Susan Fong | Las Vegas, NV USA | 11/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Legend of the Lost" is a morality tale of sorts which follows the journey of three disparate souls searching for lost treasure in the vast Sahara Desert. The trio is comprised of Joe January, played by John Wayne, who is a hard living, hard drinking guide; Paul Bonnard, a would-be missionary played by Rossano Brazzi; and Dita, portrayed by Sophia Loren, who is a prostitute and petty thief transformed by Paul's piety. The sought-after treasure was originally discovered by Paul's father. But when it is revealed that his father is not the saint Paul thought him to be, Paul is corrupted. Greed and lust overtake him eventually leading to tragedy.Paul's instantaneous and wicked conversion seems somewhat preposterous as he had purportedly lived a virtuous life up until the discovery of the treasure and the remains of his father. The entire plot strains credibility.But it is the motley and gifted cast that fascinates. Wayne's Joe January is a crude, hard-bitten soul. But underneath that rough exterior, you know that he is a decent man especially since he is portrayed by Duke Wayne. Wayne has a reassuringly quiet strength and an unselfconscious vulnerability that always make his characterizations believable. Wayne's characters are strong men, but not super men (ala Schwarzenegger or Stallone). His characters are realistic. They can be brought down, hurt, and compromised. Rossano Brazzi gives an almost giddy, operatic interpretation of a good man gone bad. It's amusing to watch his character degenerate. And Sophia Loren has an untamed beauty and wild impetuousness which is electrifying.So perhaps one can forgive the hokey plot of "Legend of the Lost", the occasional poor sound quality, and the rather cheesy musical score. It is the charismatic, talented cast and the magnificently sun-drenched, barren landscape of the Sahara Desert that make this movie rather thrilling and worth your time."
Strange movie invites unfairly harsh criticism
Susan Fong | 02/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had just seen Houseboat and really wanted to catch another Sophia flick. There is a criminal lack of her movies on DVD. With all the harsh criticisms of this movie, I bought it hesitantly only because I couldn't find many Sophia movies. There's a strange flavor to this movie, almost as if something about it was experimental. And the score is just plain weird. The story doesn't have a strong punch line by the end, but it does come to a logical conclusion that some may not find satisfying, but I did.
The best part of the movie were the good lines they gave John Wayne and the great comic timing with which he delivered them. In this movie he seems to have perfected the kind of character Harrison Ford played in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. While Sophia Loren is breathtakingly beautiful, with her talent and ability to project personality, she would still be fun to watch even if she was as plain as a blank sheet of paper. (Thank goodness she is gorgeous, though.)
Maybe what disappoints some people is that this movie appears to set itself up to be a wild action adventure, but instead this is more of a character development story before the time this kind of thing was popular in the late 1960's and early 1970's. It's a good movie to display some of the Duke's abilities to display the kind of character he often plays from a different perspective. And of course, Sophia is Sophia, bless her heart, and the packaging it comes in."
MMR | Los Angeles, CA United States | 08/05/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This has always been one of those movies that I go out of my way to watch whenever possible. There is a well told story here involving human fraility, hypocrisy, love, and greed. I enjoy the "ethnic" scenery and Saharan tribal music very much. I'm not necessarily a Wayne fan, but his "type" was perfect juxtaposed with that of the character played by Brazzi."
Lost but Found
Michael Wilson | Port Townsend,WA | 06/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Seems that this Wayne/Loren film has been lost for many years from lists of their best work. Although it is not in the best 10% for either, I really enjoyed everything about the film and found it entertaining from beginning to end. I also disagree with another comment here on Amazon about John Wayne being miscast. I think it is a perfect vehicle for his often under-rated skills."