Rope of Sand
|Rope of Sand|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||William Dieterle|
|Produced by||Hal B. Wallis|
|Screenplay by||Walter Doniger
|Story by||Walter Doniger|
|Music by||Franz Waxman|
|Edited by||Warren Low|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Rope of Sand is a 1949 adventure-suspense film noir produced by Hal Wallis and directed by William Dieterle. Set in South West Africa, the film stars Wallis contract star Burt Lancaster and three stars from Wallis's Casablanca; Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and Peter Lorre. The film introduces Corinne Calvet, and features Sam Jaffe, John Bromfield and Kenny Washington in supporting roles. Desert portions of the film were shot in Yuma, Arizona.
Hunting guide Mike Davis (Burt Lancaster) comes across a cache of diamonds in a remote region of South West Africa, but refuses to reveal its location even under torture at the hand of the diamond company's security chief, Vogel.
When Davis returns to find the diamonds he's hidden away, the company's owner, Martingale (Claude Rains), tries a different tactic by hiring a beautiful woman, Suzanne Renaud (Corinne Calvet), to seduce Davis and find out where the diamonds can be found. Davis meanwhile plans an illegal entry into the diamond mining area to retrieve the diamonds and plans to escape to Portuguese Angola.
- Burt Lancaster as Mike Davis
- Paul Henreid as Vogel
- Claude Rains as Martingale
- Corinne Calvet as Suzanne
- Peter Lorre as Toady
- Sam Jaffe as Dr. Hunter
- John Bromfield as Thompson, a guard
- Mike Mazurki as Pierson, a guard
- Kenny Washington as John
- Edmund Breon as Chairman
- Hayden Rorke as Ingram
- David Thursby as Henry, the bartender
- Josef Marais as Specialty Singer
- Miranda Marais as Specialty Singer
Film critic Glenn Erickson reflected on the background of the film and how it was received when first released, "A polished production on all technical levels, the gritty Rope of Sand was filmed from a screenplay purchased by producer Wallis specifically for Burt Lancaster in 1947. Although William Dieterle's direction is capable, the script works too hard to introduce an overly familiar collection of stock thriller types ... Critics generally liked Lancaster's performance, even if they slighted the work of Claude Rains and Peter Lorre and saved the bulk of their praise for Paul Henried's nasty villain. Lancaster's own assessment of the film was unprintable, but he was quoted at a time when he was itching to move on to more interesting roles.
- Golden Globes: Best Screenplay, Walter Doniger, 1950.
- Rope of Sand at the Internet Movie Database
- Rope of Sand at AllMovie
- Rope of Sand at the TCM Movie Database
- Rope of Sand information site and DVD review at DVD Beaver (includes images)
- on YouTube