Review: ‘Sands of the Kalahari’

Cy Endfield, co-producer, director and scripter of the long film (made almost entirely on location in Africa), wisely makes the camera as important as anyone in the cast, emphasizing the savagery that is throughout. Although Endfield has been lucky with his casting, some members too quickly betray symptoms of scenery chewing.

Cy Endfield, co-producer, director and scripter of the long film (made almost entirely on location in Africa), wisely makes the camera as important as anyone in the cast, emphasizing the savagery that is throughout. Although Endfield has been lucky with his casting, some members too quickly betray symptoms of scenery chewing.

A planeload of assorted types crashes in the desert and the rest of the film deals with their efforts to survive. It’s some time before a villain is unveiled and, even then, the viewer’s faith gets a few shakes. Susannah York, as the only female in the cast, gets plenty of exposure. Stuart Whitman, a gunhappy survivalist, and Stanley Baker, a nondescript loser, are the only main characters. Unbilled but colorful are assorted natives, animals and insects.

Entertainment, pure and simple [from a novel by William Mulvihill], was evidently what the filmmakers aimed for and that’s the target they hit.

Sands of the Kalahari

UK

Production

Paramount/Levine. Director Cy Endfield; Producer Cy Endfield, Stanley Baker; Screenplay Cy Endfield; Camera Erwin Hillier; Editor John Jympson; Music John Dankworth; Art Director Seamus Flannery, George Provis

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Extract of a review from 1965. Running time: 119 MIN.

With

Stuart Whitman Stanley Baker Susannah York Harry Andrews Theodore Bikel Nigel Davenport
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