Sandokan (TV series)

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Based onSandokan novels
by Emilio Salgari
Screenplay by
Directed bySergio Sollima
ComposerGuido and Maurizio De Angelis
Country of originItaly
Original languageItalian
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
CinematographyMarcello Masciocchi
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 6 (1976-01-06) –
February 8, 1976 (1976-02-08)

Sandokan is a 1976 Italian six-part television series directed by Sergio Sollima, based upon the novels of Emilio Salgari featuring the pirate hero Sandokan. It was followed the next year by a feature-length spin-off film, and another twenty years later by a sequel series named The Return of Sandokan, with Kabir Bedi reprising his role as Sandokan in both.

Universally recognized as one of the most famous television dramas in the history of Italian television, Sandokan was broadcast by Rai in 6 episodes from 6 January to 8 February 1976 on Rete 1 (now Rai 1), enjoying great success, especially among younger audiences.[1] Together with the dramas The Odyssey (1968), Eneide (1971), and Jesus of Nazareth (1977), Sandokan inaugurated the beginning of forms of co-production with Italian and foreign producers; in this way, in the seventies, a different articulation of fiction began to emerge which tended to go beyond the "scripted from published work" genre to expand towards new frontiers, calling on directors and intellectuals to renew and expand the offer of fiction or other genres of the TV schedule.[citation needed]

The production of the drama was very complex and troubled: the production overall took about four years and its completion was mainly due to the great work effort of Sollima, whose intention was to create a realistic and impressive product; to achieve this goal Sollima dedicated almost all his energy during the production period.[2] Precisely the production grandeur and the great success with the public make this drama a milestone in the history of television; it was, in fact, the first case of an Italian "teleromanzo" to be made with the care and production grandeur of a colossal film.[3]



Malaysia, the second half of the 19th century. The English Queen Victoria owns the domain of the eastern lands of Borneo. The occupying British forces are commanded by Lord James Brooke, oppressive and ruthless governor and uncle of the beautiful Marianna Guillonk, nicknamed "The Pearl of Labuan". The brave Sandokan is a young Malaysian prince who has lost his kingdom and title as result of the British annexation. Along with his friend Yanez De Gomera (of Portuguese origin), Sandokan is now the ruler of the isle of Mompracem, a den of pirates who make constant attacks against British forces.

One day Sandokan travels from the island of Malaysia to the lands of Borneo. Lured into a trap, Sandokan is injured in an attack, falls overboard, and is found and treated by the family of Lord Brooke. In fact, the governor does not know Sandokan personally, and mistakes the pirate for an Indian noble. Sandokan plays along with this deception, as Marianna and he have fallen in love with each other. The love between them is not meant to last for long, as Lord Brooke eventually discovers the truth and begins to pursue Sandokan. This culminates in the invasion of Mompracem, in which Sandokan loses both Marianna and his base, but is able to escape and start his resistance against the English anew.





The musical score for the series was composed and performed by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis under their most famous alias, Oliver Onions. The score, released as an album, also included songs performed by the duo in Italian and English. Their title song, heard under the opening credits, became hugely popular in Italy and Europe.

See also



  1. ^ "Sandokan la tigre della malesia".
  2. ^ Alberto Crespi. "Kabir? Era grassoccio e si muoveva come Gloria Swanson..." Archived from the original on 2015-07-16.
  3. ^ Mauro Gervasini (8 July 2015). "La politica degli autori: Sergio Sollima".