“If you haven’t got the courage to kill me, don’t try to save me.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… is second only to the confusion of having a German-born-and-accented actor (Jurgens) playing a British Major (the lame excuse given in the screenplay is that he’s a Boer). The narrative begins to pick up steam once we see the deadly extent to which the two men allow their neuroses and rivalries to play out in the hot desert sun.
… with a particularly harrowing sequence showing Burton being forced, as he puts it, to “kill the living and save the dead”:
Other tension-filled desert-survival scenes include a potentially tainted water source:
… and a deadly scorpion:
Meanwhile, the black-and-white cinematography — much of it shot on location in Libya — is gorgeous, making it all the more frustrating that the overall storyline doesn’t quite deliver.
Note: Watch for Christopher Lee in a minor supporting role as an accompanying soldier.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: