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After each wrongly confessing to the theft of a renowned diamond, three British brothers independently join the French Foreign Legion, where they endure a cruel sergeant and yield to futile self-sacrifice. It sounds like a story that’s been around forever, or at least since the Victorian age, but in fact Beau Geste was published just two years before its first Hollywood adaptation in 1926. Unrest in Algeria scuttled plans to film there, but the Death Valley area proved a fine substitute locale for a picture whose major set piece is the discovery of a fort manned entirely by corpses. Starring Ronald Colman as Michael “Beau” Geste, the movie was deemed “corking” by Variety. Remade twice and then parodied by Marty Feldman, Beau Geste now seems antiquated. But it has an old-fashioned sweep that suits the silent-film aesthetic, which is why the original version is arguably the best. The film shows at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677.