At first glance, a fairly commonplace war-in-the-desert picture (with Yuma standing in for Mesopotamia), about a British patrol stranded during World War I falling prey to Arab snipers. Three main things distinguish it: Ford's adroit avoidance of 'Foreign Legion' clichés in the characterisation and plotting; Max Steiner's excellent score, which won an Oscar; and Karloff's extraordinary 'expressionist' performance as a soldier convinced that doom is at hand. The latter, in particular, represents an aspect of Ford's work that is often forgotten: a bold use of visual and dramatic stylisation, often associated with religious themes and characters. (From a novel by Philip MacDonald.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Dudley Nichols, Garrett Fort|