Beau Geste (1939 film)

Beau Geste (1939 film)

Infobox Film
name = Beau Geste


caption = Original film poster
director = William A. Wellman
producer = William A. Wellman
writer = Robert Carson
P. C. Wren (novel)
starring = Gary Cooper
Ray Milland
Robert Preston
Susan Hayward
Broderick Crawford
Brian Donlevy.
music = Alfred Newman
cinematography = Theodor Sparkuhl
Archie Stout
editing = Thomas Scott
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = 2 August 1939 (US)
runtime = 112 min
country = USA
awards =
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:4503
imdb_id = 0031088

"Beau Geste" is a 1939 film made by Paramount Pictures based on the novel of the same name by P. C. Wren. It was directed and produced by William A. Wellman from a screenplay by Robert Carson. The music score was by Alfred Newman and the cinematography by Theodor Sparkuhl and Archie Stout.

The film is a virtual scene-for-scene remake of the 1926 film starring Ronald Colman. This version is probably the best known adaptation, with Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Susan Hayward, Broderick Crawford, and Brian Donlevy. Donlevy was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Plot

A valuable sapphire called the "Blue Water" has to be sold to pay the debts of the absent Sir Hector Brandon. The three Geste brothers, 'Beau' (Gary Cooper), John (Ray Milland), and Digby (Robert Preston), had lived with the family since childhood, along with adoptee Isobel Rivers (Susan Hayward). Their guardian, Lady Brandon (Heather Thatcher), brings out the gem for one last look when suddenly the lights go out and the jewel is stolen. All present proclaim their innocence, but each young man later confesses to the crime to his brothers.

Under suspicion, all three men leave England (John reluctantly leaving Isobel) and join the French Foreign Legion. They are trained by the sadistic Sergeant Markoff (Brian Donlevy), who finds out about the theft and is convinced that Beau is hiding the gem.

A detachment, including Beau and John, is sent to man Fort Zinderneuf, in a remote part of the Sahara Desert. When the officer in charge dies, Markoff takes command. His brutal treatment of the men finally leads to outright mutiny, but at that very moment, the fort is attacked by Arabs. The initial attack is beaten off, but besieged by hostile forces, the defenders are killed one by one. Markoff orders the survivors to prop up the corpses at their posts to make it look as if there are still plenty of soldiers left. The final attack is repulsed, but Beau is shot, leaving Markoff and John the only men left alive.

Markoff sends John on an errand, searches Beau's body and finds the sapphire. When John returns, Markoff draws his pistol to shoot the only witness to his theft. However, Beau is not yet dead and manages to spoil Markoff's aim, allowing John to kill him with a bayonet. Then Beau expires in his brother's arms. Just then, John hears a bugle announcing the arrival of reinforcements, Digby among them. He takes a letter Beau had written and sneaks away.

Digby is sent to discover why there is no response from the fort. He finds Beau's body and, remembering his oft-expressed wish, gives him a Viking funeral. He places Beau on a bed, with a dog (Markoff) at his feet, and sets fire to the room. Then he too deserts.

He finds John and two American deserters, and together they begin the long journey home. Desperate for water, they find an oasis occupied by a large band of Arabs. Digby tricks them into fleeing by playing a bugle to signal a charge by non-existent Legionnaires, but he is killed by a parting shot.

John returns home. There, Lady Brandon reads Beau's letter. It reveals that Beau stole the gem because he knew it was a fake. Lady Brandon had sold the real one years before, and Beau wanted to conceal this from Sir Hector. Beau knew of the sale because, as a child, he was hiding in a suit of armor when the buyer took the gem away.

Cast

*Gary Cooper - Michael "Beau" Geste
*Ray Milland - John Geste
*Robert Preston - Digby Geste
*Brian Donlevy - Sgt. Markoff
*Susan Hayward - Isobel Rivers
*J. Carrol Naish - Rasinoff
*Albert Dekker - Schwartz
*Broderick Crawford - Hank Miller
*Charles Barton - Buddy McMonigal
*James Stephenson - Maj. Henri de Beaujolais
*Heather Thatcher - Patricia Brandon
*James Burke - Lieutenant Dufour
*G.P. Huntley - Augustus Brandon
*Arthur Aylesworth - Renault
*Harry Woods - Renoir
*Harold Huber - Voisin
*Stanley Andrews - Maris
*Donald O'Connor - Beau at age twelve
*David Holt - Augustus at age twelve

External links

*tcmdb title | id=68283 | title=Beau Geste


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  • Beau Geste —    Film d aventures de William Wellman, d après le roman de Percival Christopher Wren, avec Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Susan Hayward.   Pays: États Unis   Date de sortie: 1939   Technique: noir et blanc   Durée: 2 h    Résumé… …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Beau Geste (film, 1939) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beau Geste. Beau Geste est un film américain de William A. Wellman, sorti en 1939. Il est réalisé d après le roman éponyme de Percival Christopher Wren de 1924. Sommaire 1 Synopsis …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • beau — 1. beau [ bo ] ( ou bel devant un nom commençant par une voyelle ou un h muet, et dans quelques loc.) , belle [ bɛl ] adj. • bel 900; lat. bellus « joli » I ♦ Qui fait éprouver une émotion esthétique; spécialt …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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