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The Wilby Conspiracy (1975)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  February 1975 (Austria)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,025 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

Black anti-apartheid activist and British engineer are forced to run from South African secret police.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Shack Twala
...
Jim Keogh
...
Major Horn
Prunella Gee ...
Rina Van Niekirk
...
Mukarjee
...
Persis Ray
Rijk de Gooyer ...
Van Heerden (as Ryk De Gooyer)
...
Blane Van Niekirk
Patrick Allen ...
District Commissioner
Joe De Graft ...
Wilby Xaba
Archie Duncan ...
Gordon
Abdulla Sunado ...
Village Headman
Helmut Dantine ...
Prosecuting Counsel
Peter Pearce ...
Highway Policeman
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Storyline

Having spent 10 years in prison for nationalist activities, Shack Twala is finally ordered released by the South African Supreme Court but he finds himself almost immediately on the run after a run-in with the police. Assisted by his lawyer Rina Van Niekirk and visiting British engineer Jim Keogh, he heads for Capetown where he hopes to recover a stash of diamonds, meant to finance revolutionary activities, that he had entrusted to a dentist before his incarceration. Along the way, they are followed by Major Horn of the South African State security bureau and it becomes apparent that he has no intention of arresting them until they reach their final destination Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the fight for freedom, you have to break all the rules. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1975 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Die Wilby-Verschwörung  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Caine once said of this film that it was his "first foray into that very risky realm of 'message' pictures." See more »

Goofs

While hiding the car in a village on the way to Johannesburg, Twali speaks Swahili with the villagers. Swahili is only spoken in East and Central Africa, for example in Kenya, the location of the shooting, but not in South Africa. See more »

Quotes

Jim Keogh: The police sure are busy tonight.
Shack Twala: In a police state, the police are always busy.
See more »

Connections

Featured in In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

All the Wishing in the World
(uncredited)
Music by Stanley Myers
Lyrics by Don Black
Sung by Diane Solomon
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A clichéd rendition on differences working together but a good film
5 March 2013 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Minor almost obscure flick with good and effective thrilling moments, "The Wilby Conspiracy" works like an updated version of "The Defiant Ones" happening in South Africa during the apartheid regime. But this time the political prisoner played by Sidney Poitier isn't chained to a white man, he's bound to a engineer (Michael Caine) who'll help you to escape to another African country to meet the leader of his resistance group. However, both of them are being followed by the police after a misunderstanding when of Poitier's release from prison. The plot, like most of its kind, involves the unlikely friendship between them and their small fights and complications.

While this isn't so groundbreaking and emphatic as Stanley Kramer's classic, there's plenty of detachable qualities about its presentation of South African's apartheid, the way the authorities worked (in a very revolting way), and the political issues although simplistic introduced are quite relevant, never getting in the way of the action which is the main focus in here (the escape, the diamonds plan, etc.) with some humored sequences. It staggers a bit but overall gets off with dignity and with plenty of great moments (the ending was excellent and quite poignant for what was happening at the time, no big Hollywoodian delusions). Poitier and Caine have good chemistry and are very notable but it's Nicol Williamson (as the chief of police) and Saeed Jaffrey (as the Hindu dentist responsible for getting members of the apartheid resistance out of the country) who steal the show, and there's even a very young Rutger Hauer on a pivotal role towards the conclusion.

Ralph Nelson commands a good movie combining political themes with adventure. It's a little unfortunate that at the time of its release this wasn't so well-known, could've been used as a social denounce and things could've been changed earlier in South Africa. A more politically charged piece would do more justice to the cause but this one accomplishes a good deal. 8/10


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