We’re in the Legion Now

We’re in the Legion Now is great little Foreign Legion movie that is available on the Internet Archive.   It was released in December of 1936 and the opening credits state that the movie is based on an original story by J. D. Newsom.  It’s billed as a comedy and the plot is basically about two New York gangsters, Dan and Spike (Reginald Denny and Vince Barnett), who flee to Paris when things get a little too hot for them.   In the first scene the duo wakes up in the honeymoon suite after a rough night on the town and then proceed to flee to the Legion Recruitment Center to avoid Perelli–a not too friendly gangster who is also on the lam.  The boozing and clueless tough guys soon run afoul of most of their superior officers and NCO’s and get into some serious trouble when all they want is their “rest cure”.  They are annoying to be sure but eventually you know they will come around and save the day.  The movie is really not that bad since it seems Newsom made sure the details were accurate and there are even several filmed-on-location scenes showing various North African vignettes that help the movie appear more realistic.  Even the guards at the penal camp are in the uniform of the Tirailleurs Sénégalais (a historically accurate detail).  Of course there are the usual plot devices such as the pretty cafe singer, a tribal chief plotting  trouble against the French, and the Legion penal company where our heroes are sent to perform hard labor for stirring up trouble in Sidi Bel Abbes.   I’m not sure what Newsom story this is based on but it might have been All You Do Is Fight! from Adventure magazine 01 Jan 1935 which was also about an American gangster in Paris who flees to the Legion to avoid trouble but it has a much different plot and was not a comedy.  You can watch it on line or download it (the h.264 format is actually MP4).  Worth a look and only 54 minutes.

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About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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