Very loosely based on the novel Beau Geste by P. C. Wren
Two Englishmen end up in the French Foreign Legion because of the theft of a famous and valuable jewel.
Confession: I, the Otter, am a HUGE French Foreign Legion junkie. I have a couple of dozen books (plus just about everything P.C. Wren ever wrote, and I’m not kidding), and have seen all the movies and tv shows I can find on Le Légion étrangère.
I saw this movie when it was new (a couple of times, I think, back when you had to see it when it was at a theater, because there was no way to watch it at home when you wanted to…yes, I’m old.) and I remember that it was hysterically funny. Now, there is a phenomenon which we Chez Otter call the “Caddyshack effect”, where you remember something you saw when young as being awesome and it isn’t when you see it twenty or thirty or forty years later…but I was willing to take the risk.
I saw this on Amazon.com, and bought it…and a bit later Mr. Otter and I watched it, with not a little trepidation on my part.
And it was fun. Silly 70s era fun, with a lot of good people (Michael York, Ann-Margret, Marty Feldman, and a host of people who were well-known then but not so much now) being pretty amusing. The plot was silly but good, and gave a couple of nods to the novel, and it was nice to see it again.
Not one of the funniest or best movies of all time, but certainly fun to watch, and (more importantly) not at all disappointing. Whew.