SAHARA—-not the classic 1943 Bogart actioner or the dud 2005 adventure with Matthew McConaughey, but the awful 1983 Brooke Shields wanker directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, a massive egg-laying that cracked $25,000,000 and scrambled a runny $1,403,000.
Not a bad premise: a cross-desert auto race set in 1927; vintage cars, exotic bad guys, romance, etc. But Brooke is up a creek as the heroine. McLaglen had recently bollixed up another period adventure, The Sea Wolves—and that had Gregory Peck, David Niven and Trevor Howard to tackle his fumbling.
Shields efforts at emoting—one critic snarked that she was as expressive as lint—are backed by Lambert Wilson, Horst Buchholz, John Rhys-Davies (“get me that HEARTY guy! You know, that guy that’s always HEARTY!”), Ronald Lacy, Cliff Potts and Perry Lang. “And John Mills” (what the hell?) “And Steve Forrest”. It says something that Steve Forrest (TVs S.W.A.T. ) is allowed the extra “and ” billing—after John Mills, yet—but then the producer of this dopiness was the shame-free Menahem Golan, who trumpeted that Shields would win an Oscar for it. Isn’t the World supposed to end at 4:00 on the 16th?
Credit must go to the saps who were running across the sand dunes, holding leashes on a black panther and a leopard. “Not my job.” Tag line: “She challenged the desert, its men, their passions and ignited a bold adventure.” 111 minutes worth. To be fair, apparently a now-grown segment of the Little Girl demographic hold fond memories of this from Childhoods Past, so what the heck….