Fort Saganne

Synopsis: French civilization in the desert. Saganne is of peasant stock, with courage and a forceful will. In 1911, he volunteers and is posted to the Sahara under the aristocratic Colonel Dubreuilh. He catches the eye of Madeline, the daughter of the regional administrator. In the desert, Saganne is a leader, with the respect of Arabs, including Amajan, an independent warrior. After resourceful campaigns, Saganne goes on a diplomatic mission to Paris, where he has an affair with a journalist. Back in Africa, he leads a gallant defense against Sultan Omar, is awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, and marries Madeline. Then the Great War puts at risk his success and happiness.
Genre: Drama, History, War
180 min

What are you doing here?

Beat it!


Charles. Charles.

Come this way.

It's not polite

to peek into people's homes.

July 1911



Dad's waiting for us.

Mom would be proud.

It's ours now.

Not just yet.

Tired already?

Dad, I've done some thinking.

Your "tropical" farming...

- Electrical!

- Right, electrical.

You'll spend all your money

and go into debt

for a risky venture.


Yes, risky.


It's the future, I'm telling you.

Stop it, Dad!

I want Lucien to graduate

from the military academy.

And the house's

not fully paid for yet.

It will be our house.

End your contract in Madagascar

and come back.

Charles, you're a pain.

I'm not ready to retire.

Am I stopping you from going

to the freaking Sahara?

Go bury your career in the sand!

You're free!

You tell me that?

After ending my studies to put me

in stupid military schools?

If you two keep arguing,

I'll take the next train back!

We hardly spend any time


When are you going?

I'm sailing out from Marseille

in three days.

You're just like me.

You need space.

Ahmed! The pivots!

Easy, easy!

Keep in line!

Look to the left!

Boot to boot, damn it!

Sorry I kept you waiting.

My respects, Mr. Minister.

So, your Bedouins are rebelling?

What's the word again?


- I'm leaving this morning.

- I know.

That's why the President

requested my presence.

The President?

He's interested in nomads now.

Maybe the Republic has finally realized

my Bedouins are also hers...

The Republic has been good to you.

The Sahara is all yours.

Your powers are limitless.

You can't complain because the Republic

has given you carte blanche.

Come this way.

You'll do our President a favor

for a lady cousin of his.

Beware, Saganne.

Her father is a De Saint-Ilette.

Her mother's a cousin

of the President's.

She's stupid but also cruel.

You're scaring them, Saganne.

But you have nothing to lose.

They won't accept you

unless you die for them.

Then they make you a hero.

They allowed you to be an officer,

you, with your big paws.

Ever wondered why, peasant boy?

- Only to use you.

- Let them use me!

I don't care about their daughter.

I don't care about anything.

I've been buried

in this hole for six months.

I see..."The call of the Sahara"

and all that...

Speaking of which,

"His majesty" Dubreuilh

- is coming for a visit.

- Colonel Dubreuilh?

- I thought he was in France.

- He's rushing back.

The once friendly tribes have fled.

Things are heating up.

- When is he coming?

- Next Wednesday.

We're in for a big barbecue

at the chief's

with everyone all dressed up!

Let me show him

my men and my horses.

I want him

to take me with him.

You're some guy.

When I see you like this...

I almost want to live.

Saber in hand!


In a single line!

So that's him?



The French girl!

Get off this horse.

- Let me be.

- Madeleine, get off the horse.

Are you happy now?

Let go of my daughter!

Fine specimens.

If they have kids, keep one for me.

Colonel, a family's fate

is in your hands.

Father, humanity's fate

is in God's hands. Excuse me.

Keep spreading God's word.

The world needs it.

Lieutenant Saganne, Sir!


I dislike masquerades.

The army is not a circus.

It's time you learned

and I mean to teach you.

You're leaving

tomorrow at 5:
00 a.m.

I'm taking you with me,

south to Hodh.

That'll be it.


I made this for you.

I don't want to eat.

I don't want to sleep.

He'll be back.

I don't want to live

without him.

He'll be back.

"Dear Lucien,

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Alain Corneau

Alain Corneau (7 August 1943 – 30 August 2010) was a French film director and writer. Corneau was born in Meung-sur-Loire, Loiret. Originally a musician, he worked with Costa-Gavras as an assistant, which was also his first opportunity to work with the actor Yves Montand, with whom he would collaborate three times later in his career, including Police Python 357 (1976) and La Menace (1977). He directed Gérard Depardieu in the screen adaptation of Tous les matins du monde in 1991. Corneau died in Paris on 30 August 2010 from cancer, aged 67 and was interred at Père Lachaise Cemetery. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Fort Saganne" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 May 2020. <>.

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