Crossing the Great Sahara

by Brunel, Adrian

Film: 35mm 1924

Original format
film: 35mm
Aspect ratio
Film Society

A spoof on the conventional travelogue, Crossing the Great Sahara (1924). Holmes, Sweet and Holmes, the intrepid explorers, set forth on their expedition to Sagrada, sailing via the Bay of Biscay. After trekking through tropical rain forests, paddling in a canoe up the `langourous Salamander river', riding on camels across the vast desert, they eventually reach the goal of their journey. As they wearily make their way homewards, one by one they drop down dead in the desert, leaving their bones to whiten amid the illimitable sands. Film User commented in June 1953: "The reductio ad absurdum of travelogues in particular and film ballyhoo generally an inspired leg pull...". Brunel, in his autobiography, Nice Work, states: "As a third of the film was titles and another third was composed of shots from various travel films, there was not a great deal of footage for me to shoot, and as the scenes were mostly of myself in many disguises in my back garden which, according to the angle of shooting or the arrangement of the background represented anything from the sea to the Sahara the production expenses were the lowest on record".


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