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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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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:
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...
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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! ...Paid to fight in the fury of the Congo! [UK theatrical] 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

Some of the dubbing of lines in various scenes for the character Henlein was done by Paul Frees. For example, in the scene leading up to the fight between Curry and Henlein alongside the train, the German is dubbed by Frees. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Main Theme From Dark Of The Sun (Finale)
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 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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