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Dark of the Sun (1968)

The Mercenaries (original title)
Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 3 July 1968 (USA)
A band of mercenaries led by Captain Curry travel through war-torn Congo across deadly terrain, battling rival armies, to steal $50 million in uncut diamonds. But infighting, sadistic rebels and a time lock jeopardize everything.

Director:

Jack Cardiff

Writers:

Ranald MacDougall (screenplay) (as Quentin Werty), Adrian Spies (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rod Taylor ... Capt. Bruce Curry
Yvette Mimieux ... Claire
Peter Carsten ... Capt. Henlein
Jim Brown ... Sgt. Ruffo
Kenneth More ... Doctor Wreid
André Morell ... Bussier
Olivier Despax Olivier Despax ... Surrier
Guy Deghy ... Delage
Bloke Modisane ... Kataki
Calvin Lockhart ... President Mwamini Ubi
Alan Gifford ... Jansen
David Bauer ... Adams
Murray Kash Murray Kash ... Cochrane
John Serret ... Father Dominic
Danny Daniels ... General Moses
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Storyline

British commando, Captain Curry, is hired by President Ubi of war-torn Congo, to steal $50 million in uncut diamonds from a time-locked vault before the separatist Simba army that's fighting Ubi's forces and the UN peacekeepers overruns the remote town where the bank that holds the vault is located. Curry teams up with his friend Ruffo, Doctor Wreid, who's an alcoholic, and Henlein, a sadistic Nazi who left Germany after WWII to work as a mercenary. The mercenaries reach the town by Ubi's train after surviving an attack from the UN peacekeepers, only to find a number of terrified Westerners who were driven out from their homes by force, including torture, rape and murder, by the Simba rebels. They agree to help them leave town and befriend one of them, a pretty widow called Claire whose husband was murdered by the rebels. As their mission nears completion everything suddenly goes horribly wrong and the story culminates in an orgy of sadistic graphic violence as Henlein betrays the ...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brutes! Savages! Heroes! ...Paid to fight in the fury of the Congo! [UK theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark of the Sun See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's MacGuffin was a cache of uncut diamonds valued at US $50 million. See more »

Goofs

They don't mine cut diamonds in Congo. See more »

Quotes

Doctor Wreid: [thrown onboard the train in a drunken stupor] Aah, piss off!
Sergeant Ruffo: [to Curry, smiling] Captain, the Doctor.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Coach Rolls Back
Written and Performed by Jacques Loussier Et Son Orchestre
See more »

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User Reviews

Fine early example of the mercenary-subgenre
4 June 2003 | by ChristianLadewigSee all my reviews

The band of awkward soldiers and ex-soldiers willing to do everything for money is represented well here. A formula to be repeated over and over again mainly in Italian "Wild Geese" clones finds its embodiment in Rod Taylor, who brings his schooling of 120 % acting over as usual. His long time comerade is the overconscious Ruffo, a native of their Congolese country of action played by former football-jock and blaxploitation icon Jim Brown. I have the feeling the American version had an important side of the coin taken out: More interesting than the routine plot of escorting diamonds in a train through areas infested with wildman rebels is the inner struggle of Rod Taylor's character with the omnipresent racism towards his black pal, mainly shown by Sergeant Henlein, played by very German actor Peter Carsten. In the German dubbed version this is explained well: Taylor - who has got the German name Willy Krüger - and Henlein were comrades in the Nazi Wehrmacht. The bad guy still acts like a nazi while Taylor/Krüger even tries to forget his past by being a complete almost anti-patriotic mercenary. Technically the film does not fail to entertain. Solid characterizations, good acting throughout, colourful photography and a lively Africanized jazz score make "The Mercenaries" a great adventure movie.


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