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Beau Geste (1939 film)

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Genre  Action, Adventure, Drama
Sequel  Beau Geste
Country  United States
7.9/10 IMDb

Director  William A. Wellman
Prequel  Beau Geste
Language  English
Beau Geste (1939 film) movie poster
Release date  August 2, 1939 (1939-08-02) (United States)
Based on  Beau Geste  by P. C. Wren
Writer  Robert Carson (screen play), Percival Christopher Wren (based on the novel by)
Cast  Gary Cooper (Michael 'Beau' Geste), Ray Milland (John Geste), Robert Preston (Digby Geste), Brian Donlevy (Sgt. Markoff), Susan Hayward (Isobel Rivers), J. Carrol Naish (Rasinoff)
Similar movies  Gone In Sixty Seconds, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Defiance, Straight Outta Compton, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, The Client

Beau geste trailer 1939

Beau Geste is a 1939 Paramount Pictures action/adventure motion picture starring Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy, and Susan Hayward.


Beau Geste (1939 film) movie scenes

Directed and produced by William A. Wellman, the screenplay was adapted by Robert Carson, based on the 1924 novel of the same title by P. C. Wren. The music score was by Alfred Newman and cinematography was by Theodor Sparkuhl and Archie Stout.

Beau Geste (1939 film) movie scenes

The film is a virtual scene-for-scene remake of the 1926 silent version of the same title starring Ronald Colman. This is probably the best known adaptation.

Beau Geste (1939 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters1119p1119p

Beau Geste is the first movie that features as many as four Academy Award winners for Best Actor/Best Actress in a Leading Role (Cooper, Milland, Hayward, and Broderick Crawford) prior to any of them receiving the award.

Beau Geste (1939 film) Beau Geste 1939

beau geste 1939 trailer vo


Beau Geste (1939 film) Beau Geste 1939

The film opens up with a company of French Foreign Legionaries approaching a desert fort in the Sahara. From a distance the fort appears occupied with flag flying, but upon closer inspection the garrison consists of dead men propped up behind the parapets. However a single shot is fired from inside and an officer and a bugler from the relief column climb the outer wall to investigate. They separate and the bugler goes missing. The officer finds two bodies that are not staged like the rest and a note on one admitting to the stealing of a valuable sapphire called the "Blue Water". After the officer leaves the fort to rejoin his legionaries waiting outside, fire suddenly spreads through the building.

Beau Geste (1939 film) Old Hollywood Films The Essential Films of 1939 Beau Geste

Fifteen years earlier, Lady Brandon (Heather Thatcher), wife of absent spendthrift Sir Hector Brandon, and the three adopted Geste brothers, "Beau" (Gary Cooper), Digby (Robert Preston) and John (Ray Milland), her ward Isobel Rivers (Susan Hayward), and estate heir Augustus Brandon are introduced. Almost fifteen years pass showing them as young adults. They learn that Sir Hector Brandon intends to sell the "Blue Water," leaving nothing left for the estate, the children and Lady Brandon. At Beau's request, the gem is brought out for one last look when suddenly the lights go out and the jewel disappears. All present proclaim their innocence, but first Beau and then Digby depart without warning, each leaving a confession that he committed the robbery. John reluctantly parts from his beloved Isobel and goes after his brothers.

Beau Geste (1939 film) Beau Geste film by Wellman 1939 Britannicacom

John discovers that they have joined the French Foreign Legion, so he travels to Paris and enlists as well. They are trained by the sadistic Sergeant Markoff (Brian Donlevy). Markoff finds out about the theft from his informant Rasinoff (J. Carrol Naish), who overhears joking remarks by the Geste brothers. Rasinoff convinces Markoff that Beau is hiding the gem.

Beau Geste (1939 film) Beau Geste 1939 film Alchetron The Free Social Encyclopedia

Markoff arranges to divide the brothers. Beau and John are part of a detachment sent to man isolated Fort Zinderneuf. When the commander Lieutenant Martin dies from a fever, Markoff assumes command. Fearing the sergeant's now-unchecked brutality, legionnaire Schwartz (Albert Dekker) incites the other men to mutiny the next morning; only Beau, John, and Maris (Stanley Andrews) refuse to take part, out of loyalty to the Legion rather than to the hated Markoff. However, Markoff is tipped off by Voison (Harold Huber) and disarms the would-be mutineers while they are sleeping.

The next morning, Markoff orders Beau and John to execute the ringleaders, but they refuse. Before Markoff can do anything, the fort is attacked by Tuaregs. The initial assault is beaten off, but after each new attack, there are fewer defenders. Markoff props up the corpses at their posts to make it look as if there are still plenty of soldiers left. The final attack is repulsed, but Beau is shot, leaving Markoff and John the only men left standing.

Markoff sends John to get bread and wine. He searches Beau's body and finds a small pouch and two letters. When John sees what Markoff has done, he draws his bayonet, giving Markoff the excuse to shoot the only witness to his theft. However, Beau is not yet dead and manages to spoil Markoff's aim, allowing John to stab him. John and Beau hear a bugle announcing the arrival of reinforcements, Digby among them. Beau expires in his brother's arms after telling him to take one of the letters to Lady Brandon and leave the other, a confession of the robbery, in Markoff's hand. John escapes unseen by the relief column.

Digby volunteers to find out why there is no response from the fort. He discovers Beau's body and, remembering his oft-expressed wish, gives him a Viking funeral. He places Beau on a cot, with a "dog" (Markoff) at his feet, and sets fire to the barracks. Then he too deserts.

He finds John outside the fort. Later, two American friends (played by Broderick Crawford and Charles Barton) also desert, and together, they begin the long journey home. Desperate for water, they find an oasis, but it is occupied by a large band of tribesman. Digby tricks them into fleeing by sounding a bugle to signal a charge by non-existent Legionnaires, but he is killed by a parting shot.

John returns home. Lady Brandon reads Beau's letter, which reveals that Beau stole the gem because he knew it was a fake. Lady Brandon had sold the real one years before, and Beau wanted to protect her. As a child, he was hiding in a suit of armor and witnessed the transaction (which is shown in a flashback near the beginning of the film).


  • Gary Cooper as Michael "Beau" Geste
  • Ray Milland as John Geste
  • Robert Preston as Digby Geste
  • Brian Donlevy as Sergeant Markoff
  • Susan Hayward as Isobel Rivers
  • J. Carrol Naish as Rasinoff
  • Albert Dekker as Schwartz
  • Broderick Crawford as Hank Miller
  • Charles Barton as Buddy McMonigal
  • James Stephenson as Major Henri de Beaujolais, commander of the relief column
  • Heather Thatcher as Lady Patricia Brandon
  • James Burke as Lieutenant Dufour
  • G. P. Huntley Jr. as Augustus Brandon
  • Harold Huber as Voisin
  • Donald O'Connor as Beau as a child
  • Billy Cook as John as a child
  • Martin Spellman as Digby as a child
  • Ann Gillis as Isobel as a child
  • David Holt as Augustus as a child, a despised playmate
  • Harvey Stephens as Lieutenant Martin
  • Stanley Andrews as Maris
  • Harry Woods as Renoir, a Legionnaire deserter
  • Arthur Aylesworth as Renault, another deserter
  • Henry Brandon as Renouf
  • Barry Macollum as Krenke
  • Ronald R. Rondell as Bugler
  • Release

    The film was banned in parts of Canada out of respect for the French government. It has a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Award nominations

    Brian Donlevy was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film.

    Gone With the Wind

    According to the documentary The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind, the much-awaited Civil War spectacular was first shown, without prior knowledge of the audience (and without finished credits or music), in a small theater that was supposed to be showing Beau Geste.


    Beau Geste (1939 film) Wikipedia
    Beau Geste (1939 film) IMDbBeau Geste (1939 film) Rotten TomatoesBeau Geste (1939 film)

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