The Southern Star
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A business entrepreneur pays a penniless American geologist, and several other experts and fortune hunters to uncover a large diamond, known as the southern star. The geologist, along with his companion, finds the diamond and takes it back to the businessman. When the diamond and the geologist's companion disappear, a search is begun to retrieve the diamond.
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The Southern Star (1968) starts out sluggish and it doesn't even pick up steam. It is unsure whether it wants to be a violent jungle manhunt flick or just a lazy adolescent comedy. I don't mind a little humour, but The Southern Star is so lackluster even in that, that nothing seems to work.
The plot is about a native Negro from French West Africa, who is friends with a white man who is engaged to Ursula Andress (as Erica Kramer), whose father, Kramer (English film actor Harry Andrews), does not like the arrangement. He's a ruthless diamond mine owner. George Segal doesn't do much either. He is the friend of the native Negro who may have stolen a diamond. Now I like George Segal (King Rat (1965), The Bridge at Remagen (1969)) but he doesn't have a good script and can't show us his prowess. Ursula Andress is eye candy and nothing else.
To bring in some conflict in the "story", they have a jealous rival to George Segal. Ian Hendry as Capt. Karl Ludwig doesn't like George Segal so he attempts to kill him and is following him. The whole film is about the chase through the jungle. In one stupid scene, George Segal starts a stampede with a few matches. The film is peppered with excessive stock footage of African animals. Orson Welles, as usual, drinks his way lazily through the film. In another scene, Ursula Andress, falls near a Cobra, again, stock footage is used and the scene looks so preposterous because the "dimension" of the Cobra stock footage is too big.
The characters don't really appear to be French at all, but more like Boers (Dutch and Afrikaners) or English blokes. Every jungle cliché is thrown in for good measure, quicksand, snake attacks, wooden bridge over river, soldiers who can't shoot, etc.
This is an average, dull affair, which doesn't really engage the viewer. It won't hurt to look at it, but don't expect much.
nosed teens) was still a natural wonder to behold. Orson Welles is slumming here...but then Orson slummed like nobody else and stole the screen from anyone foolish enough to share it with him. Harry Andrews was great and since my Father was a movie projectionist for 40 years I had occasion to see him in a slew of films but of course Ursula and Orson stole my attention away from the others. I love the ending! The movie is well paced and the comic duel of personalities between Ursula and Segal is worth the price of admission anyway.
It is a great family action/adventure film period and I don't think you'll feel cheated in anyway at the end except for slapping your head for not figuring out where the Diamond was!!!!
I would whole heartedly recommend.