Sands of the Kalahari (1965)

119 mins | Adventure | 10 November 1965

Director:

Cy Endfield

Writer:

Cy Endfield

Cinematographer:

Erwin Hillier

Editor:

John Jympson

Production Designers:

Seamus Flannery, George Provis

Production Company:

Pendennis Pictures
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HISTORY

On 14 Aug 1961, DV announced that Joseph M. Schenck Enterprises had purchased screen rights to William Mulvihill's 1960 novel, The Sands of the Kalahari, and one year later on 6 Aug 1962, DV reported that the film would be produced in association with Joseph Levine's Embassy Pictures. At that time, Schenck Enterprises' Bernard Schwartz was set to executive produce the film, along with Troy Film producers Phil Hazelton and Alex Singer in the recent Troy-Schenck three-picture deal with Columbia Pictures. Screenwriters Irene and Louis Kamp were working on the adaptation.
       By early February 1964, Levine replaced the original production team with Cy Endfield and Stanley Baker after their success on Embassy Pictures' Zulu which was released several weeks earlier in London, as noted in a 4 Feb 1964 DV news item. The following day, Var stated that Baker had verbal agreements from Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to star in Sands of the Kalahari, and Baker intended to perform in the movie, himself. A 20 Mar 1964 DV column confirmed the couple's casting, but a 24 Jun 1964 Var item reported that their demand of a combined $1.5 million salary, as well as a large profit share in the film's gross, was not acceptable to the filmmakers. Carroll Baker was hired for Taylor's role (Baker was later replaced by Susannah York) and Robert Mitchum was being courted to step in for Burton. Albert Finney, Marlon Brando and Warren Beatty were also under consideration for roles, according to the 24 Jul 1964 DV, and George ... More Less

On 14 Aug 1961, DV announced that Joseph M. Schenck Enterprises had purchased screen rights to William Mulvihill's 1960 novel, The Sands of the Kalahari, and one year later on 6 Aug 1962, DV reported that the film would be produced in association with Joseph Levine's Embassy Pictures. At that time, Schenck Enterprises' Bernard Schwartz was set to executive produce the film, along with Troy Film producers Phil Hazelton and Alex Singer in the recent Troy-Schenck three-picture deal with Columbia Pictures. Screenwriters Irene and Louis Kamp were working on the adaptation.
       By early February 1964, Levine replaced the original production team with Cy Endfield and Stanley Baker after their success on Embassy Pictures' Zulu which was released several weeks earlier in London, as noted in a 4 Feb 1964 DV news item. The following day, Var stated that Baker had verbal agreements from Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to star in Sands of the Kalahari, and Baker intended to perform in the movie, himself. A 20 Mar 1964 DV column confirmed the couple's casting, but a 24 Jun 1964 Var item reported that their demand of a combined $1.5 million salary, as well as a large profit share in the film's gross, was not acceptable to the filmmakers. Carroll Baker was hired for Taylor's role (Baker was later replaced by Susannah York) and Robert Mitchum was being courted to step in for Burton. Albert Finney, Marlon Brando and Warren Beatty were also under consideration for roles, according to the 24 Jul 1964 DV, and George Peppard was scheduled to perform as of an 8 Dec 1964 DV piece. Peppard left the production after two days on set, the 25 Mar 1965 DV announced, and Alan Bates was in talks to replace him. However, the 3 May 1965 DV confirmed Stuart Whitman's casting.
       An 18 Jun 1965 DV production chart reported that filming began 10 Mar 1965 in South Africa, with Paramount Pictures as distributor. (One year earlier, a 1 Apr 1964 Var article referred to Paramount as a co-producer). Locations included the Skeleton Coast, Namibia. In a column by Whitman in the 20 May 1965 DV, the baboon sequence was shot the day before, and the production was set to move to London on 24 May 1965 for three weeks of interiors at Shepperton Studios. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1961
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Aug 1962
p. 3.
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1964
p. 1.
Daily Variety
20 Mar 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Jul 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Dec 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
25 Mar 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
3 May 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
20 May 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
18 Jun 1965
p. 14.
Variety
5 Feb 1964
p. 22.
Variety
1 Apr 1964
p. 8.
Variety
24 Jun 1964
p. 1.
Variety
27 Oct 1965
p. 26.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cy Endfield-Stanley Baker Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Sands of the Kalahari by William Mulvihill (New York, 1960).
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 November 1965
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 10 November 1965
Production Date:
began 10 March 1965
Copyright Claimant:
Pendennis Pictures
Copyright Date:
3 November 1965
Copyright Number:
LP32195
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
119
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When the takeoff of a plane destined for Johannesburg is delayed, one of the stranded passengers, Dr. Bondarahkai, persuades some of the other passengers to join him in chartering a smaller aircraft. The party includes Grace Monckton, a recent divorcee looking for a new life; Bain, an unsuccessful mining engineer; Grimmelman, an elderly German; and Sturdevant, a suspicious character who pilots the chartered plane. Joining them just before takeoff is a man carrying two gun cases, O'Brien, who soon bribes Sturdevant to fly toward Capetown instead. The changed course puts them in the path of thousands of locusts, which splatter the windshield and clog the engines, causing the plane to crash in the desert. With the copilot killed and the plane on fire, their only hope is to set out on foot through the desert, but they disagree on their methods for survival. Sturdevant, after unsuccessfully trying to rape Grace, decides to go seek help alone. O'Brien takes command of the group, forcing Dr. Bondarahkai to set out by himself, and then murders Grimmelman when he refuses to do the same. This last act is witnessed by Bain, who relates it to Grace and induces her to steal O'Brien's rifle, even though she is attracted to him. Bain knocks O'Brien unconscious and throws him down a deep pit, but that night a tremendous rain storm fills the hole with water, permitting him to escape. Now alone and hidden in some rocks, O'Brien decides to remain in the desert instead of accompanying Grace and Bain in a rescue helicopter. As the survivors fly away, O'Brien is surrounded by several baboons who have been tormented by him ever since the crash. ... +


When the takeoff of a plane destined for Johannesburg is delayed, one of the stranded passengers, Dr. Bondarahkai, persuades some of the other passengers to join him in chartering a smaller aircraft. The party includes Grace Monckton, a recent divorcee looking for a new life; Bain, an unsuccessful mining engineer; Grimmelman, an elderly German; and Sturdevant, a suspicious character who pilots the chartered plane. Joining them just before takeoff is a man carrying two gun cases, O'Brien, who soon bribes Sturdevant to fly toward Capetown instead. The changed course puts them in the path of thousands of locusts, which splatter the windshield and clog the engines, causing the plane to crash in the desert. With the copilot killed and the plane on fire, their only hope is to set out on foot through the desert, but they disagree on their methods for survival. Sturdevant, after unsuccessfully trying to rape Grace, decides to go seek help alone. O'Brien takes command of the group, forcing Dr. Bondarahkai to set out by himself, and then murders Grimmelman when he refuses to do the same. This last act is witnessed by Bain, who relates it to Grace and induces her to steal O'Brien's rifle, even though she is attracted to him. Bain knocks O'Brien unconscious and throws him down a deep pit, but that night a tremendous rain storm fills the hole with water, permitting him to escape. Now alone and hidden in some rocks, O'Brien decides to remain in the desert instead of accompanying Grace and Bain in a rescue helicopter. As the survivors fly away, O'Brien is surrounded by several baboons who have been tormented by him ever since the crash. In almost ritualistic fashion they fall upon him and begin chewing. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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