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Please note that this movies titles and credits are written in German,the movie is in English.
THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; Hal Wallis Production, 'Rope of Sand,' at Paramount Is a Sizzling Action Picture T. M. P.
Published: August 4, 1949
The new Hal Wallis production at the Paramount, "Rope of Sand," is a striking example of how resourceful direction and brisk acting can turn an ordinary story of revenge and lust for riches into a sizzling action picture. William Dieterle, the director, has injected an extra full measure of excitement and tension into the Walter Doniger screenplay by skillfully using the camera to create a suspenseful atmosphere of foreboding and by keeping the players snapping and snarling at each other like savage beasts.
Mr. Dieterle's steady, driving directorial pace seldom lags over the long course of this highly romanticized adventure tale, which grows progressively volatile for more than ninety minutes. A torrid stretch of South African desert, where fabulous diamond fields lie just beneath the sand, provides a suitably colorful and remote setting for "Rope of Sand."
The conflict in this turbulent and fanciful melodrama revolves around two strong bodied — and equally weak minded—gents. Burt Lancaster, truculent as ever, plays a former hunting guide who comes back to the broiling town of Diamondstad to scoop up some glittering wealth and to even an old score with the sadistic police chief, Paul Henreid, who had brutalized him. It is no secret to reveal that they ultimately tangle in mortal combat. Mr. Dieterle and the author keep pointing to that conflict all along, but the director has made great capital, thanks to a fascinating portrayal of silky villainy by Claude Rains, out of simply delaying the showdown.
As the fiendishly cunning director of the mining company, Mr. Rains is artfully sinister in fanning the hatred between Mike Davis and Commandant Paul Vogel. Like a master puppeteer, he twists them this way and that, but always contrives to separate them short of killing each other until such a development best serves his own selfish purpose. There is pitiless savagery, too, in the way he humiliates Vogel by black-balling his name every time it comes up for a club membership in Capetown. And it is with Machiavellian delight that he tosses a sultry looking trollop, posing as a respectable rich girl, between the two adversaries to further fan their vicious hatreds.
The people you will meet in "Rope of Sand" are not a pleasant bunch, but they are all products of good acting and therefore are strangely interesting. The Messrs, Lancaster and Henreid bring forceful authority to their roles. Corinne Calvet, who comes from France and is making her Hollywood debut, plays with frank and emphatic gesturing which leaves little to the imagination. Peter Lorre is oddly charming as a conniving desert wastrel with a smooth line of bogus philosophical talk about the fascination of diamonds and the greed of men, and Sam Jaffe has a friendly, pathetic air as a whisky-sodden doctor. They and the director have made "Rope of Sand" a robust exercise in muscular cinematic gymnastics.
Featured in the stage show at the Paramount are Vic Damone, Tex Beneke and orchestra, and Cy Reeves and Rudy Cardenas.
ROPE OF SAND, based on a story and screenplay by Walter Doniger; additional dialogue by John Paxton; directed by William Dieterle; a Hal B. Wallis production; rleased by Paramount Pictures. At the Paramount.
Mike Davis . . . . . Burt Lancaster
Commandant Paul Vogel . . . . . Paul Henreid
Arthur Martingale . . . . . Claude Rains
Suzanne Renaud . . . . . Corinne Calvet
Toady . . . . . Peter Lorre
Dr. Francis Hunter . . . . . Sam Jaffe
Thompson . . . . . John Bromfield
Pierson . . . . . Mike Mazurki
John . . . . . Kenny Washington
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