Richard Attenborough







Sea of Sand

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Sea of Sand
B R I T I S H  C I N E M A


All images Strawberry Media.

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1958 / UK / BW / 94 mins

  • Richard Attenborough Trooper Brody
  • John Gregson Captain Williams
  • Michael Craig Captain Cotton
  • Vincent Ball Sergeant Nesbitt
  • Percy Herbert Trooper White
  • Barry Foster Corporal Matheson
  • Ray McAnally Sergeant Hardy

  • Dir Guy Green
  • Scr Robert Westerby, from a story by Sean Fielding


    Review

    Why oh why does this movie never reach the heights it should have? Never mind a sea of sand, a sea of mediocrity would be a more apt title.

    The answer lies simply in the poor choices of director and Michael Craig as one of the main characters. The director, Guy Green (b.1913), had been a leading British cameraman and his credits included Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. As a director his work largely sucked. Maybe a sweeping assumption but you go and watch 5 or 6 of his films back to bac and see if i'm not right!

    The story here is of a British desert patrol out to blow up an Axis fuel dump before the battle of El Alamein. The usual suspects are here and by and large deliver what you'd expect from the usual suspects: Attenborough, then in his mid-30s, delivers a solid grown-up Pinkie Brown with a heart kind of performance that he was especially good at before he hit middle-age almost overnight with his performance in The Great Escape five years later; 'solid' could almost be Gregson's middle name and here he's, er, solid; Foster proves what a good actor he was here before he settled into the cosiness of van der Valk. The problem is with Craig. He was the type of leading British man who was strictly second division. He just didn't have the presence to hold you and was rather cold. A bit like a poor man's Laurence Harvey. And here he delivers his usual slightly detached performance which just left me wanting more from the actor.

    This is filming by numbers. The ending is sentimental tosh; added on clumsily and is totally unbelievable. I won't give the ending away but suffice to say that solid as Gregson is what he does at the end is totally out of character with what he has done in the rest of the film.

    Enough said.

    The Dvd is worth getting for people like me with an avid interest in British 2nd World War cinema and it doesn't cost more than 15 or so. For entertainment value, I'd put it on a par with Gift Horse or Morning Departure.

    Paul Page (2015).


    Trivia

    The Libyan desert featured heavily in Sea of Sand. At one point shooting was held up by the gibli - local name for a hot sandstorm.


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    Richard Attenborough Dvds

    Richard Attenborough Dvds @ amazon.com (direct link)

    Richard Attenborough Books @ amazon.com (direct link)




    Sea of Sand

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