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The Desert Song (1953)

Passed | | Musical, Romance | 30 May 1953 (USA)
Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor... See full summary »

Writers:

Roland Kibbee (screen play by), Laurence Schwab (based upon the play by) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Kathryn Grayson ... Margot Birabeau
Gordon MacRae ... El Khobar / Paul Bonnard
Steve Cochran ... Captain Claude Fontaine
Raymond Massey ... Sheik Yousseff
Dick Wesson ... Benjamin 'Benjy' Kidd
Allyn Ann McLerie ... Azuri (as Allyn McLerie)
Ray Collins ... Gen. Birabeau
Paul Picerni ... Hassan
Frank DeKova ... Mindar
William Conrad ... Lachmed
Trevor Bardette ... Neri
Mark Dana Mark Dana ... Lt. Duvalle
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Storyline

Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor who is studying the desert, and whose attacks on the supply trains intended for Yousseff keep the Riff villages in food. Foreign Legion General Birabeau arrives to conduct an investigation, accompanied by his daughter, Margot. Birabeau hires Bonnard to tutor her, and she is attracted to a Legionaire captain, Claud Fontaine. While the general, Bonnard and Fontaine pay a visit to Yousseff, an American newspaper man, Benji Kidd, discovers a secret way in and out of Yousseff's palace, with the aid of Azuri, a dancing girl in love with Bonnard. The latter is forced to resume his role as the Riffs leader, and kidnap Margot until he can convince her of Yousseff's treachery. But Yousseff's men attack the Riff camp and take Margot prisoner. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The wind-swept sands of North Africa! Screaming Arab terror raids! The Harem Dance of Desire! The embattled Foreign Legion! The sheik's palace stormed! And the glorious music of the new "Desert Song" See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 May 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El Khobar - Schrecken der Wüste See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was the third and last time Warner Brothers produced a film version of this operetta. Films were 1929, 1943, and 1953. See more »

Goofs

When the desert messengers are sending the message with their flutes, the fingering doesn't match the tones being played at all. See more »

Quotes

Azuri: It's you - the one with the face!
Benjy Kidd: It's you - the one with the body!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: It is written in the burning sands of the Sahara: When there is wrong, there will always be an El Khobar, the Avenger, riding with his Riffs to right it. See more »

Connections

Version of The Desert Song (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Live the Night
(uncredited)
Written by Sigmund Romberg
Sung by Kathryn Grayson
See more »

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User Reviews

El Hadj Aleman -- Nicht Wahr?
19 August 2007 | by guidon7See all my reviews

I'm afraid I must contradict one of the contributors above. El Khobar (The Red Shadow) was not based on Abd-el-Kader but instead on the exploits of one known as El Hadj Aleman, who gave the French Foreign Legion fits during the Riff War in the 1920's. El Hadj Aleman was in fact a Legion deserter (Otto Klems) of German nationality. Despite being a Legion officer, he hated the French, defecting to the Arabs and with his military skills became a very effective leader. His identity was a mystery to the Foreign Legion until nearly the end of the war. Surrendering, he was sentenced to death by the French, but he had become a romantic hero in the U.S. due to dispatches by American reporters (witness Romberg's operetta, The Desert Song, as a result). U.S. pressure was applied to the French and they at last quietly released Klems. Back in Germany and in prison for burglary, he committed suicide.

Just setting the record straight.


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