March Or Die

  • 1977
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Adventure, War

The French Foreign Legion has been the subject of countless films, some realistic, some romantic, some outright ridiculous. This one is a little bit of each. Set at the end of WW I, it follows the contingent of Legionnaires commanded by major Hackman, an American kicked out of West Point, as it travels to Morocco to act as escort for an archaeological expedition...read more

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The French Foreign Legion has been the subject of countless films, some realistic, some romantic, some outright ridiculous. This one is a little bit of each. Set at the end of WW I, it follows the contingent of Legionnaires commanded by major Hackman, an American kicked out of West Point,

as it travels to Morocco to act as escort for an archaeological expedition headed by Louvre curator von Sydow. Among the new recruits assigned to the dangerous mission are Hill, a cat burglar fleeing arrest; O'Halloran, a onetime Imperial Guardsman for the Russian Court; Sherman, an aristocrat

seeking adventure; and Penvern, a talented musician. Although they survive brutal desert training under the sadistic lieutenant Bozzuffi and a romantic triangle involving Hackman, Hill, and Deneuve (whose archaeologist father was lost on a previous expedition), the Legionnaires' biggest challenge

comes from Holm, a vicious Arab leader determined to unite his people to expel foreigners from their land. The blood-drenched final battle leaves few Legionnaire survivors, but even after this awful defeat their "march or die" spirit lives on. This hardboiled movie, replete with excessive

violence, offers a compelling performance by Hackman and a fascinating one from Hill as the weird but courageous burglar-turned-soldier. Although Richards' direction is uneven, Oscar-winning cinematographer Alcott (BARRY LYNDON) makes the most of the exotic Sahara Desert locations. On the whole,

MARCH OR DIE is a well-made, offbeat, and interesting offering that occasionally confuses gratuitous bloodletting for realistic drama.

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  • Released: 1977
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: The French Foreign Legion has been the subject of countless films, some realistic, some romantic, some outright ridiculous. This one is a little bit of each. Set at the end of WW I, it follows the contingent of Legionnaires commanded by major Hackman, an A… (more)

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