It's available here :
would love to be able to purchase a copy of legions lost patrol.with the most haunting music of nino rossi.can anyone help please.thanks.
At last,been looking for a copy of this for ages.there is a short clip on youtube which is poor quality ,the one for sale here claims to be taken from a film print,so I wait eagerly for my copy and hope it's watchable.Exits stage left humming daa da da daaa,da da daa.
My copy arrived today thanks to dpgmel's link.Paid for it on friday afternoon and it arrived Wed morning from Denmark.It's from the same video copy of which a 6 minute clip is currently available on Youtube.Picture quality isn't great but it's watchable and as it's the only game in town at the moment it'll do.The film itself lived up to my memory of it,so I'm a happy bunny at the moment.
You should be aware that there are different versions of the movie. I have the American (COMMANDO), French and Spanish versions - and not only are they different, but they have alternate editing, different takes (from different camera angles), completely different versions of scenes where characters are presented in a different 'light', extra scenes in some cases - and entire scenes missing in others. The American version is a mess, with what seems to be a couple of film reels in the wrong order. On the plus side, it has entire sequences intact that don't exist in other versions - and the twist in the tale at the end, which doesn't appear in the French version at all. The levels of violence are much higher in the French and Spanish prints - which also contains one of the best uses of Lavagnino/Rossi's trumpet theme, as the Legionnaires jog across a desert valley/sand-flat with their captive - a scene entirely missing from the American version. Sometime soon, I intend to write a feature on the differing versions (when I have the time to commit to it - it would be a lengthy process). The opening titles - with that wonderful music - is different for each print. The best by far is the Spanish, which uses newsreel footage of the Algerian conflict and, judging by comments on IMDB - is probably the dubbed print that was shown in the UK as THE LEGION'S LAST PATROL. After years of hunting down the movie, it came as quite a surprise to find such astonishing and complex differences between the different continental versions. The English version still seems to remain 'lost'. Although the BFI has a print, it refuses to show it - even for research purposes.
I had it in mind that the voices were dubbed on the version I saw at the cinema all those years ago.The One I have obtained is the american International print titled Commando and has a running time of about 90 minutes.I have seen running time quoted at 118 minutes on a couple of sites while searching for the film.I am happy to have found at least one copy in order to see the film again(I don't speak Spanish or French so this US version will have to do).Anyone know why the BFI refuse to show it.Is it out of political correctness?If so,why isn't the Green Berets under lock and key as the plot is similar.There are also similarities to The Wild geese.
The reason that the BFI won't show the print isn't down to political correctness, but simply down to nervousness - and the fact that this is the single remaining 'UK' version they have in storage, with concerns at its current physical state. At least this is the reason that I was given when I approached them about a possible showing on their premises for research purposes (as I've indicated above). I can understand concerns about print condition, but if you have such a rare copy and NEVER show it (even for controlled research purposes), then why have it at all. If anyone on the Forum has contacts at the BFI, who can swing a private showing for me - then not only will the article I've suggested be written more quickly than I'd anticipated, but all concerned will be destined to become my new best friends!
On the subject of political correctness though - I suspect that the twist ending in the American (and other versions), but not in the French version may be due to political sensitivities about the Algerian conflict. There's another scene where the Legionnaires are taunting the locals in a bar (the belly dancing scene) which doesn't appear in the French version.
I had intended to approach Peter Carsten - the German actor who appears as one of the Legionnaires - to ask him questions about the filming for my article, but as we know he died recently. Can't think of anyone still alive who was connected with the production that could answer all of these intriguing questions. Another frustration - Carsten has a 'profound' death scene in some versions, but simply disappears from the action in others (the American version, for example).
On a point of clarification on political sensitivities of the Algerian conflict, I should highlight the fact that what might have been considered 'sensitive' for a French audience back in 1963 at the time of the film's release, would not necessarily be considered sensitive today.