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The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)

The Spanish explorer Pizarro captures the Inca god-chief Atahualpa and promises to free him upon the delivery of a hoard of gold. But Pizarro finds himself torn between his desire for ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Young Martin
William Marlowe ...
De Nizza
Sam Krauss ...
David Bauer ...
Villac Umu
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Alfredo Porras ...
Joaquín Parra ...


The Spanish explorer Pizarro captures the Inca god-chief Atahualpa and promises to free him upon the delivery of a hoard of gold. But Pizarro finds himself torn between his desire for conquest and his sense of honor after friendship and respect develops between captive and captor. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The birth of a hero. The death of an empire. The adventure of a lifetime.


Adventure | Drama


G | See all certifications »





Release Date:

6 March 1970 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Az aranybirodalom bukása  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Shaw and Christopher Plummer also appeared in " Battle of Britain " the same year. See more »


Francisco Pizarro: You'll have to furnish me with better argument before I give up Atahualpa!
Estete: Perverse man, what is Atahualpa to you?
Francisco Pizarro: Someone I promised life.
Estete: Promised life. How quaint. The sort of chivalrous idea that you pretend to despise. If you want to be an absolute king, my man, you have to learn how to act out of self-will! Break your word, just because you made it! 'Til then, you're nothing but a... a pig-man trying to copy his betters.
Valverde: My son, listen to me. No promise to a Pagan need bind a Christian. ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Pizarro vs Atahualpa
4 May 2007 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

This is a sort of strange epic spectacular film of a time when the genre was not in high demand. The story deals with the conquest of the Inca empire (now Perù) by the Spaniards leaded by Franncisco Pizarro back in the sixteenth century. This is not a movie for everyone to see it and appreciate it -it could seem a bit slow at times- but it stands as a fine and very decent product for those of us who are interested in historical events om Latin America.

"The Royal Hunt of the Sun" can be considered as the delayed complement to Henry King's "Captain from Castile" (1947) referred to the similar conquest of today's Mexico by Hernán Cortés (played accurately by Cèsar Romero). The more than 20 years elapsed between both films shows clearly the different cinematographic techniques of one time and the other; but both products have many similarities in their conception such as the crash between two completely different civilizations each one with their own religious, social and political standards and also the search of gold and riches by both "conquistadores" and their total lack of scruples for the achievement of their target (clearly leaving aside the pretended conversion to Catholicism of the natives that was the excuse of their kings to support the expeditions in a time when the church ruled in Spain).

If not totally accurate with real facts, the Pizarro saga and his confrontation with the god-king Atahualpa in "Royal Hunt" is acceptable scripted and suits enough history and mainly legend.

The atmosphere that not very prolific director Irving Lerner obtains in his film is excellent transiting a sort of a mystical sensation at times and when required; the final sequence when the Incas are waiting for Atahualpa's Sun-father to raise and bring him back to life is outstanding. The location places, settings and a weird music are very good too.

Robert Shaw plays a convincing Pizarro -daring, ambitious and greedy- who after a while shows some kind of respect and even admiration towards a man he can't quite understand. It is true that Cristopher Plummer's performance as Atahualpa is most eccentric as some reviewers state here, but who knows how a God -he and his people were convinced he was one- would behave? I think that Plummer did a very good job with his role here and his truly original acting is one of the highlights of the film.

For those who enjoy historical films with an epic frame this is one to see.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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