Sands Of The Desert. Charles Sands (Charlie Drake). Copyright: Associated British Picture Company / STUDIOCANAL
Sands Of The Desert

Sands Of The Desert

  • 1960 film

Comedy starring Charlie Drake as a travel agent sent to oversee his company's new holiday camp in the desert. Also features Peter Arne, Raymond Huntley, Peter Illing, Harold Kasket, Marne Maitland and more.

Sands Of The Desert. Copyright: Associated British Picture Corporation

Key details

Stafford Byrne
Charlie Drake, Peter Arne, Raymond Huntley, Peter Illing, Harold Kasket, Marne Maitland, Neil McCarthy, Paul Stassino and more
John Paddy Carstairs, Charlie Drake, Robert Hall and Anne Burnaby
John Paddy Carstairs
Gordon L.T. Scott

Charles Sands, a meek little travel agency clerk, is constantly indulging in day dreams in which he is the hero. When his boss tells him he is to be sent to the desert to supervise the opening of the firm's new holiday camp after their previous representative was killed in a tragic accident, Charles finds he cannot measure up to his dreams.

On the plane, he meets Janet Brown, a glamorous newspaper reporter who is on a mission to the desert to interview El Jabez, a ruthless Arab chief. She has little time for the awkward Charles, who falls in love with her at first sight, and after the plane lands she is driven away in an elegant car while Charles is forced to continue his journey in a rickety two-seater aircraft, which completes its journey upside-down.

Meanwhile, El Jabez - the brain behind the "accident" at the holiday camp that befell Charles's predecessor - plans to rid himself of the new agency representative. The camp is being built on oil land; land to which he feels he has a right, and he is willing to go to any lengths to force the agency to stop building.

He orders two of his henchmen, Mamud and Mustafa, to dispose of Charles. However Charles has found himself two staunch allies in burly bodyguard Hassan and orphan girl, Nerima. Their loyalty helps him to escape the sheik's men during a street market brawl.

While staying with a friendly local desert chieftan Charles finds himself in his host's harem, surrounded by a bevy of beautiful girls who want to give him a bath in perfumed water. Shyly he gets ready, but just as he is about to climb into the tub his host arrives with Janet! Apologising profusely he asks Charles to give his room to Janet as there is nowhere else she can sleep, and Charles graciously agrees.

Unfortunately for Janet, Mamud and Mustafa are hot on Charles's tale and during the night they drug and abduct her by mistake, believing her to be Charles in the darkness.

At first El Jabez, the very man she has travelled from England to meet, is all for cutting off her head. But when she charms him by dancing more exotically and seductively than any of his trained slave girls, he quickly changes his mind!

All would have been well had Charles not reappeared on the scene, determined to defend Janet's honour: but she is none-too-keen on being rescued, having fallen in love with Jabez. The pair's love, however, does not prevent the ruthless chieftan from ordering Charles is tied up and kept under guard, to be used as a bargaining point with the travel company.

But with Janet's help Charles escapes back to the holiday camp, ready to supervise its completion, and where the company's friendly local tribal partners make an astonishing discovery that could bring peace to the region and satiate El Jabez's ruthless anger once and for all.

Additional details

UK certificate
92 minutes
UK release
Thursday 8th September 1960
UK premiere
July 1960


Camera set-up
Single camera

Website links

Broadcast details

All previous repeats
  • Friday 25th May 2018 at 3:15am on London Live
  • Tuesday 12th December 2017 at 3:00pm on London Live

Recording details

  • Associated British Elstree Studios

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