6.9/10
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Dark of the Sun (1968)

The Mercenaries (original title)
Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 3 July 1968 (USA)
A band of mercenaries led by Captain Curry travel through war-torn Congo across deadly terrain, battling rival armies, to steal $50 million in uncut diamonds. But infighting, sadistic rebels and a time lock jeopardize everything.

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(screenplay) (as Quentin Werty), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Henlein
...
...
...
Bussier
Olivier Despax ...
Surrier
...
Delage
Bloke Modisane ...
Kataki
...
Ubi
...
Jansen
...
Adams
Murray Kash ...
Cochrane
...
Father Dominic
Danny Daniels ...
General Moses
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Storyline

British commando, Captain Curry, is hired by President Ubi of war-torn Congo, to steal $50 million in uncut diamonds from a time-locked vault before the separatist Simba army that's fighting Ubi's forces and the UN peacekeepers overruns the remote town where the bank that holds the vault is located. Curry teams up with his friend Ruffo, Doctor Wreid, who's an alcoholic, and Henlein, a sadistic Nazi who left Germany after WWII to work as a mercenary. The mercenaries reach the town by Ubi's train after surviving an attack from the UN peacekeepers, only to find a number of terrified Westerners who were driven out from their homes by force, including torture, rape and murder, by the Simba rebels. They agree to help them leave town and befriend one of them, a pretty widow called Claire whose husband was murdered by the rebels. As their mission nears completion everything suddenly goes horribly wrong and the story culminates in an orgy of sadistic graphic violence as Henlein betrays the ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brutes! Savages! Heroes! They're Mercenaries... They're Paid to do a Job! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dark of the Sun  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie re-unites Rod Taylor with Yvette Mimieux eight years after they co-starred in 1960's "The Time Machine." See more »

Goofs

Curry wears a French Foreign Legion paratrooper insignia on his beret, but requires constant translation when anyone speaks French. Either the badge is fake and undeserved, or he is the worst legionnaire there ever was! See more »

Quotes

Curry: The gun's Chinese Ruffo, paid for by Russian rubles. The steel probably came from a West German factory built by French francs. Then it was flown out here on a South African airline probably subsidized by The United States. I don't think he got very far.
See more »

Connections

References The Birth of a Nation (1915) See more »

Soundtracks

Friendly Natives Having Fun
Written and Performed by Jacques Loussier Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

a wild ride
14 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

Call it "Dark of the Sun" (the better title, I think) or "The Mercenaries"--but under any title this film moves fast. A great example of a guy's type of film where the editing, direction, and storyline all compliment one another in the effort towards a fast-paced action flick. It a raw, gritty, and satisfying action yarn. Rod Taylor is really choice in this role: he was easily in his best shape ever and utterly confident as the hardboiled mercenary leader. Jim Brown is fine as well as his sidekick. The two make a good combination together.

"Dark of the Sun" is also one of the more memorable films involving a train as a locus for the action. Train films have a charisma all their own, in my opinion, and this one is no exception. In this venue, a band of mercenaries utilizes a steam engine to blitz across the border into rebel-held territory. The story is set in South Africa and they been enlisted to to rescue citizens cut off by the revolt and also, to nab some diamonds for themselves, of course.

However, dont think that with this storyline its at all meatless in emotion values, or gratuituous in terms of its violence.

With regard to emotion, there are definitely some nice story elements and a chance for the actors to apply their skill. There are poignant little moments of humanness amid all the tumult. The characters suit, and have been devised (by the author Wilbur Smith) to correctly add balance and measure to the story. Its not all gunfire and explosions. The violence is kept within acceptable, old-school bounds and the focus is on heroism and loyalty rather than sadism.

There is an interesting, thought-provoking subplot to the story that eventually factors into the conclusion of the movie. This thread comes from the fact that one of the mercenaries is an ex-Nazi. As a mercenary, he really "enjoys his work". But his views raise all sorts of disturbing questions about prejudice and hate and "where to draw the line" for Rod Taylor, who, as leader of the mercenaries, has to set an example of ruthlessness. The two develop a vicious enmity and finally go at it 'mano a mano'. The end of the film is a surprise "man learns better" type of ending--but still quite satisfying.

The film overall is a better-than-average-quality product, and definitely a must-see guy-movie; its a 1960's action pic that does a better job of keeping you interested and absorbed than any twenty action pictures made more recently.

Believe it!


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