Eerily topical, Sirocco is set in 1925 Damascus. Syria is under French occupation. Syrianpartisans and the French army are at daggers drawn. Lee J. Cobb is the head of militaryintelligence, and he is trying to broker a truce. Humphrey Bogart is a smuggler and gun runner,interested only in making a buck. Enter Cobb’s wife (or girlfriend? the film isn’t clear on thismatter) to complicate things. If Casablanca were remade with Bogart as an amoral, cowardlyprofiteer, Ingrid Ber…man as a shallow, self-centred and equally amoral bitch, and Paul Henreidas a lugubrious obsessive, you’d have Sirocco.
The sound is mono, and it is a good mono, with no distortion and a very clean track. Not toomuch to say beyond that, though at least no bizarre stereo remix has been attempted.
The film format has been modified to fullscreen. Normally, this would qualify for a bigdeduction in rating. However, the original format was, apparently, 1.37:1, so the cropping ispretty minor. The print itself could do with some fixing up: there is noticeable grain, and a fairbit of speckling. This does improve as the film goes on, but does keep making unwelcomereappearances.
The menu is basic. The extras consist of publicity: two posters in the still gallery, and a stilland poster montage of Bogart films under the “Bogart Collection” option, and trailers for TheBridge on the River Kwai, The Caine Mutiny and Lawrence of Arabia.
Not the best of Bogart, but a worthwhile watch all the same, especially for the parallels between the film’s story and current world events. A cleaned-up print would havebeen appreciated, however.
Special Features List
- Bogart Collection Montage
- Advertising Gallery