March or Die

Synopsis: Foreign Legion Major Foster (Hackman), an American haunted by his memories of the recently-ended Great War, is assigned to protect a group of archaeologists at their dig. Foster's unit includes the charming, thieving rascal Marco (Hill), who joined the Legion only to avoid prison. After long stretches portraying the boredom and hardship of day-to-day life in the Legion, Foster's command occupies a small village where the archaeologists believe they've found a burial site sacred to the Arabs. An Arab leader (Holm) uses this affront to unite the tribes in Jihad, and attacks the tiny Legion garrison at the dig. An epic battle follows, very reminiscent of the film "Zulu". Costumes, firearms, and props are all very authentic-looking, and show great attention to detail.
Genre: Adventure, Drama, War
Director(s): Dick Richards
Production: Columbia Pictures
107 min

French Foreign Legion, move out!

Present arms!

Right turn!

Sling arms!



Arise, children of the Fatherland

The day of glory has arrived!

Against us tyranny's

Bloody banner is raised

Bloody banner is raised

Do you hear, in the countryside

The roar of those ferocious soldiers?

They're coming right into your arms

To cut the throats of your sons, your women!

To arms, citizens

Form your battalions

Let's march!

Let's march!

Let an impure blood

Soak our fields!

If you're join the French Foreign Legion,

remember, there are no questions ask.

Come, join the Legion.

You're free to go with us now.

What do you think?

Why not? We've lost.

We've nothing to go home too.

Dumb off!

What did he do?

He's a jewel thief.

In Riviera, this cat burglar is famous.

Is not right, gypsy?

It took us three years to

catch up with him, but we got him.

Do I look like a criminal?

Not to me. Maurice,

does he look like a criminal to you?

Not to me.

- And you?

- No.

- And you?

- No.

- And you?

- No.

- And you?

- No.

He looks like a general to me.

All right.

Don't let him escape! Gendarme!

For he's a jolly good fellow

For he's a jolly good fellow

For he's a jolly good fellow

Which nobody can deny

Which nobody can deny

Which nobody can deny

For he's a jolly good fellow

For he's a jolly good fellow

For he's a jolly good fellow

Which nobody can deny

Which nobody can deny

Which nobody can deny

Who is this, sweetheart?

I thought there were not questions asked.

Your jokes with your friends, not with me.

He's a Russian. He has a special

desire to join the Legion.

After he doing what?

After getting drunk,

brake two cafes in Montmartre,

and sending four men to hospital.

It's that all?

And the only other commanding officer

alive beside yourself, who...

served in Morocco, Major Fresson,

already on his way to Martinique.

There is no other choice.

With his respect, Minister,

may I introduce, Major Foster.

Colonel. How do you do?

Major Foster, this is Monsieur Marneau,

who is charges of the North Africa

Department of the Louvre.

Messieurs, coming along. Sit down, please.

Did you brief Major Foster, Colonel?

Yes, sir.

Minister, the excavations at Erfoud...

have been closed at start of the war.

May I ask why we took

to reopen onself to resume?

Already in September I could

sense the end of the war.

Interesting you could sense

the end of the war in September.

My men in their trenches...

They never could.

Major Foster, please.

Your Excellency, I have devoted my life

to enhancing France's prestige...

as the cultural center of the world.

Not only for our pleasure or education,

but also for the vast sums

of money these treasures create.

At the cost of a Legion company.

And two archaeologists.

That's the price, Major.

The treasure at Erfoud is priceless.

Not to me.

Monsieur Marneau,

exactly what was there at Erfoud?

A city,

which has been covered by the desert

sands for almost three thousand years.

Where the Berber "Joan of Arc" is buried.

They call her, "The Angel of the Desert."

And legend has it, that entombed with her...

is an incalculable fortune

in gold and jewels,

which is most certainly worth far

more than what France just spent...

to win the war.

Excuse me.

But are you certain the treasure is there?


Finding is just the matter

pains digging excavation,

and proper protection.

Major Foster,

you know the Arab leader?

- El Krim?

- Yes.

At the beginning of the war, Minister,

I was one of the officers that...

give him France, his word,

that the excavation would not

resume without his consent.

Do you think you can control him?

I could reason with him.

I could try to kill him.

But no body can control him.

Perhaps Monsieur Marneau acted he's steal it.

That can not be undone.

His objectives are solid.

Let the excavations continue.

After all, we fought for four terrible years,

finally humiliating the German empire.

Minister, I'm sorry.

Would you please excuse me?

- Monsieur.

- Colonel.

Good day, Colonel.

Sit down.

We can certainly risk a few legionnaires...

for benefit of France.

After all, they are mostly foreigners.

Don't do that.

Sit down.

Are you Moroccan?

I was in Morocco for 12 years.

Do you know what the trenches?

I dug trenches all over Europe.

I ate in them, and I slept in them.

I should have been a general in the US Army.

I was named after a general, William Sherman.

Slap it off the lamp?


Do you please, sir?

Yes, that's right.

The Legion is my army now.

Not the vaunted army of America.

Those bastards threw me out.

All I did was tell them

what I thought of them.

I should've been there actually.


I join the legion because I miss the war.

I exactly told my parents I

was going on a holiday to see...

the battlefields. And they'll

be furious when they find out.

This is the first time I

haven't travels first class.

You look like a man who

travels first class.

Not truly.

Hey, Triand,

how's Foster?

Doesn't he know?

Foster saved Triand from a life

sentence in the criminal colony.

Triand struck an officer who

killed a legionare for no reason.

Let me, Sergeant.

Major Foster,

Monsieur Marneau, Monsieur Mollard,

may I introduce you to Madame Picard.

An American in the French Foreign Legion?


That's why they call it

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David Zelag Goodman

David Zelag Goodman was a playwright and screenwriter for both TV and film. His most prolific period was from the 1960s to the early 1980s. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Lovers and Other Strangers, though he did not win. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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