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Registered: 02-2005
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Seven Against The Sun

Seven Against the Sun - 1967

Australia is well known for fantastic war films, but this is a film from another former colony South Africa. When I bought the film, my guess from the cover art was that it was a Wild Geese type African bush mercenary film. Upon viewing it though I realised it was a serious, and well made film about the UDF force holding back the Italians in central Africa in 1941.

The cast of South African actors features no-one you’ve ever heard of (though one appears in Zulu as a Boer) but they are exceptionally fine portraying a 7 man wireless/infantry team. The plot is very simple – two trucks of 7 men move around the bush giving fake messages about huge Infantry movements, to convince the advancing Italians that a huge South African force is building up. In reality the army is hundreds of miles away, and this tactic is designed to put off the Italian offensive until after the rains come. By which time a suitable force will have been amassed.

The seven in the first truck encounter numerous problems including running short of water, encountering Italian patrols, and battling their mistrust of each other. They even pick up a nurse who’s truck and driver have been attacked by bandits. At first the characters seem tired old clichés – the inexperienced officer, the intelligent “thinking man” sergeant, the “old sweat” Corporal and the nervous recruits. However as the film develops all of the men are given time to show their true selves. The womaniser is in fact a virgin, the happy-go-lucky Private an alcoholic, the Corporal a tired nerve-shattered troublemaker.

   But it is the action set pieces that really stand out, the excellent uniforms and equipment also playing a part. An attack by Italian fighters on the UDF base is fantastically depicted, and the attack on the water hole, and final stand are great. Wonderfully authentic KD uniforms and pith helmets, SMLEs, and South African webbing, are equalled by what appear to be fine Italian uniforms. Nice Ford trucks, a Marmon-Herrington armoured car and nice Italian aircraft top off a fine film.

Its slightly reminiscent of Nine Men, Sahara and possibly Too late the Hero
2/12/2005, 2:45 am Link to this post Send Email to warfilmman

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