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Dark of the Sun (1968)

The Mercenaries (original title)
Approved | | War, Adventure, Drama | 3 July 1968 (USA)
A band of mercenaries led by Captain Curry travel through the Congo across deadly terrain, battling rival armies, to rescue $50 million in uncut diamonds.



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

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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In British India, a young prince must be taken to safey across rebel-held territory, and an old train is the only way to do it.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Kenneth More, Lauren Bacall, Herbert Lom


Complete credited cast:
Peter Carsten ...
Doctor Wreid
Olivier Despax ...
Guy Deghy ...
Bloke Modisane ...
Alan Gifford ...
David Bauer ...
Murray Kash ...
John Serret ...
Father Dominic
Danny Daniels ...
General Moses


A band of mercenaries led by Captain Curry travel through the Congo across deadly terrain, battling rival armies, to rescue $50 million in uncut diamonds.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You Don't Kill for Women, You Don't Kill for Diamonds, You Kill Because You're Paid for it! See more »


War | Adventure | Drama | Action


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dark of the Sun  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Publicity for this picture declared that it was the first major motion picture to examine the Congo Rebellion which is aka the Congo Crisis aka the Congo Uprising. See more »


They don't mine cut diamonds in Congo. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) See more »


The Mercenaries
Written and Performed by Jacques Loussier Et Son Orchestre
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User Reviews

a wild ride
14 October 2000 | by (Philadelphia PA USA) – 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!

21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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