LEGEND OF THE LOST (1957). Director: Henry Hathaway.
The strange trio of Joe January (John Wayne), Paul Bonnard (Rosanno Brazzi) and Dita (Sophia Loren) trek from Timbuktu into the Sahara desert in search of a lost city and treasure that Bonnard's father went to look for -- although he never returned. There's a sand storm, a big spider that crawls over Loren's body, and not a hell of a lot of action in a dull, leisurely "adventure" film that never catches fire. There's some good art direction when it comes to the lost city itself, but it makes no sense that it wasn't spotted from the air long before! Wayne looks tired and bored. At one point Dita shouts out the hilariously cliched line: "I'm no good -- everything I touch turns rotten!" [The weak script is by Ben Hecht and Robert Presnell Jr.] Hathaway directs as if he was half asleep throughout filming. Sexy Loren's hair cut makes her sort of look like a plucked chicken, not an image you normally associate with the busty Italian actress. Her acting is fine, as is Brazzi's and Kurt Kasznar's in a small role as a policeman. All in all, however, the whole enterprise is just a waste of time.
Verdict: For insomniacs only. *.