The 1951 Columbia Pictures film "Sirocco" is about an American working in 1925 French-occupied Syria.
The "Sirocco" is the name of a Sahara desert wind.
revolt against the French.
to the Arabs.
The French flag flies over Damascus, Syria, an unpleasant reminder for the natives.
2. Damascus 1925
Colonel Feroud is a French intelligence officer working in Damascus.
3. Colonel Feroud
After some French soldiers are killed by Syrians, Col. Feroud talks the commanding general
out of taking hostages and killing them.
some suspects, including American Harry Smith.
4. Suspects rounded up
Harry is smoking a cigarette.
leave him and revolution-torn Damascus for quieter Cairo.
5. Violette tells Feroud it's over
Violette wants to get out of Damascus for which she needs a permit from the French.
6. Violette and Harry
Violette asks Harry to take her to Cairo and he arranges for a truck ride with some locals.
Before the truck can leave, the French military arrive, Harry gets away but the other riders,
including Violette, are arrested.
He descends to the ancient Roman catacombs under the city, broke and homeless.
7. Harry in the catacombs
Harry pulls out a hankerchief and some coins fall on the floor.
8. Coins on the floor
These look like typical movie "prop" coins.
Following the end of World War I under French occupation they used the Egyptian pound.
and contained 100 piastres.
They issued coins of 1/2, 2, and 5 piastres starting in 1926, which was too late for this film.
9. Egypt 20 piastres 1916
This coin is about the size of a US silver dollar and was worth about the same.
10. Picking up the change
A Syrian offers Harry a silver dollar sized coin.
11. Syrian offers Harry a coin
The French arrive, arrest Harry, and take him to their headquarters.
12. The French make Harry an offer
Col. Feroud wants to meet with the Syrians and Harry agrees to take him.
Two of Harry's conditions are that Violette will be allowed to go to Cairo and Harry will get
his money back.
to meet the Syrians. They find Feroud alive and Harry pays a 10,000 pound ransom for him in
13. Harry gets discharged
Humphrey Bogart as Harry Smith
Lee J. Cobb as Col. Feroud
Marta Toren as Violette
Writers: A.I. Bezzerides, Hans Jacoby, Joseph Kessel