Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Ralph Byrd and George Lynn
DRUMS OF THE DESERT (1940). Director: George Waggner.

Paul Dumont (Ralph Byrd) meets up with the pretty Helene Larouche (Lorna Gray) on his way to become a parachute instructor for the French foreign legion and a romance ensues. Once he arrives in Algeria Paul discovers that one of his best friends, Captain Jean Bridaux (George Lynn), is already affianced to Helene. Adding to the complications is an Arab named Abdullah (William Castello), who wants revenge when his brother is executed for attacking Bridaux. The triangle/soldier story has been told many times both before and after this picture, and this version is no more than acceptable. The leads, especially Lynn [The Werewolf], who gives a committed performance, are adequate; Castello makes a striking Abdullah;  and Mantan Moreland adds to the proceedings, as usual, as the head of a contingent of black paratroopers. From Republic.

Verdict: Little more than a time passer but with some appealing players. **.

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