Filled Under: *Movies War
A mighty story of adventure, courage and glory in the desert!…tender human emotion…triumphant action…matchless thrills…a memorable entertainment experience!
Sahara (1943 Columbia) is a hard, tough WWII movie set in the Sahara Desert of Northern Africa, with Humphrey Bogart as the leading star. Bogart plays tank commander Sgt. Joe Gunn who is heading across the Sahara Desert with his M3 tank, which is lovingly called “Lulubelle”, and his tank crew to rejoin his command after the fall of Tobruk. Along the way they come across five British soldiers, a Frenchman, and a Sudanese man with an Italian prisoner who all band together for the trek through the desert wasteland. In search of water they find an old abandoned well that they wind up defending against a much larger German force. The movie is directed by Zolton Korda and also stars Bruce Bennett, J. Carroll Naish, Dan Duryea, and Lloyd Bridges. Sahara earned three Academy Award nominations: Best Sound, Best Cinematography, and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for J. Carroll Naish for his portrayal of the Italian prisoner, Giuseppe.
The movie was filmed and released during WWII and was intended to be a propaganda piece for the U.S. government. In a 1992 interview by the San Francisc Chronicle, Kurt Krueger, who played a sterotypical nazi in the film, commented on the emotions felt while making this film. Said Krueger, “I was running across the dunes when Tambul jumped on top of me and pressed my head into the sand to suffocate me. Only Zolton forgot to yell cut, and Ingram was so emotionally caught up in the scene that he kept pressing my face harder and harder. Finally, I went unconscious. Nobody knew this. Even the crew was transfixed watching this dramatic ‘killing’. If Zolton hadn’t finally said cut, as an afterthought, it would have been all over for me.”
Sahara does not seem to be one of Humphrey Bogart’s most famous or popular movies, but I personally think it was one of his best. It is well directed and well acted, with a great story. I would recommend Sahara to any Bogart or WWII movie fan.