Legend of the Lost (1957)
Legend of the Lost
aka Man from Timbuctoo
aka The Legend of Timbuktu
Adventure / Drama / Romance
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Cast: John Wayne as Joe January
Sophia Loren as Dita
Rossano Brazzi as Paul Bonnard
Kurt Kasznar as Prefect Dukas
Sonia Moser as Girl
Angela Portaluri as Girl
Ibrahim El Hadish as Galli Galli
Idealistic Englishman Paul Bonnard is searching for a guide into the Sahara desert when he stumbles upon Dita, a prostitute who robbed him. Paul becomes as obsessed with saving Dita from her life of crime as he is with confirming his father’s claims of finding a lost city. A reluctant guide is found in Joe January, who has run afoul of the local law and is seeking a way out of the city. Dita wants to go with them, but Paul insists that it is too dangerous and leaves her behind. Shortly after the journey begins Dita catches up with them and Joe threatens to turn back if she stays. Paul convinces Joe to continue and they proceed into the desert. They encounter a band of natives who are trying to save a sick man with chants. Paul uses the medicine he has with him to save the man, earning their admiration and promises of free passage through their lands. The journey continues despite occasional scuffles between the trio, until they eventually find the lost city with Paul’s map. They also find three skeletons, and amongst their belongings a note explaining that Paul’s father went mad with grief and paranoia when his lady left him for the guide, causing a fight that killed all three. Paul begins to drink in despair at his father’s fate and lack of treasure, when Joe is able to piece together the clues that Paul’s father left indicating the location of the treasure is a nearby bat cave. Together the three of them find the cave and the treasure. Paul begins to heap jewels upon Dita, professing his love for her, and turns violent when she spurns him, running to Joe for protection. Seeing history repeating itself, Paul flees with the pack animals, supplies and treasure in the middle of the night, leaving Dita and Joe to die in the desert. Joe and Dita track Paul through the desert, catching up to him. Paul and Joe fight and Joe knocks Paul out. Joe begins to dig for water and Paul recovers and believes they are digging his grave and attacks, stabbing Joe in the back. Joe is forced to kill Paul. Almost completely out of supplies, things look grim, when they are spotted by the band of natives they helped earlier and Dita and Joe are saved.
Notes: John Wayne suffered a broken leg on the set while filming Legend of the Lost.
Originally the part of Paul Bonnard was offered to James Mason, although he turned it down.
Wayne and director Henry Hathaway made several movies together, including The Shepherd of the Hills , North to Alaska, How the West Was Won, The Sons of Katie Elder and True Grit .
Cinematography is provided by the acclaimed Jack Cardiff.
Directors: Henry Hathaway
Actors: Rossano Brazzi, Sophia Loren, John Wayne