DIRECTED BY JOHN FORD
PRODUCED BY MERIAN C. COOPER/ /CLIFF REID/ JOHN FORD
RKO RADIO PICTURES
Information from IMDb
A World War I British Army patrol is crossing the Mesopotomian desert
when their commanding officer, the only one who knows their destination
is killed by the bullet of unseen bandits.
The patrol's sergeant keeps them heading north on the assumption
that they will hit their brigade.
They stop for the night at an oasis and awake the next morning to find their horses stolen,
their sentry dead, the oasis surrounded and survival difficult.
Written by Erik Gregersen
Victor McLaglen ... The Sergeant
Boris Karloff ... Sanders
Wallace Ford ... Morelli
Reginald Denny ... Brown
J.M. Kerrigan ... Quincannon
Billy Bevan ... Hale
Alan Hale ... Cook
Brandon Hurst ... Bell
Douglas Walton ... Pearson
Sammy Stein ... Abelson
Howard Wilson ... Aviator
Paul Hanson ... MacKay
Abdullah Abbas ... Last Arab (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... Rescue Patrol Colonel / Arab Shot By Sergeant (uncredited)
Neville Clark ... Lieutenant Hawkins (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Arab (uncredited)
Dudley Nichols (screenplay)
Garrett Fort (adaptation)
Philip MacDonald (story "Patrol")
Victor McLaglen, who plays The Sergeant, is the brother of Cyril McLaglen, who played The Sergeant in the earlier 1929 version of this film.
McLaglen actually served with the Irish Fusiliers in Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq) during World War I at the same time this story takes place. He eventually rose to be Provost Martial of Baghdad.
Composer Max Steiner re-used the main title music he wrote for this film for the main title music for Casablanca, albeit with a slightly different tempo and instrumentation.
The release of the almost complete version on DVD allows viewers to compare it with the edited 1949 re-release, occasionally shown on Turner Classic Movies. Eliminated in the shorter version is an early shot of Karloff with a book of poetry about the desert, Hanson's reminiscing about Kerrigan's and Hale's earlier days in the service, and McLaglen and Ford sharing cigarettes and recalling their wives and sweethearts. Apparently, a boxing match between Hale and Stein immediately following the death of Bevan, before they all draw lots, is still missing.
Director John Ford's older brother Francis appears in an uncredited role.
According to Karloff biographer Peter Underwood the temperature on the Yuma locations could be as hot as 150 degrees and actors were limited to working two hours a day.
As the plane is circling the encampment, you can see tire marks in the sand.
Buttercup Dunes, Imperial County, California, USA
Yuma, Arizona, USA