Academy Award winners Gary Cooper and Ray Milland star along with Robert Preston in the epic adventure Beau Geste. When three brothers join the Foreign Legion to escape a troubled past, they find themselves trapped under ... more »the command of a sadistic sergeant deep in the scorching Sahara. Now the brothers must fight for their lives as they plot mutiny against tyranny and defend a desert fortress against a brutal enemy. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards, Beau Geste has been universally acclaimed by generations of critics and audiences alike as a true motion picture classic.« less
Daniel Waitkoss | St. Charles, Missouri USA | 06/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Beau Geste" is a magnificent adventure story for any age group and the 1939 version, Mr. Maltin's opinion not withstanding, is probably the best version of this tale I have ever seen. The cast is top-notch and the action never wavers. This is a film that I grew up with and it is one that can withstand the years. Above all, it is so much better than the 1966 version--please see this incredible film!"
Cory D. Slipman | Rockville Centre, N.Y. | 01/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beau Geste, a melodramatic 1939 period piece depicts the comradery of three brothers during Victorian times. It falls short of a 5 star rating as it lacks the high degree of drama seen in similar type classics such as Gunga Din and Four Feathers.The wholesome Gary Cooper along with Robert Preston and Ray Milland play three brothers, Beau, Digby and John Geste, adopted into the affluent baronial lifestyle of English Lord and Lady Brandon. When the lord threatens to sell the family's most precious possession, the Blue Water, a huge cerulean sapphire, to finance his gambling, one of the brothers absconds with it. In a chivalrous gesture the three brothers flee and enlist in the French Foreign Legion and get shipped to North Africa.While in the foreign legion they are cruelly commanded by star of the movie Brian Donlevy, who plays the facially scarred, sadistic heavy Sergeant Markoff. The brothers strive to survive the elements, the Arabs and Markoff while they protect the secret of the prized sapphire.The flick is hopelessly dated but still remains hugely entertaining to a classic movie buff. A youthful and ravishing Susan Hayward plays Milland's love interest, Isobel Rivers, a ward of Lady Brandon in one of her earliest starring roles."
French Foreign Legion vs. Arabs...!!!....(1939 Version in B&
Seen Them All | SoCal Desert | 04/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Absolutely the definitive film version of the book by the same name. When their parents die the 3 Geste boys (Beau, Digby, & John) are adopted by a wealthy family. When a valuable diamond disappears the boys join the Foreign Legion and fight the Arabs in North Africa. Part mystery, part action adventure/war movie this movie is well worth viewing. Very good performances by Gary Cooper (Beau), Robert Preston (Digby), Ray Milland (John), and Brian Donlevy (Markoff the Sgt.). Good supporting cast....LOTS of action and suspense.....5 STAR CLASSIC...!!"
Best Geste (forget the reste!)
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 05/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Since 1926, there have been three Beau Geste films, plus one TV miniseries and a Marty Feldman spoof called THE LAST REMAKE OF BEAU GESTE (1977). It's not as amusing as the latter, yet the 1939 PARAMOUNT edition of "Beau" is far and away the finest of the lot.
William Wellman's picture (loosely based on the 1924 P.C. Wren novel) is in part a who-dun-it but primarily an adventure yarn. The story begins with all the men stationed at a desert fort lying dead from combat. A letter confessing to a crime is found on the body of one of them.
Flashback to Michael ("Beau") and his brothers as children (Beau is portrayed by 12-year-old Donald O'Connor). The three orphaned Gestes and Isabel Rivers were adopted when very young by the boys' aunt, Lady Patricia Brandon. They all live at Brandon Abbas with Aunt Pat and her son Augustus.
In raising the four adoptees, Aunt Pat exhausts her estate's finances. To pay debts she determines to sell a family heirloom, the Blue Water sapphire but first Pat shows it to all for the last time. The lights suddenly go out and when they're restored, it's discovered that Lady Brandon's precious gem has vanished. Suspicion falls on the three Gestes, so the young men join the French Foreign Legion to escape accusations or embarrassment.
The Saharan portion of this film is the lion's share. We meet several members of the Gestes' outpost. Later attacks by Arabs make it clear that their fort is doomed-- the only question is when all will die. The Legionnaires' valiant struggle against daunting odds is one you won't soon forget. A great cast, story and cinematography make this Beau Geste a genuine classic, and one of the best films of that superlative year of 1939.
Related item: "Beau Geste" is also available on UNIVERSAL/MCA's bargain-priced GARY COOPER COLLECTION, along with four others: "Design for Living" (1933), "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" (1935), "Peter Ibbetson" (1935) and "The General Died at Dawn" (1936).
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
"This is one of the best adventure movies I've ever seen. The characters are interesting and the story is terrific, with some surprising twists. Recent-day movies are pathetic in comparison with this one."