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Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Southern Star (1969)

Set in 1912 French West Africa, when the largest diamond in the world called the Southern Star is stolen, the chase is on to capture the suspected thief (Johnny Sekka). But did he steal it? Loosely based on the Jules Verne novel L'ETOILE DU SUD, this jungle adventure takes a long time in getting a rhythm going and even then, it's run of the mill fare. George Segal seems out of his element as the conniving hero, it's the kind of role a Harrison Ford or Michael Douglas could slip into easily. Though handsomely filmed on location in Senegal in Techniscope by Raoul Coutard (JULES ET JIM), the film is marred by some inferior rear projection shots. Most notably when Ursula Andress is terrorized by a cobra, it's painfully obvious that Andress is sitting in front of a projected backdrop of a cobra. Directed by Sidney Hayers (BURN WITCH BURN). Matt Monro sings the title song. With Orson Welles looking bored, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews and a scene stealing ostrich called Olga.

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