Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Escape in the Desert is a thinly disguised remake of The Petrified Forest (1936), updated with a WW II angle. Cynical Dutch pilot Philip Artveld (Philip Dorn) pays a visit to the American desert before being shipped off to the Front. He wanders into a lonely inn, where he befriends starry-eyed watiress Jane (Jean Sullivan). Before long, Philip, Jane, and several other innocent bystanders find themselves being held captive by a group of escaped German POWS, led by Captain Becker (Helmut Dantine). The existentialist philosophy of the original Robert E. Sherwood play is replaced with a great deal of Nazified prattle and All-American flagwaving, with misplaced moments of comedy relief from Alan Hale and Irene Manning. While Petrified Forest is regarded as a classic, Escape in the Desert is generally dismissed as a contrived propaganda piece.
bad-guy, barnstorming, diner, escape, good-guy, group, hidden, hitchhiker, MIA (Missing in Action), military, motel, Nazism, Pacific-Ocean, prison, propaganda, responsibility, Yankee [Northerner], desert