7.7/10
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Beau Geste (1939)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 24 July 1939 (USA)
Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Robert Carson (screen play), Percival Christopher Wren (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cooper ... Beau Geste
Ray Milland ... John Geste
Robert Preston ... Digby Geste
Brian Donlevy ... Sergeant Markoff
Susan Hayward ... Isobel Rivers
J. Carrol Naish ... Rasinoff
Albert Dekker ... Schwartz
Broderick Crawford ... Hank Miller
Charles Barton ... Buddy McMonigal
James Stephenson ... Major Henri de Beaujolais
Heather Thatcher ... Lady Patricia Brandon
James Burke ... Lieutenant Dufour
G.P. Huntley G.P. Huntley ... Augustus Brandon (as George P. Huntley)
Harold Huber ... Voisin
Donald O'Connor ... Beau Geste (as a child)
Edit

Storyline

Beau, John, and Digby Geste are three inseparable, adventurous brothers who haven been adopted into the wealthy household of Lady Brandon. When money in the uppercrust household grows tight, Lady Brandon is forced to sell her most treasured jewel the mighty "Blue Water" sapphire. The household gets it out for one final look, the lights go out and it vanishes stolen by one of the brothers, no doubt. That night, Beau, Digby, and John each "confess" and slip out, John leaving behind Isabel, whom he loves. They all join the Foreign Legion, and Beau and Digby are split from John and put under the command of the ruthless and sadistic Sergeant Markoff. Things begin to get hairy as the rest of the Legionaires plot a mutiny against Markoff, in the midst of an attack by Arab hordes. Written by Sam Hayes <gshayes@mail.gwi.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THUNDERING DRAMA! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

24 July 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drei Fremdenlegionäre See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Cooper was 38, although his character was supposed to be in his early twenties. See more »

Goofs

It is night when Markoff and the others go into the barracks to stop the mutiny, but it is midmorning when they come out. See more »

Quotes

[Schwartz is shouting at the legionnaires to mutiny against Markoff]
Michael 'Beau' Geste: Wait a minute. I don't know much about mutinies, but I do know it isn't good form to plan them at the top of your voice.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "The love of a man for a woman wanes and waxes like the moon . . . but the love of brother for brother is steadfast as the stars, and endures like the word of the prophet."

. . . Arabian Proverb. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hired Gun (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

The Legionnaire's Song
(uncredited)
Music by Troy Sanders
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The First Remake of "Beau Geste"
18 July 2009 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

The addition of sound, and a sharper focus, only serves to make this version of "Beau Geste" (1926) seem older, and less European; specifically, the lack of consideration for the change in technology, from silent to sound, does not make this an improvement over the original silent film. And, the ages in the cast do not add up. Still, it's a good adventure story, and a fine Hollywood production. Despite showing the obvious "generation gap", Gary Cooper (Beau), Ray Milland (John), Robert Preston (Digby) are valiant as the brothers Geste, who join the French Foreign Legion for honor and gratitude.

Brian Donlevy's sadistic "Sergeant Markov" (nee "Lejaune"), who promises his men, "I make soldiers out of scum like you and I don't do it gently!" was duly nominated for a "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar. A future nominated J. Carrol Naish (as Rasinoff) is also quite nasty. Donald O'Connor (young Beau) and the opening segments help get the film off to a great start. You'll have to decide whether or not the film proves the Arabian proverb: "The love of a man for a woman waxes and wanes like the moon, but the love of brother for brother is steadfast as the stars and endures like the word of the prophet."

******* Beau Geste (8/2/39) William A. Wellman ~ Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Brian Donlevy, Robert Preston


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