I enjoyed Sahara for what it is - a classic propaganda film emphasizing teamwork, equality, and happy endings. Beyond that it had little meaning to me, mainly because this story has been told a million times and frankly I am sick of seeing the same film over and over! However, I give Sahara more credit than I would otherwise because of it's age and the fact that it was done well. Anyway, on to the assignment...
3) The film follows an unrealistically diverse group of Allied men banding together against the Germans. Sounds like a pretty empowering, patriotic story right? It is! Unfortunately it was just a BIT more patriotic than our country was at the time, as segregation was still very real for the United States Army. Cute story; not quite reality. If I was an adventurous young man alive during this time and I went to go see this film, the illusion presented would definitely soften up a part of my heart to the U.S. Army, and I might feel so patriotic that I would go enlist. This sense of patriotism is exactly what the OWI wanted in Hollywood's films at the time, which is why whites and blacks are fighting side by side in Sahara. If this film portrayed the truth, the black man wouldn't have a Spanish prisoner or be fighting the Germans alongside the very white Humphrey Bogart, but might be imprisoned with the Spaniard and the German for being found without an apron on, alone in the desert. This could have turned some American filmgoers away from the army, which of course was unacceptable at the time. As for a lack of women in the story, this was very realistic. Women didn't fight in the army, and this didn't detract from the film's persuasive purposes for me. It added a sense of realism. Bogart comparing the tank on a couple occasions to a woman brought me in as if I was there with them, dreaming and longing for my girl back home. Well done.
- Andrew Probelski