Sahara (1995 film)

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Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith
Produced by Darryl Sheen
Written by Philip MacDonald
David Phillips (screenplay)
Starring James Belushi
Alan David Lee
Simon Westaway
Michael Massee
Music by Garry McDonald and Lawrence Stone
Cinematography John Stokes
Edited by Alan Lake, Patrick Stewart
Distributed by TriStar Television
Release dates
  • April 25, 1995 (1995-04-25)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States/Australia
Language English, German

Sahara (also known as Desert Storm) is a 1995 American war film shot in Australia and directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith. The film stars James Belushi, Alan David Lee and Simon Westaway. This film is a remake of the 1943 Humphrey Bogart film Sahara.


In June 1942 on the eve of the Battle of El Alamein, American Sergeant Joe Gunn (James Belushi) and the crew of his M3 Lee tank Lulu Belle come across a group of Allied stragglers at a destroyed First Aid Station. The stragglers led by British doctor Captain Halliday (Jerome Ehlers), decide to ride with Gunn in an attempt to escape the advancing Afrika Korps. Picking up a downed Luftwaffe pilot, Captain von Schletow (Julian Garner), an African soldier, Tambul (Robert Wisdom), and Giuseppe (Angelo D'Angelo), his Italian prisoner they end up at a deserted Saharan oasis in search for water. With the Germans right behind them they decide to stay and defend the well, holding up a battalion of 500 Germans.

The well has completely dried up by then. A standoff and battle of wills begins between Gunn and Major von Falken (Alexander Petersons), the German commander. Gunn keeps up the pretence that the well is full of water and negotiates to buy time. Eventually, the Germans attack and are beaten off again and again, but one by one, the defenders are killed. During the fighting, von Schletow, the German flyer, tries to escape, injuring Giuseppe who tries to stop him. Giuseppe is then killed by German fire as he tries to alert Gunn. Tambul chases down and kills von Schletow before he can report the dry well; he is killed as he returns, but is able to tell the others that the Germans did not know that the well was dry.

The thirst-maddened Germans' final assault turns into a full-blown surrender as they drop their weapons and claw across the sand towards the well. Gunn discovers, to his shock, that a German shell that exploded in the well has tapped into a source of water. Gunn and Bates (Alan David Lee), the only other Allied survivor, disarm the Germans while they drink their fill. At the end a British Long Range Desert Patrol arrives at the oasis.



The film was made on location of Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia. The Afrika Korps was played by 130 RAAF personnel.[1]


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