For George Raft and Morocco Lovers
ZANZIBAR | Diaspora | 08/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up Outpost Morocco in a bargain buy because of the title, I wasn't dissappointed. The legendary George Raft as playboy French Foreign Legion captain Gerard. Gerard has to escort the daughter of a Moroccan Emir. The movie is shot in southern Morocco and its landscape looks pretty realistic. The movie made in 1949 from its original black and white composition has a vintage feel. France held Morocco in the grip of a protectorate from 1912-1956, so, during the shooting of this film Morocco technically was not independent. The viewer should pay careful attention to the Moors mode of dress in this movie. Some of the soft fezzes worn early in the movie are very similiar to the so called liberty caps worn by icons in early American history. Of course the Moors are played by Europeans with heavy makeup.
George Raft is his ever cool self escorting the exotic Marie Windsor with her huge Betty Davis eyes. Their screen chemistry is decent but the romance script written for them was somewhat lacking. I always believed Raft was cut from the same fabric as Humprey Bogart but I personally prefer his acting style. If you are looking for a Raft movie outside of the gangster genre, this is the ticket. The movie "March or Die" starring Gene Hackman would be a good companion. It is also about the French Foreign Legion but it concentrates on the Rif wars of Morocco 1911-1927 (Abd El Krim)."
George Raft, first wearing a Foreign Legion kepi, then in Ar
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 11/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"George Raft, either as a gangster or a truck driver or a French Foreign Legion officer, was a poor actor. I'm sure there have been doctoral dissertations by enthusiastic students of American contemporary culture on how Raft managed to carve a star career in Hollywood. Yeah, there are all those criminal connection rumors but so far they've just been that, rumors. We know he was a good dancer, but as an actor he was without animation. Often he just looked plain worried. He was wooden and unresponsive. Any actor might have turned down the chance to play the lead in The Maltese Falcon, High Sierra or Casablanca...but Raft turned down all three opportunities. Was he insecure, just realistic about his talent, or basically without a clue? Who knows? What we do know is that after a few big pictures in the late Thirties, he began a long, not-so-slow decline into some pretty awful stuff for the rest of his life. His coin-flipping tough guy persona, however, stayed with him and made him at least marginally bankable. I like him in a few of his movies, mainly Nocturne and Mr Ace from 1946 and, even though it's a tear-jerker, Christmas Eve from 1947.
Outpost in Morocco is a disposable adventure movie, complete with the French Foreign Legion, desert outposts, restless tribes and a desert princess with a figure usually seen only in a teen-ager's dreams. Still, as a basic Hollywood product it delivers the goods. Robert Florey, the director, keeps the action and the story moving along. Marie Windsor as Cara, the daughter of the Emir of Bel-Rashad, is zaftig. Akim Tamiroff as Lieutenant Glysko provides humor as well as bravery and energy. Eduard Franz as the Emir is suitably anti-French and, surprisingly, not simply a caricature of an untrustworthy native leader. And there's George Raft as Captain Paul Gerard, assigned to deliver Cara to her father in a journey across the sands, who then finds himself caught between love and a perilous rebellion, complete with a remote desert outpost on his hands to defend. Raft at 54 shows his age. His director makes him do the coin flipping thing a couple of times. Even when he's sneaking into the Emir's compound to find out what's going on, then escapes by leaping off parapets, racing across the sands and mounting briskly his horse, he shows as much emotion as when he's smooching Cara...not much. Once when asked about his acting Raft is supposed to have said, "I'm afraid to look, because I'm probably awful." It doesn't help Raft that he must wear a Legionnaire's uniform much of the time, complete with kepi and shoulder cape. When he's not in uniform he's in disguise, wearing a turban and what appears to be pantaloons. Raft, to his credit, does the job and doesn't seem embarrassed.
One of the pleasures of the movie is seeing Marie Windsor, the quintessential noir bad girl, playing Cara. Windsor gives us an emir's daughter who can be arrogant, sweet, loving and brave. She manages to avoid looking ridiculous even while photographed on what is supposed to be a horse galloping in front of a rear screen projection to stop her father. She's eye-catching at the start of the movie when we watch her and Raft dance a tango in a nightclub. For that matter, Raft looks great dancing the tango, too. To see Windsor at her best, which is to say her worst, just watch her deal with poor Elisha Cook, Jr., in The Killing.
A stalk of month-old celery would be crisper than the fuzzy, mushy DVD transfer this black-and-white public domain movie is given."
Outpost in Morocco
LEON F. THOMAS | 11/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I like items connected with the foreign Legion and the Actor George Raft
always represented that smooth,cool personality."