The Desert Song

  • 1944
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical

They updated the plot and added four new tunes and managed to cut 35 minutes from the 1929 original. It's still the same nonsense, but everyone is so sincere and seems to be having such a good time that it becomes infectious. Morgan is a Spanish Civil War veteran. He's currently tickling the ivories in a Morocco nightclub and having the start of a fling...read more

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They updated the plot and added four new tunes and managed to cut 35 minutes from the 1929 original. It's still the same nonsense, but everyone is so sincere and seems to be having such a good time that it becomes infectious. Morgan is a Spanish Civil War veteran. He's currently tickling

the ivories in a Morocco nightclub and having the start of a fling with Manning, the chanteuse at the boite. The Nazis are in control of the area and use Francen to get the local Riffs to work on a railroad they are planning to build across North Africa. The Riffs are under the thumb of the local

French. Morgan, playing a dual role as El Khobar--Leader of the Riffs--convinces Cabot, an officer in the French army, that the Riffs are swell guys who deserve their independence. Cabot agrees when the Riffs help break up the Nazi plans for the railroad. The rest of the movie is cloak-and-dagger

juxtaposed with cleavage and dancing. The railroad never gets finished and the Nazis are halted in their conquest of Africa. Considering that this was made at just about the same time that the Germans were occupying the area, it was remarkably au courant. The new songs had music by Romberg, lyrics

by Jack Scholl, Serge Walters, and Mario Silva. Good secondary casting with LaRue, Lockhart, Overman, and a beauteous Emerson. Gorgeous color photography and all-around good fun in what is essentially a fairly empty musical other than the Romberg/Hammerstein score. The film earned an Oscar

nomination for its art direction.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: They updated the plot and added four new tunes and managed to cut 35 minutes from the 1929 original. It's still the same nonsense, but everyone is so sincere and seems to be having such a good time that it becomes infectious. Morgan is a Spanish Civil War… (more)

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