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Dark of the Sun (1968)

The Mercenaries (original title)
Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 3 July 1968 (USA)
A band of mercenaries led by Captain Curry travel through war-torn Congo across deadly terrain, battling rival armies, to steal $50 million in uncut diamonds. But infighting, sadistic rebels and a time lock jeopardize everything.

Director:

Jack Cardiff

Writers:

Ranald MacDougall (screenplay) (as Quentin Werty), Adrian Spies (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rod Taylor ... Capt. Bruce Curry
Yvette Mimieux ... Claire
Peter Carsten ... Capt. Henlein
Jim Brown ... Sgt. Ruffo
Kenneth More ... Doctor Wreid
André Morell ... Bussier
Olivier Despax Olivier Despax ... Surrier
Guy Deghy ... Delage
Bloke Modisane ... Kataki
Calvin Lockhart ... President Mwamini Ubi
Alan Gifford ... Jansen
David Bauer ... Adams
Murray Kash Murray Kash ... Cochrane
John Serret ... Father Dominic
Danny Daniels ... General Moses
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Storyline

British commando, Captain Curry, is hired by President Ubi of war-torn Congo, to steal $50 million in uncut diamonds from a time-locked vault before the separatist Simba army that's fighting Ubi's forces and the UN peacekeepers overruns the remote town where the bank that holds the vault is located. Curry teams up with his friend Ruffo, Doctor Wreid, who's an alcoholic, and Henlein, a sadistic Nazi who left Germany after WWII to work as a mercenary. The mercenaries reach the town by Ubi's train after surviving an attack from the UN peacekeepers, only to find a number of terrified Westerners who were driven out from their homes by force, including torture, rape and murder, by the Simba rebels. They agree to help them leave town and befriend one of them, a pretty widow called Claire whose husband was murdered by the rebels. As their mission nears completion everything suddenly goes horribly wrong and the story culminates in an orgy of sadistic graphic violence as Henlein betrays the ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brutes! Savages! Heroes! They're Mercenaries... They're Paid to do a Job! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark of the Sun See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 37-year-old Rod Taylor began to focus on action movies with this film, turning down all offers for more dramatic work. See more »

Goofs

They don't mine cut diamonds in Congo. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Wreid: [thrown onboard the train in a drunken stupor] Aah, piss off!
Sergeant Ruffo: [to Curry, smiling] Captain, the Doctor.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
gripping, superior action-adventure
18 July 2005 | by BogmeisterSee all my reviews

This film, which I came to know as "Dark of the Sun" (the better title, as most believe), is one of those compulsively re-watchable pictures year after year. I saw it as a kid but it was later, when I was around 30, when I caught it on a PBS TV station, that I was stunned to realize it is one of my favorite films of all time. I nearly became obsessed with it, recording it for repeat viewing (sometimes 2 days in a row), later buying a quality VHS version, and finally obtaining a widescreen version, a goal of the last half-dozen years. From the first frame, during the credits, when you hear the perfect jazz-influenced score by Jacques Loussier, to the haunting ending, this film draws you in and doesn't let go, inviting you back again & again. I say 'you' but of course I'm speaking of myself; I can't really explain the hold it has on me and what director Cardiff put together that connected so strongly with me. Many familiar with this film call it Rod Taylor's best work and I agree there. He epitomizes the man's man here, tougher, by necessity, than all the other tough guys around him; able to outfight anyone mano-a-mano; and, at the same time, able to command - demanding and keeping the loyalty of his men. Besides the obvious violence & gun-play, throughout are hints and mention of the savagery, the brutality of war, but nothing can or should faze him - until, that is, he loses his best friend. This is something, the one thing, he was unprepared for. And he loses it, he loses all his control, his command of himself and others. It's a fantastic ending. And, like many other scenes, complemented by that fabulous score, it calls me back over & over. Once again, I see that train car break off; again I see it slowly roll back to the waiting bloodthirsty Simbas, all the passengers doomed. I know what will happen, but it demands my attention again, as if in a recurring nightmare. I suppose this may be a great thing about films - sure, they may not ever make them like this again, but you always have these past adventures to savor as many times as you wish. And the films will always give you that same or similar emotional satisfaction you crave.


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