The Desert Song

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"The Best Loved of all Musical Adventures!"
  • Passed
  • 1953
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.2  (506)

The Desert Song is a 1953 American musical film directed by H. Bruce Humberstone, starring Kathryn Grayson, Gordon MacRae, and Steve Cochran. The film is based on the 1926 operetta of the same name by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II. The story is set in Morocco during a time of rebellion against the French colonial rule in the early 20th century. Kathryn Grayson plays Margot, a French teacher who falls in love with the leader of the rebels, the Red Shadow, played by Gordon MacRae. However, she is also courted by a French officer, Captain Fontaine, played by Steve Cochran.

The film features several memorable musical numbers, including the iconic title song “The Desert Song,” as well as “One Alone” and “The Riff Song.” The musical score was composed by Sigmund Romberg, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

The film was shot in Technicolor and features stunning visuals of the Moroccan desert. The costume design by Helen Rose is also noteworthy, with Grayson’s gowns and headdresses being particularly striking.

Despite the film’s impressive pedigree, it received mixed reviews upon its release. Some critics praised the performances and musical numbers, while others found the story and characters to be lacking. However, the film has since become a beloved classic of the Hollywood musical genre.

Kathryn Grayson shines in the role of Margot, bringing both grace and strength to the character. Gordon MacRae is equally impressive as the charismatic Red Shadow, and their chemistry together is palpable. Steve Cochran is also excellent as the conflicted Captain Fontaine, torn between his duty to the French army and his growing feelings for Margot.

Overall, The Desert Song is a sweeping, romantic musical that transports the viewer to a faraway land of adventure and passion. With its beautiful music, stunning visuals, and talented cast, it remains a beloved classic of the golden age of Hollywood cinema.

The Desert Song
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (506)