Desert Command (1946)

Not Rated   |    |  Action, Adventure, Mystery


Desert Command (1946) Poster

Edited version of the 1933 Mascot serial "The Three Musketeers," first released in 1946.


4.8/10
152

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Directors:

Colbert Clark , Armand Schaefer

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23 August 2016 | Michael_Elliott
Mildly Entertaining in a Goofy Way
Desert Command (1946)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

The French Legionnaires are in the Sahara desert fighting some Arab gunrunners when they run into some trouble. But have no fear because Tom Wayne (John Wayne) comes through with a plane and wipes out the bad guys. Soon he and The Three Musketeers form a friendship and have to try and bring down an evil Arab who is doing illegal things.

DESERT COMMAND is a feature length version of the 1933 serial THE THREE MUSKETEERS. If you're familiar with these feature versions then you know that they usually cut out almost two hours worth of footage and it comes across as a confusing mess. I was shocked to see how this one here managed to tell a pretty straight story and if you didn't already know this was a serial you probably wouldn't even realize that it's missing so much footage.

I found this to be pretty entertaining thanks to a pretty good cast and some of them giving really bad performances. This includes Wayne who is all over the place here, which I was shocked to see. I recently watched a lot of his "B" Westerns from this period and he wasn't nearly as bad in them as he is here. Some of his line delivery is extremely bad but it's still fun seeing him. Lon Chaney, Jr. (still working under his original name) also gives a pretty bad performance as he was still years away from tuning his craft. Noah Beery, Jr. and silent star Francis X. Bushman Jr. are in the supporting cast.

As I said, the story itself holds up fairly well in this 72-minute version but the most impressive thing were the various stunts. I thought the stunt work was extremely good and we got some pretty good action scenes scattered throughout the running time. I'd also argue that the ending, which turns into a semi-horror film, was also quite good. DESERT COMMAND certainly isn't a masterpiece but it's mildly entertaining.

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