Legend of the Lost, movie on VHS
Three out of five stars
This movie follows a plot that is formulaic and generally predictable. There is the legend of a lost city containing treasure somewhere in the vast Sahara Desert. A man has received information from his long-lost father about that city and he hires guide and desert expert Joe January (John Wayne) to guide him to that location. While he is extremely skeptical about the claims, January is a man that responds to money, so when it is offered, he accepts.
Sophia Loren plays a prostitute that is desperate to create a new lifeline for herself and she is charmed by the passion and drive of the man in search of his father’s legacy. She wants to go on the journey, but January rejects her plan.
The two men depart and suddenly a band of desert nomads arrive and leave Loren at their camp. From this point on, the plot follows a predictable path. Nearly out of water and nothing of significance in sight, January is ready to turn back when his hand is forced by an irresponsible action by Loren. The lost city is found along with the treasure.
Greed and the love of jewels then asserts itself and the group struggles to survive the journey back to civilization. There is a climactic scene that ends with a romantic ( in the boy-girl sense) conclusion. Wayne proves that he is not as his best when playing a romantic leading man, although Loren demonstrates once again that she is excellent as a desirable hottie that will distract even the most hardened of adventurers.
The movie is one to watch when you are not looking for tense, dramatic action or even the usual Wayne fists and guns. The ending and most of the path there are events that are easy to predict well in advance.