The Southern Star (film)

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The Southern Star
Directed by Sidney Hayers
Produced by Roger Duchet
Nat Wachsberger
Screenplay by David Pursall
Jack Seddon
Based on The Vanished Diamond
1884 novel 
by Jules Verne
Starring George Segal
Ursula Andress
Orson Welles
Ian Hendry
Johnny Sekka
Music by Georges Garvarentz
Cinematography Raoul Coutard
Edited by Tristam Cones
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
Running time
104 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The Southern Star (French title: L'Étoile du sud) is a Technicolor 1969 British-French comedy crime film directed by Sidney Hayers and starring George Segal, Ursula Andress and Orson Welles.[1] 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 (George Segal) comes to West Africa pretending to be a geologist. He is actually employed by Kramer (Harry Andrews), 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 (Johnny Sekka) have opposition to contend with, first from Capt. Karl Ludwig (Ian Hendry), who is Kramer's security chief, and another is the diabolical Plankett (Orson Welles), who resents Rockland's interest in a woman named Erica (Ursula Andress).

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.



The film was the 18th most popular movie at the UK box office in 1969.[2]


  1. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | L' ETOILE DU SUD (1968)". 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  2. ^ "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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