Published on October 12th, 2009 | by Chris2
March or Die (1977)
The French Foreign Legion. Last refuge of scoundrels, criminals, and scumbags left over from the first world war. At least that's what 1977's March or Die would have you believe.
American and Legion Major William Sherman Foster (Gene Hackman) is tasked with protecting a French archaeological expidition in Erfeud. The problem is, that he's the one who brokered the peace in the first place with the Arab leader, El Krim (Ian Holm). Another problem is that the peace no longer exists, as the location was attacked by the Arabs and 100+ Legionnaires killed.
Well, throw in a minor diversionary love interest (Catherine Deneuve) for the scoundrel-iest new recruit, Marco (Terence Hill), the usual civilan vs. military tension between Foster and the expedition leader Mameau (Max von Sydow)... the usual comeraderie amongst men vibe... and you've really got an under-rated picture.
If there's a down side to March or Die, it maybe takes itself a bit seriously at times. The ending, in particular, is so cliched, but it mostly works. I dunno. I can't find a whole lot of bad things to say about it. Why this picture has flown under my radar for so long I'm not sure!
The only way to get a hold of this film currently is as a "double feature" bargain bin DVD with "The Domino Principle", or via Netflix and/or Instant Watch. I saw it on my Roku Netflix Player and the delivery was adequate, if maybe an older 4:3 "for TV" copy of the movie...
Here's a bit of the film towards the end... looks like the whole thing is on YouTube. Go Figure.
Summary: The French Foreign Legion. Last refuge of scoundrels, criminals, and scumbags left over from the first world war.