52 user 20 critic

Legend of the Lost (1957)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 17 December 1957 (USA)
American ne'er-do-well Joe January is hired to take Paul Bonnard on an expedition into the desert in search of treasure.


Henry Hathaway


Robert Presnell Jr. (screenplay) (as Robert Presnell Jnr.), Ben Hecht (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Joe January
Sophia Loren ... Dita
Rossano Brazzi ... Paul Bonnard
Kurt Kasznar ... Prefect Dukas
Sonia Moser Sonia Moser ... Girl
Angela Portaluri Angela Portaluri ... Girl
Ibrahim El Hadish Ibrahim El Hadish ... Galli Galli


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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Great SAHARA Adventure! See more »


Adventure | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


John Wayne broke his leg during filming. See more »


Sophia Loren's dress appears to variously rip, repair and re-rip itself in various scenes. See more »


Joe January: [referring to the lost city] I've been walkin' around thinkin'. It's a great town for thinkin' - no distractions.
See more »


Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #9.33 (1959) See more »

User Reviews

Ambitions may kill you
9 December 2007 | by esteban1747See all my reviews

It is a good combination to have strong John Wayne together with attractive Sophia Loren in a film, which was complemented with the acting of the Italian Rossano Brazzi. The film in fact is just an invention, everything starts in Timbuctu, an area populated by Touaregs and today part of Mali in West Africa, which at the time of the film plot was under the French domination. Here you have an American (Wayne)trying to celebrate 4th July there, then a white prostitute (Loren) and a French "Lord" (Brazzi). Wonder how a white prostitute and an American were able to reach that far area as Timbuctu. At present a plane flies daily from Bamako to Timbuctu, and to go by road is not advisable. Another fiction is to find a river in the Sahara. In any case, the best is to forget the origin of the subjects and its fictions in the film and to follow the plot, which is of value. Love may be developed after continuous talks between people, poor and non educated ones may like to be rich, but in several cases their sense of solidarity prevails over the ambitions, and this is what we find in the film, a good example of cruel egoism and also human solidarity. The best is that the egoist does not win finally.

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Italy | USA



Release Date:

17 December 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Legend of Timbuktu See more »

Filming Locations:

Leptis Magna, Libya See more »


Box Office


$1,750,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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