The Desert Hawk 1950 in Technicolor

Now this is just perfect early fifties – just what we loved. The Desert Hawk fits that early fifties style so well. It is a Romantic story with action and wonderful costumes and sets – and it is in glorious Technicolor – never bettered !! Yvonne de Carlo stars as Princess Scheherazade and Richard Greene as Omar, the Desert Hawk. By day he is a humble blacksmith, but by night he becomes The Desert Hawk battling against the oppressive regime of Prince Murad (George Macready).
One of the Hawk’s tactics is to trick Scheherazade into marriage, so that he can enlist the aid of the army commanded by the Princess’ father. Murad retaliates by kidnapping Scheherazade, leading to an exciting climactic rescue. Look out for all the film stars in the supporting cast.
Playing the villainous Captain Ras is none other than Rock Hudson, while the Desert Hawk’s loyal companions Aladdin and Sinbad are played, respectively, by Jackie Gleason and Joe Besser
Besser gives a genuinely impressive performance, with some dramatic ability. In one scene Besser as Sinbad is put into a torture device (a vertical form of the rack), and stretched unmercifully.
This was certainly and early outing for Rock Hudson who at that time was just a whisker away from international stardom
In this film he plays a villain though whereas in a short time he would have the lead in ‘Magnificent Obsession’ which was a real hit
The Desert Hawk 1950

Universal bought the story in January 1950. The film was intended to be a vehicle for Yvonne de Carlo. Douglas Fairbanks Jr was sought for the male lead but that role eventually went to Richard Greene, returning to Hollywood after two years in Britain. Jackie Gleason signed to play a comic support role. Universal contract player Rock Hudson, who had just impressed in Winchester 73, was also cast.

Yvonne De Carlo must have been one of Universal’s top stars at this time
The Desert Hawk 1950
Richard Greene was back in Hollywood I think he was still married to Patricia Medina at that time but not for much longer
Richard was approaching the time that he found TV success both sides of the Atlantic with the excellent ‘Robin Hood’
The Desert Hawk 1950
Yvonne’s 3 handmaidens were all beautiful, but one in particular, Anne Cramer, looked very much like her. Anne must have been a fascinating person. Later, she attained a PhD in film technology,, and another in literature. She was employed through the years in various aspects of film production – and then switched to psychoanalysis in her retirement years.
The ending is really interesting, when Yvonne and Omar meet after the big battle in ‘The Palace of 1000 Pleasures’, with Omar in chains.

Yvonne holds all the cards at this time, and heaps psychological vengeance on Omar, telling him that he may be whipped with 100 lashes, or put on the rack.. Then, she rapidly changes her attitude, to bring him some very good news.

During this time, Omar makes some general comments about women: “Be she wench or princess, a woman is only a woman, and always needs a master”. Then he must have thought better of it and came out with “A man should never argue with a woman”.

It’s a almost fairy tale and very much romanticised and Hollywoodised but with above all spectacular clothing and fencing scenes. Almost like a Douglas Fairbanks and Rudolph Valentino film set in that fantasy world of highly romantic splendour.

Richard Greene as the Desert Hawk is just a dashing adventurer like any pirate – and this is a part he was perfect for – Yvonne de Carlo as the princess.

The colours are also magnificent throughout, this is a dashing costume drama of great swashbuckling and a dazzling extravagance of costumes all the way, and Frank Skinner’s music is first rate.

Great colourful entertainment

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