Emerald of Artatama is one of 25 films made by producer Sid Pink in an amazingly prolific period while he was in Spain during the seven year period of 1961-1968. Other notable films of this output were Pyro (a colorful prefigurement of the slasher film), Finger on the Trigger (first Western made in Spain) and Madigan's Millions, famous for the first screen appearance of Dustin Hoffman. Pink's recollections of this hectic yet productive period are detailed in his autobiography, So You Want to Make Movies, published by Pineapple Press of Sarasota, Florida.
Veteran tough guy Rory Calhoun stars as a hard-drinking, two-fisted womanizer and (lovable) con-man attempting to find the Tomb of Artatama, rumored to house an emerald as large as a man's fist. The story follows his attempts to find a crew, get financing, and the inevitable search for the lost tomb. Along the way, he must tackle hijackers, loan sharks, desert bandits, clinging women and a writer/friend who has long since found solace in alcohol.
This kind of film was probably dated even as of 1967, but Pink peoples it with quirky characters and dialog that knowingly winks at its anachronistic origins.
My OOP video boasts lush colors and a well-crafted, comic-book influenced video jacket. The movie itself is visual impressive, with bustling bazarre scenes, majestic vistas of Egypt, and a sense of timelessness that suggests modern audiences who enjoyed the new Mummy movies, the TV series The Search, and various Tomb Raider knock-offs will find much to appreciate here.
With the recent passing of Sidney Pink, it is hoped that his monumental output will find its eventual home on DVD.
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