistress who ignites Bogarts interest. Complications ensue. Lee J. Cobb braves death and Bogart's character - like Rick Blaine - has to decide whether he is going to be a man or the weasel everyone thinks he is.

I found the historical elements fascinating, as if they were from a different world, which they were, namely, the pre-World War II world, where France was a victorious military power and viewed the execution of colonials as the price of doing business. The movie was made in 1951, and is based on a pre-World War II book, so the memories of that world were still fresh (and still existed in French Indochina and Madagascar and Algeria.)

Seeing a young Lee J. Cobb is fun also, and he doesn't disappoint in his role as a noble French officer. Bogart is good also, but this character is not Rick Blaine, albeit he has Rick's cunning and knowledge of the world. The female lead - Marta Toren - didn't make the sale for me. She seemed vapid, disloyal,annoying and mercenary, which she probably was, but it wasn't a major prop to move the story forward.

This is not Casablanca caliber. Except for the history part, and viewing this as a kind of Bogart completist, I give this a four. It was decent and had enough hooks to keep my interest.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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. It's relevant for today in that the setting is Syria and the people are rebelling against the governing French back in the early 20th century.
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