6.4/10
1,133
22 user 3 critic

The Wilby Conspiracy (1975)

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Shack Twala
...
Jim Keogh
...
Major Horn
Prunella Gee ...
Rina Van Niekirk
...
Anil Mukerjee
...
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

Director Ralph Nelson once said that this movie is "...a film about man's humanity to man, which, in the course of entertaining, may also make people think". 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

Features Halaku (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Geliefde Man
Music by Stanley Myers
Lyrics by Jeremy Taylor
Sung by Dean Hart
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User Reviews

 
"In A Police State, The Police Are Always Busy"
4 July 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I would really have liked to have given The Wilby Conspiracy a higher rating than I did. But unfortunately a really huge and ridiculous error was made in telling the tale.

Due to political pressure brought to bear from various world human rights activists, black nationalist Sidney Poitier is freed by the apartheid South African government. On the way to celebrate, Poitier, his lawyer Prunella Gee and her boyfriend Michael Caine get into a mêlée with South African police and after assaulting a pair of them have to flee.

But it turns out the government in freeing Poitier in the first place has a whole other agenda. Poitier also has something else in mind, to get a stash of diamonds hidden years ago in a robbery to aid the African National Congress.

During the course of fleeing Poitier seeks the aid of an Indian dentist played by Saeed Jeffrey and his assistant Persis Khambatta. While Poitier is hidden away in a modern day priest-hole he takes Khambatta in there with him and while the South African Security are even outside within a few feet of him, Poitier and Khambatta are doing the horizontal mambo. Now granted Poitier had been in prison for 10 years and he was understandably ready to go, still I found it a bit much. The steamy sex scene definitely sold a lot movie tickets, but it was awkwardly planted into the story.

Acting honors in this film go to Nicol Williamson as the South African Security Police Chief Horne. He is a chillingly evil man, resolute in defense of the apartheid society and a bigoted product of that same society. Williamson is living proof of what Martin Luther King said about racism being as toxic to the perpetrator as to the victim.

The Wilby in the Wilby Conspiracy is a Nelson Mandela like figure who is in exile in neighboring Botswana. He only enters the film at the very end and in a surprising way.

The Wilby Conspiracy other than that tacked on sex scene done for box office dollars is a great portrait of the last days of the apartheid society of South Africa. It should be seen for Nicol Williamson's portrayal alone.


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