Guest Movie Review: Beau Geste

beaueliBy Eli Sanchez

Guest Contributor, Silver Screen Capture

William Wellman’s classic (A-), Beau Geste showcases talented leads, unsavory characters and romantic depictions of dissident life among the French Foreign Legion. The film follows the exploits of three very tightly-knit brothers played by Gary Cooper (in the titular role), Ray Milland and Robert Preston. These three, adopted to a seemingly well-to-do British family in England, have formed quite a bond; so much so that they feed off of each others’ ambitions to the point of playing out childhood fantasies of joining the French army. They seemingly try to one-up each other on courageousness and cockiness. Eventually, following a jewel theft of honest intent, a journey to get away from it all and an intermingling of a sordid cast of characters led by a Russian expat turned Legionaire Markov (Brian Donlevy) who runs his battalion more like a gulag, the film grabs you into the beautiful oasis of a desert adventure. The film leans heavy on familial sentiment and loyalty to a name without seeming too preachy or clingy to traditional values. The film teeters between extreme pride and extreme sadness equally well in its storytelling and film direction.

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 1939, Eli Sanchez Guest Review, Rent It Tonight

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