Jean Bellard and Carl Mank, two Western engineers supported by Hamid are in search of a terrorist group that murdered their colleague in the Tunisian desert.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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John Ballard
Pamela Villoresi
Mauro Barabani
Emilio Locurcio
Luciano Bartoli
Geoffrey Gerald Copleston ...
(as Geoffrey Copleston)
Giorgio Del Bene
Antonio Ferrante
Pietro Valsecchi ...
Arabian terrorist
Antonio Cantafora ...
(as Michael Coby)
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Jean Bellard and Carl Mank, two Western engineers supported by Hamid are in search of a terrorist group that murdered their colleague in the Tunisian desert.

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Action | Crime | Thriller

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1977 (Italy)  »

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Det brutala gänget  »

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SAHARA CROSS (Tonino Valerii, 1977) **1/2
3 January 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I'd never heard of this one prior to happening upon its German DVD at a local rental outlet; it deals with three characters (and their African guide) who, after meeting up in the Sahara desert for a mystery job, become involved with a group of terrorists. The situation sees the two sides constantly double-crossing one another to gain the upper hand – the title (which is also how the film's called on its home ground), then, refers to their lengthy trek over a period of scorching days and freezing nights (via numerous means of transportation).

Though not a great "Euro-Cult" effort, SAHARA CROSS is a reasonably entertaining ride (co-written by the ubiquitous Ernesto Gastaldi and with a twist ending that makes of the film a sort of lighthearted RABID DOGS [1974]!). It's rendered all the more tolerable by the exotic location work, a cast that includes Franco Nero (his undeniable star quality takes some time to emerge here but, once it does, he invests his role with a typical blend of irony and machismo – conveniently, one of the terrorists is a good-looking girl!), Michel Constantin and Michael Coby, and a pounding score from Riz Ortolani.

Director Valerii maintains a good rhythm throughout between action, politics and suspense. This is the sixth film of his that I've watched, following four Spaghetti Westerns – DAY OF ANGER (1967), THE PRICE OF POWER (1969), A REASON TO LIVE, A REASON TO DIE (1972) and MY NAME IS NOBODY (1973) – and the semi-poliziottesco VAI GORILLA (1975); one I've missed out on in the past and would love to catch is the giallo MY DEAR KILLER (1972).


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