review for Desert Sands on AllMovie

Desert Sands (1955)
by Craig Butler review

Desert Sands is a slightly-more-than-middling adventure movie, belonging to that very small subgenre known as "Foreign Legion" pics. Fans of this type of film will likely find it more than worth their while, because it has many of the elements -- a plot by insidious Arabs, a beauteous enemy maiden who switches allegiances, a hero ready and able to overcome all odds to prove victorious, all in settings with heaps of sands and exoticism -- that are part and parcel of the genre. But those not already inclined toward such films will likely wish Desert had a bit more to it, thanks to a script that, while it touches all the necessary bases, doesn't provide much that is fresh. Still, the screenplay does provide director Lesley Selander with ample opportunity for action sequences, which he handles with real flair. He also seems to have a genuine fondness for some of the creakier twists of the plot, so even if the material itself is not fresh, his approach breathes some life into it. Ralph Meeker is appropriately stalwart without being stiff, John Carradine is deliciously oily, and Maria English has a gaze that simply sizzles. Not great cinema, but a fun enough time