New Release: Rope of Sand DVD

Olive Films released another vintage goodie from the Paramount Pictures vault, Rope of Sand, on DVD on April 5, 2011. The 1949 adventure-thriller movie, directed by William Dieterle (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), stars Burt Lancaster (The Sweet Smell of Success).

In the film, American Mike Davis (Lancaster) returns to the African city where he was tortured and left for dead years earlier at the hands of a sadistic Police Commandant (Paul Henreid). Originally innocent of all charges, Mike is back to claim the diamonds he had supposedly stolen two years ago. He enlists the help of an alcoholic stranger (Peter Lorre) and the doctor (Sam Jaffe), who had helped him back to health. Meanwhile, the diamond syndicate head (Claude Rains) recruits a nightclub temptress (Corinne Calvet) to use her charms on Mike to in order to obtain the stones.

Rope of Sand was produced by Hal B. Wallis, who stacked the deck in his favor for the film by hiring Henreid, Rains and Lorre. All three had appeared in Wallis’ earlier hit, the now-legendary Casablanca.

Though it’s promoted as a noir by Olive, Rope of Sand plays more like an adventure film set in a foreign land, not unlike Casablanca. But Casablanca sure doesn’t contain the kind of brutal torture sessions that Lancaster endures at the hands of Henreid in this film.

No bonus features are included on the DVD, which carries a list price $24.95.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.