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The Black Tent (1956)

Not Rated | | Drama, War, Romance | July 1957 (USA)
In the African desert, a British soldier romances the native chief's daughter and helps the tribe fight off a Nazi attack.


Robin Maugham (story), Robin Maugham (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Donald Sinden ... Col. Sir Charles Holland
Anthony Steel ... Capt. David Holland
Anna Maria Sandri ... Mabrouka ben Yussef
André Morell ... Sheik Salem ben Yussef (as Andre Morell)
Terence Sharkey Terence Sharkey ... Daoud Holland
Donald Pleasence ... Ali
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... Maj. Croft
Anthony Bushell ... Ambassador Baring
Michael Craig ... Sheik Faris
Paul Homer Paul Homer ... Khalil ben Yussef
Anton Diffring ... Senior Nazi Officer
Frederick Jaeger ... Koch - Junior Nazi Officer
Derek Sydney ... Interpreter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bryan Forbes ... Dying Soldier (scenes deleted)


In the African desert, a British soldier romances the native chief's daughter and helps the tribe fight off a Nazi attack.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

July 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tenda Negra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

The Rank Organisation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »


David leaves his tent with his Revolver in its holster and attached by a lanyard to his shoulder. Mabrouka then runs to warn him of the German patrol by which time he no longer has his revolver as it needs to be found under a pillow by a German Officer. See more »

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User Reviews

WWII romance mystery with exotic scenarios from the British Rank factory
2 December 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Intriguing adventure/WWII yarn dealing with a wealthy heir (Donald Sinden) is worried when his eldest brother (Anthony Steel) fails to return home from North African campaign , as Rommel's Africa Korps have vanquished the British army in Tobruk . As brother Donald Sinden is packed off to discover that he's fallen for a Sheik's (Andre Morell) daughter (Anna Maria Sandri) and thrown in an adventurous life with a Bedouin tribe in the Libyan African desert.

Drama , mystery , intrigue , romance story in which the alleged heir of a fortune is worried about the eldest sibling who occupies the ancestral seat has disappeared during the African campaign and then he sets out in his quest . Well written by actor/director Bryan Forbes and Robin Maughan , based on his novel . Pleasantly filmed romantic drama , all very stiff-upper-lip , here outstanding a pretty good main and support cast . As stiff Anthony Steel gives a passable acting as the British soldier who joins the Bedouin and romances the native chief's daughter , subsequently marrying her and then he helps the tribe fight off a Nazi attack . Along with the beautiful Italian actress who had a brief career, Anna Maria Sandri , giving a below-average acting . Other actors appearing as Donald Sinden and Andre Morell provide better performances . Furthermore , prestigious British secondaries as Donald Pleasence , Ralph Truman , Anthony Bushell , Michael Craig , Anton Diffring in his usual Nazi role, Bryan Forbes himseld as a dying Soldier and Nanette Newman uncredited as Mabrouka's voice.

It packs a colorful and sunny cinematography by Desmond Dickinson , shot on location in Roman ruins, Sabratha, Libya and Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, Compton Wynyates, Warwickshire, England, UK . It conatins an atmospheric and evocative musical score by William Alwyn ,adding Arabian sounds . The motion picture nicely produced by Earl St. John , being professionally directed by Brian Desmond Hurst , though I has some failures . Brian arranges to flatten the interest out of potentially thrilling material . Hurst was a craftsman , probably best known to modern audiences as the director of exotic adventures , WWII , Christmas and controversial films . He made what is generally considered to be Ireland's first sound film, Irish Hearts (1934). Two years later he made a film that caused the authorities in his native Northern Ireland to forbid it from being shown there : Ourselves Alone (1936), a story of the 1921 Irish rebellion against British rule , being the English language equivalent of the name for the Irish political party "Sinn Féin", it was banned in his native Northern Ireland at the time of its release in 1936, although it has since achieved critical and is shown in museums and other public access points in Northern Ireland . And he , subsequently , went back his Irish roots in other films as Hungry Hill (1947) . Hurst ran into censorship troubles again with his adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart (1934), which was prohibited in many areas of Great Britain for being "too horrible" for public exhibition. These incidents didn't deter Hurst from making controversial films, however. He turned out the dark On the night of the fire (1939) in 1939, regarded as one of the first British "noir" films . During the war Hurst made such films as Dangerous Moonlight (1941), a well-regarded story of an American newswoman in England who falls in love with an exiled Polish pianist who wants to return to his country to fight the Nazis , this film also popularized the musical number "Warsaw Concerto". After the war he made what he regarded as his favorite film, Theirs Is the Glory (1946), about the disastrous British-American wartime operation at Arnhem in Holland, which became Britain's biggest-grossing film for almost a decade . The film he is most famous for results to be Scrooge (1951) with Alastair Sim, considered by critics and audiences alike to be the best and definitive film version of Charles Dickens' classic novel "A Christmas Carol" . He is also noted for his World War II film The lion has wings (1939) . Among his other successes was Malta story (1953), about the defiant resistance of the military and civilian populations on the island of Malta against relentless Nazi bombing during the war, and Simba (1955), about the Mau-Mau rebellion against British colonial rule in Kenya . And other movies as ¨Trottie true¨, ¨The Mark of Cain¨ , ¨Behind the mask¨, and ¨Dangerous Exile¨ about the French Revolution . He retired in 1963 after "John Millington Synge's Playboy of the Western World" which was his final picture , and died in London in 1986.

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