Sword In The Desert

  • 1949
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Historical

An exciting though historically muddled film, SWORD IN THE DESERT was the first motion picture to deal with the struggles between Jewish nationalists and the British in the creation of the state of Israel. It is 1947, and a group of Jews are illegally smuggled into Palestine on a freighter piloted by American captain Andrews. Through underground channels,...read more

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An exciting though historically muddled film, SWORD IN THE DESERT was the first motion picture to deal with the struggles between Jewish nationalists and the British in the creation of the state of Israel. It is 1947, and a group of Jews are illegally smuggled into Palestine on a

freighter piloted by American captain Andrews. Through underground channels, they make their way to a rebel headquarters in the desert, where a plot to overthrow British rule is hatched. Chandler is a rebel leader; Toren broadcasts anti-British propaganda through an underground radio station.

Eventually, British authorities discover the location of the rebel base and swoop in on the insurgents. They are captured and held at a British headquarters, but on Christmas Eve other Jewish resisters stage a raid to rescue their comrades. The story is exciting and well told, bolstered by the

especially strong performances of Andrews, Chandler, and Toren. (Studio executives were particularly impressed with Chandler and put him under an exclusive seven-year contract after this film.) Unfortunately, the drama suffers from the decidedly one-sided portrayal of the conflict: the Jews are

uniformly portrayed as heroic freedom fighters in complete solidarity, while the British are villainous, stiff-upper-lipped caricatures. The creation of Israel and its continued national struggles is a complex, multifaceted subject that deserves far more considered attention than the simplistic

politics in evidence here.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An exciting though historically muddled film, SWORD IN THE DESERT was the first motion picture to deal with the struggles between Jewish nationalists and the British in the creation of the state of Israel. It is 1947, and a group of Jews are illegally smug… (more)

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