Blazing sun. Burning sand. And scarcely a drop of water. In the vast trackless wastes of the Kalahari Desert, two diamond thieves and their hostage struggle for survival. The thieves have a fortune in gems, but their hostage - the manager of the robbed mine - has the knowledge to lead them to safety.
John Gilbert, starring in his final silent movie, is in gallant form as the mine manager who outwits his captors: a slick conman and the beautiful woman posing as his daughter. (And when famed screen lover Gilbert meets a beautiful woman, fans know it's more than the desert that's going to get hot!)"
DESERT NIGHTS was the last silent film made by MGM's resident heartthrob John Gilbert -- and the last of his truly successful efforts. The melodramatic plot revolves around the robbery of a diamond mine, masterminded by Steve (Ernest Torrence). The criminals have taken Rand (Gilbert), the mine's manager, hostage, spiriting him off to the desert waste. Hopelessly lost, Steve turns to Rand, who knows the territory like the back of his hand, to lead the crooks back to civilization. Rand refuses but relents for the sake of Steve's partner-in-crime Diana (Mary Nolan). A spectacular climactic sandstorm effectively eliminates the villain and facilitates a happy ending for Rand and Diana. Likewise spectacular was the precipitous fall from popularity of John Gilbert after it was revealed that his voice, though pleasant enough, did not match his dashing screen image -- but this revelation was still several months in the future when DESERT NIGHTS was released.
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