7.7/10
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53 user 23 critic

Beau Geste (1939)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 24 July 1939 (USA)
Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Robert Carson (screen play), Percival Christopher Wren (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cooper ... Beau Geste
Ray Milland ... John Geste
Robert Preston ... Digby Geste
Brian Donlevy ... Sergeant Markoff
Susan Hayward ... Isobel Rivers
J. Carrol Naish ... Rasinoff
Albert Dekker ... Schwartz
Broderick Crawford ... Hank Miller
Charles Barton ... Buddy McMonigal
James Stephenson ... Major Henri de Beaujolais
Heather Thatcher ... Lady Patricia Brandon
James Burke ... Lieutenant Dufour
G.P. Huntley G.P. Huntley ... Augustus Brandon (as George P. Huntley)
Harold Huber ... Voisin
Donald O'Connor ... Beau Geste (as a child)
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Storyline

Beau, John, and Digby Geste are three inseparable, adventurous brothers who haven been adopted into the wealthy household of Lady Brandon. When money in the uppercrust household grows tight, Lady Brandon is forced to sell her most treasured jewel the mighty "Blue Water" sapphire. The household gets it out for one final look, the lights go out and it vanishes stolen by one of the brothers, no doubt. That night, Beau, Digby, and John each "confess" and slip out, John leaving behind Isabel, whom he loves. They all join the Foreign Legion, and Beau and Digby are split from John and put under the command of the ruthless and sadistic Sergeant Markoff. Things begin to get hairy as the rest of the Legionaires plot a mutiny against Markoff, in the midst of an attack by Arab hordes. Written by Sam Hayes <gshayes@mail.gwi.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

AGAIN...the three Gestes face a thousand dangers of the Sahara for each other...and love! See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Arabic

Release Date:

24 July 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drei Fremdenlegionäre See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point, Beau mentions the North West Mounted Police to his brothers. It proved to be a prophetic line; the very next year, Paramount re-teamed Cooper and Preston in North West Mounted Police (1940). See more »

Goofs

It is night when Markoff and the others go into the barracks to stop the mutiny, but it is midmorning when they come out. See more »

Quotes

Michael 'Beau' Geste: Sounds worse than a battle. And they fight it every night.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "The love of a man for a woman wanes and waxes like the moon . . . but the love of brother for brother is steadfast as the stars, and endures like the word of the prophet."

. . . Arabian Proverb. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

The Legionnaire's Song
(uncredited)
Music by Troy Sanders
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brotherhood, Leadership and Gratitude
21 January 2008 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The orphan brothers Beau, John, and Digby Geste have been raised in Brandon Abbas by their dear aunt Lady Patricia Brandon (Heather Thatcher) with the also adopted Isobel Rivers and their cousin Augustus Brandon since they were children. Lady Brandon is near bankruptcy paying the debts of the absent Lord Brandon, and the fortune of the family is limited to the valuable "Blue Water" sapphire. When they are grown-ups, Lord Brandon tells that he will arrive in the property to sell the precious stone. Beau (Gary Cooper), John (Ray Milland), Digby (Robert Preston), Isobel (Susan Hayward) and Augustus (G. P. Huntley) ask to see the "Blue Water". Lady Brandon brings the stone, but the lights go out, the sapphire is stolen and Lady Brandon promises to call the police on the next morning. However, first Beau and then Digby write notes confessing the robbery, and they are followed by John. The brothers join the Foreign Legion and are sent to North Africa, Beau and John under the command of the cruel and sadistic Sergeant Markoff (Brian Donlevy) in Fort Zinderneuf in the Sahara Desert. After an unsuccessful mutiny due to the brutal treatment of Markoff, the fort is attacked by Tuaregs and the men have to join forces to fight for their lives.

"Beau Geste" is a dramatic adventure about brotherhood, leadership and gratitude. I have never watched the original version, but this remake is a great movie. The screenplay is intelligent, with two initial mysteries (what has happened in Fort Zinderneuf?, and why Beau Geste stole the stone?) and reveals the mystery in the fort in the end and the reason why Beau Geste stole the jewel in the very last scene, showing how honorable and gentle he was. Brian Donlevy is amazing and together with Gary Cooper, Ray Milland and Robert Preston, they have unforgettable performances. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Beau Geste"


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