There's no way I'm leaving this one out.
Columbia's biggest hit of 1943, Sahara confirmed the superstar status Humphrey Bogart attained with his Warner Brothers' North African adventure, Casablanca (1942). Surrounded by the Germans on three sides, Bogart's tough-as-they-come Sergeant Joe Gunn takes his tank and a crew of American, British and French soldiers into the Sahara to reach the retreating allied forces. But when they find that the only water for 100 miles is also the target of a German battalion they decide to take a desperate stand. Early scenes present the characters with assorted perils: thirst, sandstorms and a German air attack. The characters are rather stereotypical: the cowardly Italian prisoner, the Frenchman obsessed with food, the German humourless and fanatical, though the British come out well, and there's a sympathetically drawn black British Sudanese soldier (Rex Ingram).
The director was Zoltan Korda, the man behind such British classics as The Four Feathers (1939), and though Sahara lacks the scale of that adventure, Korda's experience pays off in mounting the extended and suspenseful siege/action climax. With support from Lloyd Bridges and Dan Duryea, Oscar-nominated photography by Rudolph Mate and a fine score by Miklós Rózsa, Sahara is a taut, gripping desert war thriller which wouldn't be bettered until Ice Cold in Alex (1958).
Funnily enough, it's based on an earlier John Ford movie which I also have, "The Lost Patrol", starring Victor McLaglen and Boris Karloff.