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Sanders (1963)

Death Drums Along the River (original title)
A British colonial policeman in Africa investigates a murder in a hospital up river.


(suggested by famous story of African adventure "Sanders of the River")


Complete credited cast:
Dr. Inge Jung (as Marianne Cook)
Dr. Franz Weiss
Dr. Schneider
Jeremy Lloyd ...
Jim Hunter
Nurse Marlene Dorfman
Bill Brewer ...
Jack Pearson
Simon Sabela ...


A British colonial policeman in Africa investigates a murder in a hospital up river.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 March 1966 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sanders  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In both this film and the previous version, Sanders of the River (1935), there is a boat named Zaire. In this film it is a small launch, whereas in the previous film it is a large paddle-steamer. See more »


In the final scene Todd and the girl, in a boat on the river, look up and see an aircraft supposedly taking the other girl back to civilization. This Lufthansa Boeing 707/700 is clearly trimmed for landing with wheels and flaps extended. Any 707 of that era powered by the Pratt and Whitney JT3D engine would be emitting vast amounts of smoke when on full power after take off as to gain max power. In tropical conditions it used water injection to increase thrust, creating a massive amount of soot. See more »


Version of Sanders of the River (1935) See more »


Strange Interlude
Music by Dennis Farnon
Boosey & Hawkes Ltd
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User Reviews

Colonial cop Richard Todd looks into diamond smuggling and murder
11 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Sanders" (1963) aka "Death Drums Along the River" is a pleasant adventure-crime story set in a British colony in Africa that borders on Senegal, presumably Gambia. That colony ended in 1965 and the approaching end of it is alluded to in passing. Unmarried Richard Todd loves his job and hasn't found a mate, but arriving doctor Marianne Koch is a definite prospect. Before that can be settled, there are more pressing matters. One of Todd's native cops has been knifed to death when he pursued a diamond smuggler. Todd suspects Bill Brewer. Todd travels up the river to check out suspected smuggling and the escaped suspect, also taking Koch to her new job, which is a modest hospital establishment run by Walter Rilla. His chief aid is Albert Lieven. Robert Arden, a purported journalist, is also in the area adding to the intrigue, and he takes an instant liking to nurse Vivi Bach.

There are a few wildlife shots, enough to give the film that African flavor, but not that many. The dock area looks genuine and so does the hospital area. There are also some backlot shots.

With professionals like Todd, Rilla and Lieven around, with the contrasting beauty of Koch and Bach, and with a reasonable amount of mystery, the film holds our attention. Nothing spectacular, but okay. It's in the British colonial tradition of movies. It's motivated by the Edgar Wallace character and story.

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