The Southern Star (film)
The Southern Star (French title: L'Étoile du sud) is a 1969 British-French comedy crime film directed by Sidney Hayers and starring George Segal, Ursula Andress and Orson Welles. In French West Africa in 1912, an extremely valuable diamond is stolen. It was based on the novel The Vanished Diamond (French title L'Étoile du sud) by Jules Verne. The film's opening scenes were anonymously directed by Orson Welles - the last time he would direct scenes in another director's film.
Fortune hunter Dan Rockland comes to West Africa pretending to be a geologist. He is actually employed by Kramer, whose business is diamonds, and when Kramer's workers discover a huge uncut gem, Rockland is sent to retrieve it.
He and his African guide Matakit have opposition to contend with, first from Capt. Karl Ludwig, who is Kramer's security chief, and another is the diabolical Plankett, whose job Ludwig took. Jealousy is another factor, as Ludwig lusts after Kramer's beautiful daughter, Erica, and resents Rockland's interest in her.
The jewel is brought to Kramer and named The Southern Star, but at a party to celebrate the find, a power blackout leads to chaos. The diamond is gone. Matakit flees on a pet ostrich. Rockland sets out after him, with Erica coming along. Ludwig and his thugs are also in hot pursuit.
Plankett gets to Matakit first and takes him prisoner, setting a trap that leads to a shootout. In the end, just when it appears the diamond is safe, more ostriches show up and one of them just might have it.
- George Segal - Rockland
- Ursula Andress - Erica Kramer
- Orson Welles - Plankett
- Harry Andrews - Kramer
- Ian Hendry - Ludwig
- Johnny Sekka - Matakit
- Michel Constantin - Jose
- Georges Géret - Andre
The film was the 18th most popular movie at the UK box office in 1969.
- "BFI | Film & TV Database | L' ETOILE DU SUD (1968)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- "The World's Top Twenty Films." Sunday Times [London, England] 27 Sept. 1970: 27. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. accessed 5 Apr. 2014
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