Film Noir and adventure in the South African desert. Rope of Sand is one of the 10 best adventure movies I've ever seen. Everything is perfect here. Sooner or later, William Dieterle will be rediscovered, don't be the last one to be aware of it. Masterpiece.
There is no denying that Dietrele was a gifted filmmaker. For the most part, however, he was a gifted director of what might generously be called middling material. Worked a ton. Reliable dude. And we have some supreme acting wattage on display here: Burt Lancaster, Claude Rains, Pete Lorre. Shazam! However, we also have Corinne Calvet giving what has to be one of the most comically awful performances of the era.
Lancaster, Rains, Henreid, and Lorre. All provide excellent performances but the plot is meh. It is shapeless. They tried Casablanca but ended up with a mess. Also there are a couple of scenes that feel like continuity errors, especially during the fight in the sand.