Paul Bonnard arrives in Timbuktu in search of a guide to escort him into the Sahara desert. American Joe January takes the job despite misgivings about Bonnard's plans. Dita, a prostitute who has been deeply moved by what appears to be Bonnard's spiritual nature, follows the two men into the desert. Eventually the trio arrives in the ruins of a lost city, where Bonnard hopes to find the treasure his father sought years earlier before disappearing. But what Bonnard finds alters him in unexpected ways, with tragic results.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Roman ruins where the action take place are actually the ancient city of Leptis Magna in Libya, which is not in the middle of the desert, but at the very coast. In fact, the shot where the viewer sees a front view of the Roman theatre doesn't show the building's full height, so as not to reveal the sea in the background. See more »
They refer throughout the movie to the animals they are riding as donkeys, but they are clearly mules. See more »
Superb cinematography, Sophia at her most gorgeous.
This film is invaluable for its exquisite production values. It should not be missed for '50s costuming and make-up conventions, however improbable for a desert expedition. In addition, the no-show direction left all three principals to their own devices; and their natural strengths and weaknesses as performers are exposed. John Wayne fares best here, as he has never been more charismatic...or done more with less of a script. Brazzi fares worst, being unconvincing as a rival to John Wayne and as a romantic match for Sophia Loren. Pay close attention to the fist fight among the three adventurers. You will see each punch miss by at least a foot and a half.
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