Sword in The Desert Cynical freighter captain Mike Dillon hopes to take the money and run after helping to smuggle Jewish refugees ashore in pre-Israel Palestine. But against his will, he’s drawn into the escalating fight between British occupation forces and the founders of Israel. In a battle doubly terrible because the audience sympathizes with both sides, how long can Mike remain a bystander?
Entertaining Action/War Film
SWORD IN THE DESERT – 1949
This is one of the first films to deal with the creation of Israel after World War Two. The British, who were in charge of the area at the time, were embroiled in a battle with the Jewish underground. Their job was to stop the waves of Jewish immigrants fleeing worn torn Europe looking for a home. The British really did not want to be there, but were waiting for a resolution from the UN.The story itself starts with a cargo ship and her Captain, Dana Andrews. Andrews had picked up a load of refuges in Italy and was dropping them off the coast of Palestine. He is getting 100 dollars a head for his “cargo”. He wants to land the cargo and leave pronto like before he gets caught by the British Naval patrol.
He lands the cargo but is stranded on shore when a British Patrol shows. He is forced to flee with the refugees. Now how does he get back to his ship? The rest of the film follows his quest to return to said ship. He also grows to understand the “cargo” is more than just that. They are people looking for a home.
There are plenty of gun battles, chases and a great prison camp escape to keep up the pace. The director, George Sherman, was a whizz at these middle budget action productions.
All in all, this is not a bad way to spend 101 minutes of your time. The cast includes, Marta Toren, Jeff Chandler, Stephen McNally, Peter Coe and Hayden Rorke.