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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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Quentin Werty), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Claire
Peter Carsten ...
Henlein
...
...
Doctor Wreid
...
Bussier
Olivier Despax ...
Surrier
Guy Deghy ...
Delage
Bloke Modisane ...
Kataki
...
Ubi
Alan Gifford ...
Jansen
David Bauer ...
Adams
Murray Kash ...
Cochrane
John Serret ...
Father Dominic
Danny Daniels ...
General Moses
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Brutes! Savages! Heroes! ...Paid to fight in the fury of the Congo! [UK theatrical] See more »

Genres:

War | Adventure | Drama | Action

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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Walker was the early choice for the lead Captain Bruce Curry role which in the end was cast with Rod Taylor. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Doctor Wreid: [thrown onboard the train in a drunken stupor] Aah, piss off!
Sergeant Ruffo: [to Curry, smiling] Captain, the Doctor.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Lionpower from MGM (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Great film, but who is the "good guy"?
21 October 2002 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent film and definitely one of Rod Taylor's best performances. Taylor is Curry, a mercenary commander in the Congo, during the Katanga secession. Jim Brown is his friend and number two, a US educated Congolese. Taylor plays Curry as a true mercenary of the period: ruthless, greedy, loyal to his comrades, and distrustful of his rivals and employers.

The film mixes two different periods of the civil wars in the Congo; the Katanga secession in 1960 and the Simba revolt in 1964. The original book is set squarely during the Katanga period and involves the Baluba war, not the Simba's. However both periods were exemplified by brutality on all sides. The film accurately portrays the enmity between the Katanga forces and the UN troops sent to intervene. It also accurately depicts the Belgian interests in Katanga.

Much like the train the mercenaries ride, the film starts out slow and builds up steam along the route. By the end, it's a runaway that comes crashing to its end. This is war and humanity at its worst, make no mistake. The closest I can come to finding a "good guy" is Jim Brown, the soldier who wants his country to be free and have its place in the modern world.

The Nazi character was based on an actual German mercenary in the Congo, Siegfried Mueller. Mueller was noted for wearing the Iron Cross, which he earned in the Second World War, on his uniform. The film makers changed it to a swastika for greater effect (I presume). There is a slight problem with the continuity of this character, as part way through the film, his voice is obviously dubbed by another actor. Presumably, this was due to sound problems and the unavailability of the actor to loop his lines (It sounds like Paul Frees).

All-in-all this is a great film; vastly superior to others of the genre, such as The Wild Geese and The Dogs of War. Just remember, war more often brings out the worst in humanity, rather than the best.


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