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SaharaSahara on DVD

Humphrey Bogart is an American army sergeant commanding a solitary tank crew cut off from the main force in Northern Africa in this interesting WWII yarn.

Surrounded on three sides, he and what's left of his men head south across the desert to find water and reinforcements, picking up a ragtag group of similarly-challenged Allied fighters (and a couple of POW's) along the way.

Then they come across a ruin at what once was an oasis and, pursued by a superior German force, decide to defend it to buy some time until reinforcements can be brought to bear.

The first two thirds of the film deal with the deadly, dry trek across the desert searching for water, while the final third details their brave stand against the advancing Nazis, where they hide the true weakness of their position with a show of bravado and bravery.

Bogart is great as the U.S. Sergeant, and he's backed up by a great supporting cast that includes Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish and Lloyd Bridges.

The plot is in some ways similar to that in Hell is for Heroes and is based on, as the liner note say "the Soviet Photoplay The Thirteen."

A fairly gripping drama that outlines the horrors of war and the heights and depths of both humanity and inhumanity, Sahara is an above average war movie that starts out fairly slowly, but draws you into it along the way.

As a DVD it's pretty standard. Presented in its original full screen aspect ratio, the black and white picture isn't widescreen TV compatible, but that's understandable. Still, the picture quality is very good, with sharp images and good contrast, though there isn't a lot of contrast out there on the desert.

Audio is Dolby Digital mono and it's about what you'd expect from a film of this age.

Extras include some vintage advertising sheets, filmographies and talent files of a few of the cast and crew, and trailers for three other Columbia Tristar WWII movies.

Sahara, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
97 min. black and white, full screen (1.33:1), not 16x9 TV enhanced, Dolby Digital mono
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges
Written by John Howard Lawson, Zoltan Korda, directed by Zoltan Korda


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Updated May 13, 2006