HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 2269 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
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: