Tourneur’s penultimate Hollywood film is a pleasurably pulpy desert adventure starring Victor Mature as an every-man-for-himself American gunrunner playing both sides in the conflict between France and rebel tribes in West Africa. Along the way there is plenty of preposterous he-man dialogue, a Casablanca-style romance with French commander’s wife Yvonne De Carlo, and some creative, effectively skin-crawling sadism involving poison spiders. In spite of the film’s camp trappings, Tourneur’s distinctive touch is apparent in the arid, oddly barren visuals, lending the film a detached, otherworldly quality.

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