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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Fort Algiers (1953)

A cabaret singer (Yvonne De Carlo) is a spy for the French government. Her mission is to extract information from an Arab Amir (Raymond Burr) who is suspected of masterminding a massacre at a foreign legion post. Complications arise when she runs into an ex-lover (Carlos Thompson), now a soldier in the French foreign legion. This mindless exotic potboiler is luckily very brief (75 minutes) and even at that length threatens to wear out its welcome. Essentially a western with the Arabs standing in for the Indians and the French foreign legion taking the place of the U.S. cavalry. Its narrative offers no surprises whatsoever and since it's in B&W rather than color, there's not even the minor pleasure of De Carlo or desert vistas in Technicolor. I don't want to be too hard on it. It is what it is and does its job efficiently. It was never meant to be anything more than a minor low budget programmer designed to play for a week and disappear. With John Dehner, Anthony Caruso and Leif Erickson whose Italian accent is so bad that at first I thought he was playing a Russian! 

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