7 February 2017 | gerrythree
French Truck Drivers Battle Over Mysterious Cargo In The Sahara Desert
"Greed In The Sun" is a 1964 movie that is a time capsule, a view of a world long gone, where expatriate French nationals live and work in a heavily Arabic North African country. This movie was filmed in part in Marrakesh, Morocco, where at one point the camera pans across the primitive tanneries in that city as the characters walk to their destination. In the movie, the city is identified as Le Moussorah, a name that exists only on the hotel sign and mile markers made as set dressing for this movie. The movie itself deals with the truck drivers who transport goods through the desert and over mountainous terrain . Those drivers include Jean-Paul Belmondo and Lino Ventura, playing buddies who work for Gert Frobe's trucking company.
Gert Frobe's character has the best lines in the movie, but he vanishes after arranging for a newly hired driver to take a mysterious shipment of goods to Salem. Rocco, Belmondo's character, steals the truck and Frobe pays Marec (Lino Ventura) to recover the truck. Marec is not very good at that job, another company truck driver, Mitch- Mitch, helps him out three separate times when Marec has problems. Why Frobe did not hire the more competent Mitch-Mitch for the job is anyone's guess.
In "Greed In The Sun", the female characters are treated as second-class humans, dummies good for sex and not much else. The Arab characters are treated worse, lackeys there to serve their European masters. For that matter, the drivers don't come out looking very good either. Marec is a thug who demolishes a roadside store and Rocco is a greedy pig.
In France, there is on sale a Blu-ray version of "Greed In The Sun", a new restoration where the black and white photography looks crystal clear. French only though, and no optional English subtitles. For one scene at the end, there are large, old fashioned hard coded French subtitles, which indicates to me that the original camera negative is missing. Otherwise, we would have new subtitles for this short segment.
The American DVD release of "Greed In The Sun" is a disaster, using an older print, having large white hard coded English subtitles. The subtitles themselves leave out stuff and have errors. I made subtitles using English subtitles from an Internet site where the subs had exact timing but the translation and grammar were off.
The 1960s were the peak decade for director Henri Verneuil, a decade he ended with his great crime film, "The Sicilian Clan", a movie that also starred Lino Ventura. Thanks to computer technology, I was able to make a DVD of "Greed In The Sun" that combined the Blu-ray movie with optional on-off English subtitles in a nicer font, subs that I edited.
In this movie, the scenes that stand out for me are when the trucks drive through the center of the city identified as Le Moussorah. You see swarms of people walking all over the plaza with cars parked in a group on one side. 1964 and the location unit filming here showed how crowded this Southern Algeria city already was. The place looked really depressing, a giant flea market look to it, baking under the sun. No wonder people who live in crowded places like that look to migrate to nicer locations.