Secret of the Incas (1954)

Approved  |   |  Adventure  |  6 June 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 736 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 6 critic

An adventurer searchers for hidden treasure in the Peruvian jungles.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Harry Steele
Stanley Moorehead
Nicole Maurey ...
Elena Antonescu
Ed Morgan
Glenda Farrell ...
Mrs. Winston
Anton Marcu
William Henry ...
Phillip Lang
Kurt Katch ...
Man with Rifle
Edward Colmans ...
Col. Emilio Cardoza
Yma Sumac ...


An Inca legend says the Inca Empire was destroyed by the gods when a gold and jeweled star burst was stolen from the Temple of the Sun centuries ago, and the ancient civilization will spring anew when the treasure is returned. The natives want it but so does Harry Steele, an American adventurer of slightly-shady ways who wants it for personal gain, as does his adversary, a grizzled old man even more into skulduggery than Steele. The latter teams up with Elena Antonescu, an Iron Curtain refugee fleeing from the MKVD. She can help him get a plane and he can help her escape Peru for the relative safety of Mexico.Is there a chance they will end up in a bickering love-hate relationship?... Is there a chance an American archaeologist, Dr. Stanley Moorehead, will come along as one corner of a romantic triangle?... Is there a chance that Yma Sumac (billed third on the posters and ads and special billed in the film), who can't act but can sing, will sing a few songs?... Is there a chance that ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

6 June 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le secret des Incas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film is often cited as a direct inspiration for the Indiana Jones franchise of films, with many of the scenes in Secret of the Incas bearing a striking resemblance in tone and structure to scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Throughout Secret of the Incas, the main character, Harry Steele, can be seen wearing the "Indiana Jones" outfit - brown leather jacket, fedora, tan pants, an over-the-shoulder bag, and revolver. See more »


Regarding Machu Picchu, the famous Incan ruins in Peru, Charlton Heston's character, Harry Steele, tells Elena, "It's an ancient city of the Incas. It's been lost for over a thousand years". In reality, Machu Picchu was built around 1450, and rediscovered in the early 1900's, making it "lost" for a bit less than 500 years. See more »


[first lines]
Miss Morris: Do all the railways in Peru have to go this fast?
Harry Steele: We're trying to get you back to Cusco in time to catch your plane. Don't worry, we've never lost a tourist yet.
See more »


Referenced in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) See more »


Written by Moises Vivanco
Performed by Yma Sumac
Arranged and Conducted by Les Baxter (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Most Incredible Voice Ever
14 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I accidentally caught this movie, which ran in the middle of the night on television. I had fallen asleep and woke up after the movie started, but I was captivated enough to stay awake, mesmerized, through the rest of the movie. The voice of Yma Sumac, the costuming and the scenery, which includes Machu Picchu, Peru, can only be described as incredible and magnificent. For some reason, "someone" or "some ones" out there seem to be trying to bury both Yma Sumac and the movie. I can't buy it on video and the latest movie review books don't list Yma Sumac or the movie. I can only wonder as to why. Yma Sumac's vocal range is the widest of any singer yet. She glides to delicate, bird-like high ranges and then drops to throaty deep levels. Absolutely incredible!

18 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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