The Desert Hawk (1950 film)

The Desert Hawk is a 1950 action adventure film directed by Frederick De Cordova starring Yvonne De Carlo and Richard Greene.

The Desert Hawk
Directed byFrederick De Cordova
Produced byLeonard Goldstein
Written byGerald Drayson Adams
Based onstory by Jack Pollexfen
Aubrey Wisberg
StarringYvonne De Carlo
Richard Greene
Narrated byJeff Chandler
Music byFrank Skinner
CinematographyRussell Metty
Edited byOtto Ludwig
Daniel A. Nathan
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 5, 1950 (1950-09-05) (United States)
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States


An arranged marriage forces Arabian Princess Sharahazade to marry Prince Murad, a cruel ruler. A thief known as the Desert Hawk hears about the wedding, disguises himself as Murad in order to steal the wedding gifts. The next morning the real Murad shows up and finding the dowry gone orders his men to make it appear that the Desert Hawk has massacred the locals.

When the princess learns she has been tricked she changes clothes with one of her maids, who is then mistaken for the princess and murdered. The servants, along with the disguised princess, are rounded up and sold into slavery. The Desert Hawk purchases her at the slave market.

Meanwhile, Murad in a bid to consolidate his power stirs up trouble a neighbour, telling the princess’s father that the neighbour has been aiding the Desert Hawk.

The princess' father entrusts Murad to avenge his daughter and murdered people enabling him to pursue the Desert Hawk to try to get the Princess and power for himself.



Universal bought the story in January 1950.[1] The film was envisioned as a vehicle for Yvonne de Carlo. Douglas Fairbanks Jr was sought for the male lead.[2] The role eventually went to Richard Greene, returning to Hollywood after two years in Britain. Jackie Gleason signed to play a comic support role. Universal contract player Rock Hudson, who had just impressed in Winchester 73, was also cast.[3]

Director de Cordova said Greene was "everything a man or woman could want in a desert hero."[4]


  1. Brady, Thomas F (25 January 1950). "Metro Planning New War Picture". New York Times. p. 20.
  2. LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD: Yvonne De Carlo Finds New Film, 'Desert Hawk,' Has a Familiar Locale Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963); Chicago, Ill. [Chicago, Ill]06 Mar 1950: B8.
  3. FILMLAND BRIEFS Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]05 Apr 1950: B9.
  4. "Movieland Briefs". Los Angeles Times. 15 August 1950. p. A7.
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