1943, Columbia. Directed by Zoltan Korda. Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges, Rex Ingram, Richard Nugent.
Decent Films Ratings
|?Kids & Up*|
Content advisory: Battlefield violence; a couple of derogatory ethnic remarks.
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By Steven D. Greydanus
One of the best WWII-era WWII movies, Sahara is a thoroughly entertaining war actioner starring Humphrey Bogart as a tough American sergeant commanding a tank crew in the Libyan desert. Joined by a handful of British troops and a Sudanese soldier (Rex Ingram), saddled with a pair of POWs, one Italian (J. Carol Naish), one German (Kurt Kreuger), Bogie helms his rugged M3 tank Lulubelle through the African waste, retreating before advancing Nazi lines until making a thrilling stand at an inhospitable oasis.
As expected, Sahara celebrates valor and sacrifice, but also goes beyond many war pictures in weighing exigencies of war against moral regard for the life of an enemy soldier, in balancing patriotism with cooperation among soldiers of various nationalities (including Ingram’s dignified African) against a common enemy, and in a theological dimension that more than once indicates whose side God is on.
There’s also a humorous discussion between the Sudanese Muslim and an American from Texas: After listening to the Muslim’s defense of polygamy, the Texan comments laconically that his own wife wouldn’t like such an arrangement — whereupon the Muslim admits that it’s the same with his one wife!