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Doesn't really have any awesome, gigantic set pieces that sell big-budget commercial exotica. It feels a little too long for its own good and since most shots are variations of tableaux compositions not as much is made of mise en scene as one would like from this kind of movie. The desert shooting supposedly prefigures Lawrence of Arabia, although that's not a movie I'm wild about.
The light levels seemed rather low, reminding me of Rex Ingram and Michael Powell's methods, yielding some nice gradations.
A majestic WWII movie which seems to have influenced The Thin Red Line, and like that movie the major subjects lean more towards questions about humanity as a whole in lieu of all-out action or even camaraderie. Unlike Malick's movie, the characters here are somewhat better drawn, but they're still too sketchy to unify characters and theme a la masterwork. The narrative pace is largely set here via the sense of an overwhelming environment, like Walsh's Objective, Burma! and not like, e.g. iirc, Wellman's Battleground.