Beau Geste

Beau Geste

Gary Cooper
Director: William Wellman Cast: Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
, Ray Milland
Ray Milland
, Robert Preston
Robert Preston
William Wellman

DVD (Remastered / Full Frame)

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This second of three movie versions of P.C. Wren's adventure novel Beau Geste is a virtual scene-for-scene remake of the 1927 silent version. We open on the now-famous scenes of a remote, burning desert fort, manned by the dead Foreign Legionnaires, then flash back to the early lives of the Geste brothers. As children, the Gestes swear eternal loyalty to one another and to their family. One of the boys, young Beau (played as a youth by Donald O'Connor), witnesses his beloved aunt (Heather Thatcher) apparently stealing a valuable family jewel in order to finance the Geste home; Beau chooses to remain silent rather than disgrace his aunt. Years later, the grown Beau (Gary Cooper) again protects his aunt by confessing to the theft and running off to join the Foreign Legion. He is joined in uniform by faithful brothers John (Ray Milland) and Digby (Robert Preston), who in turn are pursued by a slimy thief (J. Carroll Naish). The crook is in cahoots with sadistic Legion Sgt. Markov (Brian Donlevy, in one of the most hateful portrayals ever captured on celluloid), who is later put in charge of Fort Zinderneuf, where Beau and John are stationed. When the Arabs attack, Markov proves himself a valiant soldier; it is he who hits upon the idea of convincing the Arabs that the fort is still fully manned by propping up the corpses of the casualties at the guard posts. Beau is seriously wounded, and while the greedy Markov searches for the jewel supposedly hidden on Beau's person, he is held at bay by loyal John. The suddenly enervated Beau kills Markov, then dies himself--but not before entrusting two notes to John, one of which requests that John give Beau the "Viking funeral" he'd always wanted (this is why the fort is in flames at the beginning of the film). After the battle, Digby Geste, a bugler with the relief troops, comes upon Beau's dead body, and appropriates the notes. As it turns out, John Geste is the only one who survives to return to England. He gives his aunt Beau's letter, which explains why Beau had confessed and run off--"a 'beau geste', indeed" comments his tearful aunt. No one missed nominal leading lady Susan Hayward in this essentially all-male entertainment. For years available only in muddily processed or truncated versions, Beau Geste was restored to its pristine glory by the American Film Institute in the late 1980s.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/07/2009
UPC: 0025192018992
Original Release: 1939
Rating: NR
Source: Universal Studios
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 1:52:00
Sales rank: 6,702

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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
Arthur Aylesworth Renault
Harry Woods Renoir
Harold Huber Voisin
Stanley Andrews Maris
Donald O'Connor Beau at Age Twelve
Billy Cook John at Age Ten
Martin Spellman Digby at Age Twelve
David Holt Augustus at Age Twelve
Ann Gillis Isolvel at Age Ten
Harvey Stephens Lieutenant Martin
Henry Brandon Renouf
Barry Macollum Krenke
Ronnie Rondell Bugler
J.W. Cody Legionnaires
Bob Perry Legionnaire (uncredited)
Henry Sylvester Actor
Joe Whitehead Sergeant
Carl Voss Actor
Nestor Paiva Corporal Golas
George Chandler Cordier
George Regas Arab Scout
Joe Bernard Legionnaire
Frank Dawson Burdon, the Butler
Duke Green Glock
Thomas E. Jackson Colonel in Recruiting Office
Larry Lawson Legionnaire
Francis McDonald Arab Scout
Jerome Storm Sergeant Major
Harry Worth Corporal
G.P. Huntley Augustus Brandon

Technical Credits
William Wellman Director,Producer
Robert Carson Screenwriter
Hans Dreier Art Director
Hugo Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Alfred Newman Score Composer
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Odell Art Director
Thomas Scott Editor
Theodor Sparkuhl Cinematographer
Louis Clyde Stoumen Cinematographer
Archie J. Stout Cinematographer
Joseph Youngerman Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Beau Geste
1. Reinforcements (Main Titles) [10:44]
2. The "Blue Water" Sapphire [7:33]
3. Playing Games [3:57]
4. Vanishing Act [12:28]
5. Joining the Foreign Legion [7:49]
6. High-Class Jewel Thieves [4:27]
7. Brothers In Arms [4:11]
8. End of Training [2:56]
9. Deserter's Justice [2:45]
10. Rats in a Trap [2:45]
11. Attempted Mutiny [7:09]
12. Saved by Attack [6:33]
13. It's Looking Bare [8:52]
14. No Signs of Relief [6:39]
15. A Little Late [5:28]
16. Viking's Funeral [5:48]
17. Repaid Devotion [7:33]
18. End Titles [4:33]

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Beau Geste 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago