HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
12 Hour Shift
Filmmaker's House, The
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  Desert Hawk, The Omar Goodness
Year: 1950
Director: Frederick De Cordova
Stars: Yvonne De Carlo, Richard Greene, Jackie Gleason, George Macready, Rock Hudson, Carl Esmond, Joe Besser, Anne P. Kramer, Marc Lawrence, Lois Andrews, Frank Puglia, Lucille Barkley, Donald Randolph, Ian MacDonald
Genre: Romance, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Two thousand years ago, the region of Persia was in the grip of a cruel and tyrannical Prince, Murad (George Macready), who ruled over his reluctant subjects with an iron fist, taxing them so badly that they were forced to scrabble around for funds to live day by day. But there was one defender of the people, and he was Omar, known as The Desert Hawk (Richard Greene), a mysterious figure who would steal from the tax collectors and give back the money to the citizens who had given it up in the first place. He always kept his face hidden so as to preserve his identity, and his usual activity was what he was getting on with tonight, fighting Murad's men and seeing them off, though he actually had a grander plan than that for he had his sights set upon the Princess Scheherazade (Yvonne De Carlo) who the Prince wished to marry...

There was a lot of plot to get through in an hour and a quarter of Arabian Nights nonsense, one which made a bit of an error in its setting, and might be the best known thing about the film: although set slightly before the time of Christ, all the characters were Muslims some six hundred years before the time of the Prophet Mohammed, a neat trick that suggested some time travelling was going on, or more likely a set of screenwriters who didn't have the time or inclination to check their history books. So when Omar quoted from the Qur'an, he could have been possessed of sight beyond sight, but it was more apparent that the opening narration (spoken by Jeff Chandler) was penned in a hurry and the "Two thousand years ago" comment it begins with was a good example of how quickly B-movies such as this were made, it really was a production line in Hollywood.

As with many of the Arabian Nights efforts of the day, the most effort was in the visuals and to present them as vividly as possible Technicolor was used to show off the brightly hued sets and costumes. The more colourful these were, the greater the chance the audience would be whisked away by the whole fantasy of the production and by casting the strapping Greene (soon to be Robin Hood on television, and obviously practicing for that here) and the comely De Carlo the audience members could imagine themselves in the role of one or the other, whisked away on flights of fancy to another realm from long ago. Even so, what could have been languorous and indulgent was more of a rip-roaring adventure of the kind that now looks archetypal, much in the way Star Wars would in its various forms when you had good and evil clearly delineated, heroes and villains and a Princess to romance.

It was an interesting cast supporting Greene and De Carlo, with perennial, scar-faced bad guy George Macready sporting a remarkable beard, Rock Hudson as a Captain of the Guard, future least-loved Stooge Joe Besser as Sinbad and Jackie Gleason as Aladdin, almost thin and like the director Frederick De Cordova about to become a huge success in television. There were as ever with this genre strong hints of the fetishist elements that were never overt but simmered under the surface, so when Princess Scheherazade is kidnapped by Murad with her ladies in waiting and all of them claim to be royalty to save her (shades of the dramatic climax of Spartacus at the other end of the decade), naturally they are tied up and tortured - or almost tortured at least, for most of them. In the main it was silly fun with a slight edge, listen to the insults in the florid dialogue: "Jackal!", "Hyena!", "Impudent wretch!", "Snivelling coward!", basically all the sort of things that people now say as parody of this strain of entertainment but here played straight, or at least with the winking to the audience less than blatant. Lots of fun if you want to immerse yourself in old time shenanigans. Music by Frank Skinner.

[Simply Media's Region 2 DVD is bare bones, but looks and sounds perfectly acceptable.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1930 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: