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Monday, June 19, 2017

South Of Algiers (aka The Golden Mask) (1953)

A writer (Van Heflin) and an archaeologist (Eric Portman) join forces when they trek across the Sahara desert in search of the tomb of a Roman general where they hope to find a legendary mask made of pure gold. But their journey is far from safe as not only are there desert bandits but they are not the only ones in pursuit of the tomb. Directed by Jack Lee, this is a rather staid adventure film with more talk than action. Heflin is no Harrison Ford or Charlton Heston in the action department and he was always better as a character actor than as a romantic leading man. On the plus side, the movie was filmed in Tunisia and Algieria and cinematographer Oswald Morris (LOLITA) takes full advantage of the authentic locations in striking three strip Technicolor. This kind of hokum should be more fun and could have used a dash of humor. Still, it's vivid and colorful and we see the real Algiers, not a studio bound sound stage Algiers. Released in the U.S. as THE GOLDEN MASK. With Wanda Hendrix as the romantic interest, Jacques Francois, Charles Goldner and Simone Silva. 

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