Paul Bonnard arrives in Timbuktu in search of a guide to escort him into the Sahara desert. American Joe January takes the job despite misgivings about Bonnard's plans. Dita, a prostitute who has been deeply moved by what appears to be Bonnard's spiritual nature, follows the two men into the desert. Eventually the trio arrives in the ruins of a lost city, where Bonnard hopes to find the treasure his father sought years earlier before disappearing. But what Bonnard finds alters him in unexpected ways, with tragic results. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The Spanish title for this film was "Arenas de Muerte", which literally translates to "Sands of Death". The Spanish poster only features a closeup of the face of Sophia Loren and her name comes above John Wayne's. She was a much bigger star in Spain than Wayne was in 1957. See more »
Twice Joe January refers to Solomon and Bathsheba. It should have been Solomon and Sheba. Bathsheba was David's interest. See more »
Poor Paul. He was so kind! How could it happen?
But to him? He believed in God!
I can't recite any Psalms for ya', but I know about people who believe in God. Our friend didn't! He put his faith in his father. A man! A human being! That's an easy faith to lose. I know about that, too.
But he was a good man. He tried to do good. He dreamed of goodness all his life.
I'm gettin' a little sick of this "Poor Paul," "Kind man," "Full of grace." What does it take to wake you ...
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I first saw this film on television as a kid in the 1960s and loved it. I have seen it many times since, and am now blessed to watch it on DVD in wide screen on an LCD display, and I continue to enjoy it. Okay, it has some corny lines, and Sophia is just too beautiful... but more than that, this film tells a wonderful story of broken promises, hidden agendas, and betrayal from others we believed were above reproach... and there is some terrific character development in the dialog, I feel I know these people. For me, it is one of the most atmospheric films I have come to know. I feel the hot Sahara sun in that Lybian desert, the wind blowing sand in my face, the coolness of the water in the oasis, and the quiet beauty of a desert twilight. This film is haunting to me... and it is one of my very favorites.
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