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Africa 1850: Suzanne (Odile Versois) & her father Pedro (Rafael Luis Calvo)
embark on a carawan through the desert, where they are joined by the American
adventurer Fred (Lex Barker), the slave trader & all around bad guy José,
& conman Hernandez (Franck Villard), who promises 2 tourists to show them
the treasure of Suleika in order to rip them off.
But when Fred - in a sandstorm - gets seperated from the others, he really
does find the treasure in the camp of the Tuaregs who have saved him. When he
rejoins the caravan though in the next city, he makes the mistake of spilling
the beans to Hernandez, who immediately persuades him to return to the camp to
secure the treasure. But theior intrusion does not go unnoticed, & when
they are escaping, Fred catches a bullet, & Hernandez, rather pleased about
geting rid of someone to share with, leaves him behind.
But instead of just being slaughtered, Fred is found by Tuareg girl Malika
(Marpessa Dawn), who nurses him back to health & falls in love with him.
Back in civilisation though, Fred has an affair with Suzanne blossoming,
& he wants her father to help him get the treasure, while Hernandez enlists
the help of José to do the same.
Upon returning to the Tuaregs once more Fred though realizes that his love
for Malika is, contrary to his expectations - stornger than his greed, & he
gives up on the treasure, his love to Suzanne & even his return to
civilisation to stay with the Tuareg girl.
But then there are of course Suzanne, who wants to get him back, & José
& Hernandez, who want the treasure, & while Suzanne is killed by them
whne she wants to warn Fred that the 2 villains are bhind him, José &
Hernandez even manage to kidnap Malika, but have a fall-out at the worst
possible time, which makes it easy for Malika to escape them & for the
Tuaregs to kill them.
In the end, Fred is accepted by the Tuaregs as one of theirs ...
Rather weak blend of adventure- & romance-movie that continually manages
to downplay the action & suspense in favour of the 2 intertwining love
stories, which are rather run-of-the-mill stuff, though, the only thing that
distinguishes them is that in the end the white/civilized hero stays with the
native girl instead of the all-European heroin thrwoing herself at his feet.
Le Trésor des Hommes Bleus was one of the first movies American
B-movie star made in Europe, where he, like so many other B-movie stars, went
after the studio-system collapsed & the new cinematic landscape simply
didn't have need anymore for matinee idols (or tv-stars aiming for the big
screen), while in Europe the distinction of A- & B-movies simply did not
Other actors going to Europe for career recovery included George Nader,
Gordon Scott (Lex Barker's successor in the role of Tarzan), Lee Van
Cleef & the then little known tv-actor Clint Eastwood. & while only
Clint Eastwood would come out of it fully recovered & his career
subsequently going from strength to strength, many would just wane into
obscurity, or in the long run become trash-icons (like Lee Van Cleef), Lex
Barker would soon make a string of Karl May-adaptions in Germany that did make
him a continental superstar (especially in German speaking countries), but did
little to reintroduce him to the American movie-market).