The Desert Song (Florey, 1943)

thedesertsong

The introductions at TCM Classic Film Festival are often the most revealing portion of the filmgoing experience. So it wasn’t a good sign when, during his pre-screening speech, iconic television host Robert Osborne spoke this fateful line of Robert Florey’s 1943 version ofThe Desert Song, a film that hasn’t seen the light of day for 50 years due to rights issues: “It’s not a great movie, but it’s a fun one.” Well, he was half right. Released during the heart of WWII, this choppy adventure/musical is most interesting when seen as a blatant guilt trip made by Hollywood to remind European pacifists of their indifference during the swelling Nazi threat in the mid-to-late 1930s. As a classic genre film, it’s an inconsistent and inert Casablanca clone.

Full review at Not Coming to a Theater Near You.

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