Under Two Flags


1h 45m 1936

Brief Synopsis

Sergeant Victor comes to the French Foreign Legion after taking the blame for his brother's crime. Cigarette falls in love with him though Major Doyle is in love with her. Doyle sends Victor on dangerous assignments to be rid of him. He falls in love with Lady Venetia Cunningham, a visitor to the garrison.

Film Details

Release Date
May 1, 1936
Premiere Information
New York opening: 30 Apr 1936
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Under Two Flags by Ouida (London, 1867).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10,039ft (12 reels)

Synopsis

At the turn of the century in southern Algeria, a French Algerian cafe hostess named Cigarette, whom British Major L. C. Doyle wants to marry, flirts with Corporal Victor, who saved his convoy from an attack by the rebel chieftain Sidi-Ben Youssiff, but Victor ignores her. After Victor is promoted to sergeant, he sees Cigarette try to swindle a British officer in a horse deal and wagers a bottle of wine to a kiss that he can beat Cigarette racing. After he wins, Victor further antagonizes Cigarette by offering his horse for her to kiss. She then rides into the desert, he follows, they kiss and she confesses her love for him. Victor meets Lady Venetia Cunningham, the niece of the British commissioner, and after showing her the Arab village, he invites her late at night to a nearby oasis. Although she initially refuses, she arrives later and spends the night with him, while Cigarette, greatly upset, waits up all night. After chieftain Ben Hamidou, who sides with the British, is murdered by chieftains loyal to Sidi-Ben Youssiff, war is declared. Before the troops leave, Victor learns that Lady Venetia is the niece of the visiting Lord Seraph. Worried that Lord Seraph will recognize the little wooden horse which Victor gave Lady Venetia, Victor sneaks into Lady Venetia's room to retrieve it. They confess their love for each other, but Victor reveals that he will be sent to prison if he returns to England. Meanwhile, Doyle, now a colonel, learns that Cigarette, who jealousy witnessed Victor and Lady Venetia's goodbye kiss, loves Victor. After the battalion leaves, Lord Seraph discovers the wooden horse and tells Lady Venetia that the horse was once given to him by Rafe Brett, a popular officer who disappeared after taking the blame for an accident committed by his younger brother, and who since has been cleared completely. Lady Venetia confronts Cigarette, and learning that Doyle has been sending Victor on extremely dangerous missions to get him killed, she asks Cigarette to save him. She refuses, knowing that Victor loves Lady Venetia. Meanwhile, Doyle, uncomfortable with his actions against Victor, orders his battalion to rescue Victor and his men. During a battle, Doyle is shot in the shoulder, and afterward, with the battalion surrounded, Victor tells him that he does not love Cigarette. After Victor meets with Sidi-Ben Youssiff to stall for time, Cigarette brings French troops to attack, and during the battle she is shot. As she dies in Victor's arms, he says he will always remember their day in the desert and kisses her. The revolt is prevented, and Cigarette is given an honored burial at the post.

Cast

Ronald Colman

Sergeant Victor, [earlier known as Rafe Brett]

Claudette Colbert

Cigarette

Victor Mclaglen

Major [L. C.] Doyle

Rosalind Russell

Lady Venetia Cunningham

Gregory Ratoff

Ivan

Nigel Bruce

Captain Menzies

C. Henry Gordon

Lieutenant Petaine

Herbert Mundin

Rake

John Carradine

Cafard

Lumsden Hare

Lord Seraph

J. Edward Bromberg

Colonel Ferol

Onslow Stevens

Sidi-Ben Youssiff

Fritz Leiber

French governor

Thomas Beck

Pierre

William Ricciardi

Cigarette's father

Frank Reicher

French general

Francis Mcdonald

Husson

Harry Semels

Sergeant Malinas

Nicholas Soussanin

Levine

Douglas Gerrard

Colonel Farley

Tor Johnson

Bidou

Gwendolen Logan

Lady Cairn

George Regas

Keskerdit

Hans Von Morhart

Hans

Jamiel Hasson

Arab liaison officer

Jack Pennick

Corporal Vaux

Gaston Glass

Adjutant

Frank Lackteen

Ben Hamidou

Marc Lawrence

Grivon

Rolfe Sedan

Mouche

Eugene Borden

Villon

Harry Worth

Dinant

Tony Merlo

Cartouche

Alex Palasthy

Hotel manager

Jack Wagner

Sergeant

Maurice Brierre

Sergeant

Karl Hackett

Orderly

Jean De Briac

Guard of honor

Rosita Harlan

Ivan's girl

Jacques Vanaire

Wounded soldier

Fred Malatesta

Chasseur lieutenant

George Jackson

Sentry

Andre Cuyas

Sentry

Juan Duval

Sentry

Carl De Loro

Arab in coffee shop and rider

Joe Sawoya

Arab in coffee shop and rider

John George

Arab boy

Tofik Mickey

Arab merchant

Hector Sarno

Arab merchant

B. Martinez

Arab merchant

Joe Dominguez

Arab horse buyer and wounded Arab robber

Dave Dunbar

Officer chausseur

Albert Pollet

Officer chausseur

Jack Gallagher

Chausseur

Al Thompson

Chausseur

Ray Jones

Chausseur

Rex Richards

Chausseur bugler

George Ducount

Soldier of the 17th co.

William Mccormick

Soldier of the 17th co.

Stubby Kruger

Soldier of the 17th co.

Ralph Banks

Soldier of the 17th co.

Harry Dean

Soldier of the 17th co.

Coit Albertson

Soldier of the 17th co.

Gino Corrado

Soldier of the 17th co.

Jack Kenny

Soldier of the 17th co.

Earl "hap" Hogan

Soldier of the 17th co.

Mason Litson

Soldier of the 17th co.

Chauncey Pyle

Soldier of the 17th co.

Charles Drubin

Soldier of the 17th co.

Karma Faris

Arab leader

George Sowards

Spike Spackman

Dick Hunter

Frank Cordell

Johnnie Eckert

Julius Cesena

A. Massih

Robert Burns

Sergei Arabeloff

Ed Warren

Cliff Smith

H. Better

James C. Lowry

Louis Carmon

Scoop Martin

Charles Haefeli

Cecil Kellogg

Robert Walker

Theodore Schalin

W. Skiff

Mike Domit

Andrew Mckenna

Nick Shaid

S. Barbar

Jack Kirk

Archie Butler

Neal Hart

John Judd

Lee Powell

Frank Gusky

Joseph B. Kerrick

Lloyd Saunders

Frank Ellis

Vinegar Roan

Whitey Sovern

Bob Dyer

Joe Flores

Lieutenant George Blagoi

Richard Clark

Tyrone Brereton

Art Dupuis

Jim Thorpe

Bill Gillis

Charles B. Griffin

Bill Hurley

Larry Dodds

Bill Wilson

Dave Kashner

Pete Mckenna

A. Ghandour

George David

Sam Abed

Charlie Abraham

S. Nahas

N. Badran

Joseph Abed

Joseph Sabbah

Abdullah Abbas

Jim Hanah

Sam Aboud

Tom Abdo

E. Faysal

J. A. Reshaw

Antony E. Michael

A. F. Zauhire

K. Haggar

Ahmad Joseph

Abraham Mohamed

Kassin Alli

Mohamed Barada

Mahmood Alei

Fred Hakim

Nousa Ahmed

Peter Totah

Joe Rogers

Tommy Brown

Crew

Joseph Aiken

Sound

Dave Anderson

Gaffer

Don Anderson

2nd Camera

Hilda Anderson

Wardrobe

Clarence Baker

Props

Joe Balch

Double for Mr. McLaglen

Douglas Baxter

Technical Advisor

Lance Baxter

Research work

Frank Beetson

Wardrobe

Jasper Blystone

Assistant Director

Marie Brasselle

Hair

Otto Brower

Battle seqs Director

Tony Carnagle

Makeup

Slip Carruth

Sound Effects

Eldo Chrysler

Assistant art Director

James B. Clark

Assistant cutter

Steve Clemente

Knife-thrower

D. L. Daniels

Cable man

W. R. Daniels

Assistant Sound

William Darling

Art Director

Glenn Delfino

Props

Ralph Dietrich

Film Editor

Ed. Ebele

Production Manager

A. F. Erickson

Assistant Director

Walter Ferris

Screenwriter

Lee Frederic

Screenplay clerk

Aline Goodwin

Riding and falling double for Miss Colbert

Charles Graham

Best boy

Raymond Griffith

Associate Producer

Ed Hammeras

Process Photographer

Jamiel Hasson

Technical Advisor

Roger Heman

Sound

Sid Jordan

Horseman

Harry Kernell

Wardrobe

W. P. Lipscomb

Screenwriter

Thomas Little

Settings

Robert Mack

Assistant Camera

Cliff Maupin

Still Photographer

Booth Mccracken

Assistant Director on battle seq

Jack Mcedwards

Assistant Director

V. L. Mcfadden

Prod crew

Bess Meredyth

Contr to Screenplay const

Mickey Meyers

Wardrobe

Sidney D. Mitchell

Composer

Paul Mohn

Assistant Camera

Phillip Moore

Casting Department

Ray Moore

Loc Manager

William Murphy

Editor Assistant

Dick Narr

Makeup

Pluma Noisom

Stand-in for Miss Colbert

Red O'hara

Insert car

Al Orenbach

Set Dresser

Jack Padjan

Riding double for Mr. McLaglen

Ernest Palmer

Photography

Jack Percy

Grip

Lew Pollack

Composer

Allen Rivkin

Additional Dialogue

Harry Roberts

Boom man

Buddy Roosevelt

Riding and falling double for Mr. Colman

Kent Sanderson

Stand-in for Mr. Colman

Ad Schaumer

Assistant Director

Joseph M. Schenck

Presented By

Fred Sersen

Special Effects

Rog Sherman

Assistant Camera

Louis Silvers

Music Director

Ben Silvey

Unit Manager

George Starkey

Props

Carl Stecker

Camel man

Otto Steiger

Technical Advisor

Joe Thompson

Props

Sidney Wagner

Battle seqs Photographer

Gwen Wakeling

Costumes

Jack Wells

Editor Assistant

Darryl F. Zanuck

Company

Film Details

Release Date
May 1, 1936
Premiere Information
New York opening: 30 Apr 1936
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Under Two Flags by Ouida (London, 1867).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10,039ft (12 reels)

Articles

Marc Lawrence (1910-2005)


With his sharp glare, pockmarked cheeks, clipped speech pattern and menacing air, Marc Lawrence had certainly carved a reputation for himself as one of the screen's finest character actors for villainous roles. Lawrence, whose career was harmed by the Hollywood blacklist in the '50s, died of natural causes on November 27 at his home in Palm Springs. He was 95.

Born Max Goldsmith on February 17, 1910, in the Bronx, Lawrence had his heart set on a career in drama right out of high school. He enrolled at City College of New York to study theatre, and in 1930, he worked under famed stage actress Eva Le Gallienne. Anxious for a career in movies, Lawrence moved to Hollywood in 1932 and found work immediately as a contract player with Warner Bros. (an ideal studio for the actor since they specialized in crime dramas). He was cast as a heavy in his first film, If I Had a Million (1932). Although his first few parts were uncredited, Lawrence's roles grew more prominent: a sinister henchman in the Paul Muni vehicle in Dr. Socrates (1935); a conniving convict aiding Pat O'Brien in San Quentin (1937); a menacing thug stalking Dorothy Lamour in Johnny Apollo (1940); the shrewdly observant chauffeur in Alan Ladd's breakthrough hit This Gun For Hire (1942); and one of his most memorable roles as Ziggy, a fedora wearing mobster in the Bogart-Bacall noir classic Key Largo (1948).

Lawrence, when given the opportunity, could play against type: as the prosecuting attorney challenging Tyrone Power in Brigham Young (1940); a noble aristocrat in the Greer Garson-Walter Pidgeon period opus Blossoms in the Dust; and most impressively, as a deaf mute simpleton in the rustic drama The Shepherd of the Hills (both 1941). Better still was Lawrence's skill at comedy, where his deadpan toughness worked terrifically as a straight man against the likes of Joe E. Brown in Beware Spooks (1939); Abbott and Costello in Hit the Ice (1943); Penny Singleton in Life with Blondie (1945); and Bob Hope in My Favorite Spy (1951).

After that, Lawrence's career took a turn downward spin when he was labeled a communist sympathizer during the Hollywood witch hunts of the early '50s. He was exiled in Europe for a spell (1951-59), and when he came back, the film industry turned a blind eye to him, but television overcompensated for that. Here he played effective villains (what else?) in a series of crime caper programs: Peter Gunn, Johnny Staccato, The Untouchables, Richard Diamond, Private Detective; and eventually made a welcome return to the big screen as a returning exiled gangster in William Asher's underrated mob thriller Johnny Cool (1963).

It wasn't long before Lawrence found himself back in the fray playing in some big box-office hits over the next two decades: Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Marathon Man (1976), Foul Play (1978); and The Big Easy (1987). Sure he was cast as a gangster, but nobody could play a rough and tumble mob boss with more style or conviction.

Interestingly, one of his finest performances in recent years was in television, as a severely ill old man unwilling to accept his fate in a fourth season episode of ER (1997-98). His last screen role was just two years ago, as a nimble minded VP in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).

In 1991, Lawrence published a memoir about his venerable career, Long Time No See: Confessions of a Hollywood Gangster that received much critical acclaim. He has also developed a cult following due to his appearances in such offbeat items as From Dusk to Dawn and Pigs aka Daddy's Deadly Darling, the 1972 horror film he directed and starred in with his daughter Toni. He is survived by his wife, Alicia; two children from a previous marriage, Toni and Michael; and a stepdaughter Marina.

by Michael T. Toole
Marc Lawrence (1910-2005)

Marc Lawrence (1910-2005)

With his sharp glare, pockmarked cheeks, clipped speech pattern and menacing air, Marc Lawrence had certainly carved a reputation for himself as one of the screen's finest character actors for villainous roles. Lawrence, whose career was harmed by the Hollywood blacklist in the '50s, died of natural causes on November 27 at his home in Palm Springs. He was 95. Born Max Goldsmith on February 17, 1910, in the Bronx, Lawrence had his heart set on a career in drama right out of high school. He enrolled at City College of New York to study theatre, and in 1930, he worked under famed stage actress Eva Le Gallienne. Anxious for a career in movies, Lawrence moved to Hollywood in 1932 and found work immediately as a contract player with Warner Bros. (an ideal studio for the actor since they specialized in crime dramas). He was cast as a heavy in his first film, If I Had a Million (1932). Although his first few parts were uncredited, Lawrence's roles grew more prominent: a sinister henchman in the Paul Muni vehicle in Dr. Socrates (1935); a conniving convict aiding Pat O'Brien in San Quentin (1937); a menacing thug stalking Dorothy Lamour in Johnny Apollo (1940); the shrewdly observant chauffeur in Alan Ladd's breakthrough hit This Gun For Hire (1942); and one of his most memorable roles as Ziggy, a fedora wearing mobster in the Bogart-Bacall noir classic Key Largo (1948). Lawrence, when given the opportunity, could play against type: as the prosecuting attorney challenging Tyrone Power in Brigham Young (1940); a noble aristocrat in the Greer Garson-Walter Pidgeon period opus Blossoms in the Dust; and most impressively, as a deaf mute simpleton in the rustic drama The Shepherd of the Hills (both 1941). Better still was Lawrence's skill at comedy, where his deadpan toughness worked terrifically as a straight man against the likes of Joe E. Brown in Beware Spooks (1939); Abbott and Costello in Hit the Ice (1943); Penny Singleton in Life with Blondie (1945); and Bob Hope in My Favorite Spy (1951). After that, Lawrence's career took a turn downward spin when he was labeled a communist sympathizer during the Hollywood witch hunts of the early '50s. He was exiled in Europe for a spell (1951-59), and when he came back, the film industry turned a blind eye to him, but television overcompensated for that. Here he played effective villains (what else?) in a series of crime caper programs: Peter Gunn, Johnny Staccato, The Untouchables, Richard Diamond, Private Detective; and eventually made a welcome return to the big screen as a returning exiled gangster in William Asher's underrated mob thriller Johnny Cool (1963). It wasn't long before Lawrence found himself back in the fray playing in some big box-office hits over the next two decades: Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Marathon Man (1976), Foul Play (1978); and The Big Easy (1987). Sure he was cast as a gangster, but nobody could play a rough and tumble mob boss with more style or conviction. Interestingly, one of his finest performances in recent years was in television, as a severely ill old man unwilling to accept his fate in a fourth season episode of ER (1997-98). His last screen role was just two years ago, as a nimble minded VP in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). In 1991, Lawrence published a memoir about his venerable career, Long Time No See: Confessions of a Hollywood Gangster that received much critical acclaim. He has also developed a cult following due to his appearances in such offbeat items as From Dusk to Dawn and Pigs aka Daddy's Deadly Darling, the 1972 horror film he directed and starred in with his daughter Toni. He is survived by his wife, Alicia; two children from a previous marriage, Toni and Michael; and a stepdaughter Marina. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Simone Simon was to make her American screen debut in this movie in the role of 'Cigarette', but director 'Lloyd, Frank' demanded she be fired after two weeks of shooting because of her temperamental attitude. When she was replaced by Claudette Colbert, all Simon's footage was discarded. Knife thrower Steve Clemente was supposed to hit the post next to Ronald Colman with his knife, but the crowding caused it to be deflected and Colman was hit by the handle in the chest.

Notes

The novel originally appeared in the summer of 1867 in New London, a British military magazine, before it was published in book form in December 1867. Since 1870, a number of plays have been produced that were based on the novel. The Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library contains a statement noting that the most important dramatization had been written by Paul Potter and originally produced in New York on January 21, 1901 and that a play by Edward Elsner had also been produced. The legal department cautioned the producers of the film that care should be taken to avoid the use of any material in previous copyrighted dramatizations. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item dated April 1, 1935, Universal Pictures, which, at that time, owned the motion picture rights to the play, was preparing to make the film. Fox, before they merged with Twentieth Century Pictures, then purchased the motion picture rights to the novel from Universal for $25,000 in May 1935, according to the legal records. Winfield R. Sheehan, at the time Fox's vice-president in charge of production, planned to produce the film. Sheehan subsequently left the company shortly after they merged with Twentieth Century.
       Twentieth Century-Fox planned to have Simone Simon make her American screen debut in the role of "Cigarette," according to a New York Times article. Earlier, she had been scheduled to debut in A Message to Garcia, but had been replaced by Rita Cansino (later known as Rita Hayworth), who subsequently herself was replaced by Barbara Stanwyck. According to New York Times, after two weeks of shooting in the studio on this film, director Frank Lloyd, unhappy with Simon's temperamental attitude and wary of what might happen with her during location shooting in the desert, demanded that she be fired. The studio acceded to his wishes, the footage shot with her was scrapped, and after Claudette Colbert was hired to replace her at a substantially higher salary, press reports were sent out stating that Simon was leaving the picture because of illness, according to New York Times. According to the legal records, the insurance company Lloyd's of London paid the studio $115,000 for a release from all claims due to the illness of Simon, delays or additional expenses incurred in substituting Colbert.
       According to a news item, a ten-acre Arabian desert village was built on the Twentieth Century-Fox Westwood lot, and the battle sequences were filmed in the California-Arizona desert eighteen miles from Yuma using Hollywood extras, local cowpunchers and Yuma Indians. News items noted that the company planned to spend forty-two days shooting at Palm Springs, CA and Yuma. According to the legal records, some shooting also took place at Palm Canyon, CA. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, at the end of 1935, the unit at Palm Springs split into four parts briefly: Frank Lloyd directed Ronald Colman and Victor McLaglen at Palm Canyon; Ad Schaumer directed Simone Simon at Indio; Ben Silvey directed a third unit; and Jasper Blystone directed process shots at La Quinta. A New York Times news item called the production "the most expensive location trip to emerge from Hollywood in ten years." New York Times estimated that the cost of the film, which was budgeted at $1,250,000, would probably rise to $1,500,000 before its completion. Otto Brower, who directed the battle scenes in the desert, was known for having earlier directed serials. According to news items, the desert set was near the site where Beau Geste, produced in 1926 by Famous Players-Lasky (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0307), was filmed, and that Selznick International's The Garden of Allah, filmed later in 1936, was filmed at the same location. A Daily Variety news item noted that 212 war veterans were signed to play a Foreign Legion regiment.
       According to publicity for the film, during one scene in which Steve Clemente, a Yaqui Indian professional knife-thrower, was supposed to hit a post next to Ronald Colman, the crowding in of extras caused the knife to be deflected, and Colman was hit in the chest with the handle. In her autobiography, Rosalind Russell states that she did not meet Colbert during the production; however, in the film, she can be seen in shots together with Colbert. News items from June and July 1935 stated that Warner Baxter, Bill Robinson, Slim Summerville and Edward Everett Horton were to be in the film, but they ultimately were not involved in the production. According to a New York Times news item, both John Ford and Frank Lloyd were outraged that Darryl Zanuck cut their films, The Prisoner of Shark Island and this one, respectively, and declared that they would never go to the Twentieth Century-Fox lot again. While Ford subsequently did direct for Twentieth Century-Fox, Lloyd did not. Other films based on the same source include the 1916 Fox Film Corp. production directed by J. Gordon Edwards and starring Theda Bara, and the 1922 film produced by Universal, directed by Tod Browning and starring Priscilla Dean (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.4648 and AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.5949).