Plunder of the Sun (1953)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  26 August 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 478 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 9 critic

An American insurance adjuster, stranded in Havana, becomes involved with an archaeologist and a collector of antiquities in a hunt for treasure in the Mexican ruins of Zapoteca.



(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Complete credited cast:
Al Colby
Julie Barnes
Anna Luz
Francis L. Sullivan ...
Thomas Berrien
Sean McClory ...
Eduardo Noriega ...
Raul Cornejo
Julio Villarreal ...
Ulbaldo Navarro (as Julio Villareal)
Charles Rooner ...
Captain Bergman
Consul (as Douglas Dumbrille)


An American insurance adjuster, stranded in Havana, becomes involved with an archaeologist and a collector of antiquities in a hunt for treasure in the Mexican ruins of Zapoteca. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das geheimnisvolle Testament  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Glenn Ford turned down the lead role in Hondo (1953) because he had not enjoyed working with director John Farrow on this film. See more »


At Mitla, Colby shows Julie a hole, indicating that it was a place for offerings to the gods, including human sacrifices. In central America, cenotes (or sinkholes) were used by the native population as water sources and also were used for offerings of human sacrifices and objects. However there are no cenotes at Mitla. See more »


Al Colby: Drink's alright, just so it doesn't take you in the wrong direction.
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Crazy Credits

Plunder of the Sun was filmed in its entirety in Mexico in the Zapotecan ruins of Mitla and Monte Alban. We wish to express our gratitude to the wonderful people of Oaxaca, Veracruz and the Churubusco-Azteca Studios in Mexico City for their help and cooperation. See more »


Sin ella
Written by Enrique Fabregat
Sung by an unidentified singer in the saloon
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User Reviews

Greed, Buried Treasure, and Glenn Ford, too!
8 October 2006 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

While much of Glenn Ford's early 1950s film output are unabashedly 'B' movies (he filled the same niche as Robert Mitchum did, at RKO), the movies are, by and large, very entertaining, and "Plunder of the Sun", shot in Mexico for Warners and John Wayne's Batjac Productions, is no exception. Directed by John Farrow, this action drama offers noir elements (an ambiguous hero, a 'fallen' woman, brutal violence, and an 'expressionist' use of light and shadow), John Huston-like characters (reminiscent of both "The Maltese Falcon" and "Treasure of Sierra Madre"), and an actually pretty accurate look at ancient Indian civilizations that built cities with pyramids when Europe consisted of little more than tribes.

Ford is Al Colby, a down-on-his-luck American recruited by rotund Thomas Berrien (Sidney Greenstreet-channeling Francis L. Sullivan) to slip a package through Mexican customs. When Berrien unexpectedly dies, a variety of characters offers Colby money, potential treasure, or his life, in exchange for the mysterious package, which he discovers contains part of an ancient document mapping where a hidden cache of priceless artifacts is buried. Seduced by both beautiful native girl Patricia Medina, who seems involved with all the 'major players', and drunken American 'party girl' Diana Lynn (doing a 'Gloria Grahame' impression), and 'educated' through beatings and genial lectures by the mysterious 'Jefferson' (scene-stealing Sean McClory), Colby teeters between succumbing to the vast wealth the document promises, and 'doing the right thing', and turning everything over to the Mexican authorities, who legally 'own' the artifacts. While Ford's portrayal lacks the subtle shadings of Bogart or Mitchum, he handles the moral dilemma quite well, and he certainly can take a beating!

With much of the action filmed at actual Aztec sites, in Oaxaca, Mexico, the film has an authentic 'feel', is fast-paced, and very watchable.

Certainly worth a look!

32 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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