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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 »
Reviews
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:

You Don't Kill for Women, You Don't Kill for Diamonds, You Kill Because You're Paid for it! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

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

Publicity for this picture declared that it was the first major motion picture to examine the Congo Rebellion which is aka the Congo Crisis aka the Congo Uprising. See more »

Goofs

The Swedish UN forces are seen carrying the FN FAL rifle. Neither the regular Swedish Army nor the Swedish UN troops ever used this rifle. 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 Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Racially Charged Actioner.
1 February 2011 | by meddlecoreSee all my reviews

This film is the story of two mercenaries- Captain Curry and his counterpart Ruffo- an American educated Congolese- as they set out on a mission to save $50 million worth of diamonds...and a few people's lives. The whole story takes place in UN occupied, wartorn Congo. The government forces are fighting against a rebel group called Simba, who control a large part of the territory by force, while the rest of the country is under protection by UN peacekeepers. The two men gather a group of mercenaries including a Nazi war criminal, an alcoholic doctor and the leader of a squad from the Congolese army with troops. Curry is paid $50000 dollars (seems like a pretty good deal for the Congolese President!!) to go behind enemy lines and bring back the diamonds, the superintendent responsible for overseeing the operation of the mine, and his beautiful daughter.

There is a lot of racial tension in this film. Especially between Curry and Ruffo, as Curry- at the beginning of the film at least- considers Ruffo his inferior based solely on his race. There are also a lot of racially tense moments involving Nazi war criminal turned mercenary, Heinlein, and pretty much everyone that isn't white. Curry always attempts to demean Ruffo , but Ruffo's positive outlook on life allows him to take the blows without being terribly bothered. In the long run though, Curry will realize that he is not giving Ruffo as much credit as he deserves. The two men were there for very different reasons- Curry to make money, and Ruffo to help the people suffering from the Simbanese oppression. Curry's ignorance wears off as the film progresses and he becomes closer to Ruffo, though these tensions do lead to the film's climax.

The film is set-up similar to Buster Keaton's "The General"- only more serious and less comedic in its form. But similarly, they acquire a mission, begin on their journey by train dealing with a few obstacles before reaching their destination, meeting some tense moments before escape, and the chase and conflict involved with making it back to safety. A very classically organized film, but one so absorbed with action and politics, that it makes for one helluva spectacular film. There are a lot of awesome action sequences.

This is a great politically oriented actioner, worth checking out. 7.5 out of 10.


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