French General Birabeau has been sent to Morocco to root out and destroy the Riffs, a band of Arab rebels, who threaten the safety of the French outpost in the Moroccan desert. Their dashing, daredevil leader is the mysterious "Red Shadow". Margot Bonvalet, a lovely, sassy French girl, is soon to be married at the fort to Birabeau's right-hand man, Captain Fontaine. Birabeau's son Pierre, in reality the Red Shadow, loves Margot, but pretends to be a milksop to preserve his secret identity. Margot tells Pierre that she secretly yearns to be swept into the arms of some bold, dashing sheik, perhaps even the Red Shadow himself. Pierre, as the Red Shadow, kidnaps Margot and declares his love for her.
When the famous singer Grace Collins got off the plane that had flown her a remote place in Northen Africa little did she know she would meet love and adventure there. If she came there, it was to visit Sir Collins, her stepfather. Falling in love was not on the agenda but how could she resist the charm of Nic Brenten, an alluring and idealistic Dutch engineer? Butcan devotion and generosity really compete with the greed of someone like Sir Collins, a cynical financier who wants to dispossess the locals of the copper mine Brenten helps them to develop ?...
Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor who is studying the desert, and whose attacks on the supply trains intended for Yousseff keep the Riff villages in food. Foreign Legion General Birabeau arrives to conduct an investigation, accompanied by his daughter, Margot. Birabeau hires Bonnard to tutor her, and she is attracted to a Legionaire captain, Claud Fontaine. While the general, Bonnard and Fontaine pay a visit to Yousseff, an American newspaper man, Benji Kidd, discovers a secret way in and out of Yousseff's palace, with the aid of Azuri, a dancing girl in love with Bonnard. The latter is forced to resume his role as the Riffs leader, and kidnap Margot until he can convince her of Yousseff's treachery. But Yousseff's men attack the Riff camp and take Margot prisoner.
Paul Hudson, leads a group of desert bandits against some Nazis, who want to use them as cheap labor for their railroad.
Live television version of the classic musical.
Yun Zhong Ge also known as Song in the Clouds is a sequel to Ballad of the Desert. During the Western Han Dynasty, an eight-year-old Emperor Zhao of Han meets a girl Huo Yunge (daughter of Huo Qubing and Jin Yu from Ballad of the Desert), who rescued him from the cold of the desert. Ten years later, Huo is now a beautiful young woman, who could not forget the boy she saved. However, she mistook another Liu Bing Yi as Emperor Liu Fu Ling. Yunge helplessly watched him marry Xu Pingjun. The heartbroken Huo later meets a handsome Meng Jue, only later to find herself embroiled in a power struggles within the imperial palace.