Sands Of The Kalahari

A flight to Johannesburg, South Africa is delayed. Bikel, one of the stranded passengers, decides to hire a small private plane. Joining him on the charter is a stock ensemble including York as a recent divorcee trying to rebuild her life; Baker, a failed mining engineer; Andrews, an older German man; and Davenport, the smarmy pilot. Just before the plane...read more

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A flight to Johannesburg, South Africa is delayed. Bikel, one of the stranded passengers, decides to hire a small private plane. Joining him on the charter is a stock ensemble including York as a recent divorcee trying to rebuild her life; Baker, a failed mining engineer; Andrews, an

older German man; and Davenport, the smarmy pilot. Just before the plane takes off, the little group is joined by Whitman. He has two gun cases for luggage and bribes Davenport to head for Capetown rather than the intended destination. En route, the plane encounters a cloud of locusts, which

splatter against the windshield and clog up the plane's engines. Ultimately the plane is forced down in a fiery crash that kills Davenport's copilot. The group is forced to go it alone out on the desert, and immediately arguments for the best survival tactics come up. Davenport tries to rape York

but after failing heads out onto the desert by himself. Whitman takes over as group leader and forces Bikel to go off alone as well. He orders the German to do the same, but when Andrews refuses, Whitman kills him. Baker sees this and convinces York to steal the man's rifle. Baker knocks out

Whitman and throws him into a hole, but a handy rainstorm floods the hole that night, permitting the villain an escape device. He hides among some rocks and, enmeshed in the survival game, decides to stay in the desert rather than join the two other remaining members in a rescue helicopter. But as

York and Baker fly off, Whitman gets what's coming to him. He's surrounded by a group of baboons that have been annoying him ever since the crash. They attack him and begin to devour the hapless man. This could have been a terribly funny bit of hokum, but the script and direction never pander to

the overly melodramatic potential inherent in the plot. Rather it becomes a well-crafted string of action scenes that use the African locations with good effect. The ensemble is excellent, never sinking to the ham acting with which these sorts of pictures are usually sprinkled. Rather, it's on the

whole quite entertaining and often suspenseful. The ending is as eerie as they come, wholly unexpected and well handled. At worst, SANDS OF THE KALAHARI is a bit too long, which causes it to drag at certain points.