Article #717 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-2-2003
Posting Date: 7-30-2003
Directed by Albert Lewin
Featuring Cornel Wilde, Mel Ferrer, Rita Gam
A French doctor plying his trade in Morocco falls for a girl named Saadia.
If the above description fails to contain any information to explain why this movie falls within the purview of a survey of fantastic cinema, there’s a reason; though there are elements here that are often found in horror films (specifically, the presence of a witch who is jealous of the doctor’s success in both taking away her trade and the companionship of Saadia, and her attempts to lay a curse on him), the movie only uses these elements to point up a recurring theme of the power of the mind to overcome limitations of the body, and the movie never falls into real horror territory. The movie doesn’t appear to be well loved, probably due to the fact that it is very subdued, almost somnambulent at times. It does have a nice sense of exotic culture in the colorful locations and the dancing and singing of the natives, but you really need to be in a pretty patient laid-back mood to enjoy it, and even then, it never really becomes anything more than a fair movie. In short, this is highly marginal and not required viewing.