March Or Die


March Or Die

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Movie Info

Dick Richards directed this French Foreign Legion adventure that's at once parodies and pays tribute to the venerable Hollywood epics that preceded it. Gene Hackman stars as Major William Sherman Foster, a soldier who has been kicked out of West Point but has managed to obtain command of a group of Legionnaires after the end of World War I. His troops have been ordered to accompany an archeological expedition traveling to Morocco headed by Francois Marneau (Max von Sydow). Foster's motley band includes an on-the-lam cat burglar named Marco Segrain (Terence Hill), an ex-guardsman from the deposed Russian monarchy named Ivan (Jack O'Halloran), an adventure-seeking aristocrat named Fred Hastings (Paul Sherman), and an alluring beauty named Simone Picard (Catherine Deneuve). As the band makes their way to Morocco, they cross paths with the fervid and bloodthirsty Arab leader El Krim (Ian Holm), who vows to unite his people to expel foreigners from their land. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi


Gene Hackman
as Maj. William Sherman Foster
Max von Sydow
as Francois Marneau
Catherine Deneuve
as Simone Piccard
Ian Holm
as El Krim
as Triand
Terence Hill
as Marco Segrain
Andre Penvern
as `Top Hat' Francois Gilbert
Paul Sherman
as Fred Hastings
Vernon Dobtcheff
as Mean Corporal
Jean Champion
as Minister
Walter Gotell
as Col. Lamont
Paul Antrim
as Mollard
Catherine Willmer
as Petite Lady and Her Husband
Arnold Diamond
as Petite Lady and Her Husband
Maurice Arden
as Pierre Lahoud
Albert Woods
as Henri Delacorte
Elisabeth Mortensen
as French Street Girl
Leila Shenna
as Arab Street Girl
as Gendarme
Guy Deghy
as Ship's Captain
Jean Rougerie
as Legionnaires at Station
Guy Mairesse
as Legionnaires at Station
Eve Brenner
as Singing Girl
Guy Marly
as Singing Legionnaire
Margaret Modlin
as Lady in Black
Ernest Misko
as Aide in Minister's Office
Catherine Wilmer
as Petite Lady
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Critic Reviews for March Or Die

All Critics (3) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for March Or Die

  • Sep 15, 2012
    Standard actioner about the French Foreign Legion guarding an archaeological dig in Morocco where the Arab locals are stereotypically not happy about their presence. Hackman's okay as the leader of the military and Holm's (inoffensively) effective at the head of the Muslim hordes although I'd've personally enjoyed seeing them reverse their roles.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2009
    Simple and to-the-point, March or Die is yet another variation of the familiar Fort Apache (1948) plot, an oft-used device for war films and other movies about small, outnumbered forces under attack in enemy territory (see also, Fort Apache the Bronx [1981]; Assault on Precinct 13 [1976]; The Siege Of Firebase Gloria [1989]; Hell Is For Heroes [1962]; The Alamo [2004]). With its star cast (Hackman, von Sydow, Terrence Hill, Ian Holme,and Deneuve), March Or Die attempts to be an epic film, but loses itself in corny melodrama. Going by several books I've read, there are some serious historical inaccuracies in the movie's entertaining presentation of the Foreign Legion, though the film gets the broad gist and spirit of it right. (I have yet to see a movie that presents the Legion with total accuracy.) There are some some hypocrisies in Hackman's character motivation as an American French Foreign Legionnaire Officer (a rank reserved for French-only, in real life, and not attainable by promotion within the ranks of the Legion), but the portrayal of Abd el-Krim at least superficially hits the mark, and that of the Berbers of 1920 is brief and blunt, but absolutely dead-on in, especially in a particularly memorable scene which highlights their primitive, foaming, Islamic fanaticism and savagery. The corny melodrama in March or Die however, eventually builds up to a bloody battle scene almost as good as those in Zulu (1964) and Zulu Dawn (1979), though March Or Die pales in comparison to those two efforts in quality and in the way they dramatically and accurately capture the abject, utter horror and spectacular nature of the sieges which they recount. Aside from the way the melodrama and romance in the film are presented, which dates it, the rest of the picture withstands the test of time and is worth a watch if you like action and war movies, I think especially for guys.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2007
    well done to dick richards coz i've never seen ian holm really act and the director fucking made him in this! terence hill did a bit of larking about, said a few lines and catherine deneuve just looked pretty but despite all that richards with a bit of help from hackmans accomplished acting skills still managed to get the film to work quite well infact
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer

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