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Sands of the Desert (1960)

Diminutive and timid travel agent Charlie Sands (Charlie Drake) is sent by his boss, Mr Bossom (Raymond Huntley) to supervise the opening of “Bossom’s Bedouin Holiday Camp” in the middle eastern desert – despite Charlie’s protests that he can’t stand the sun, can’t tolerate flying because of heights and the fact that he has to change his aunt’s library book!

On the plane, Charlie meets Janet Brown (Sarah Branch), a reporter on her way to interview the notorious Sheikh El Jabez (Peter Arne). Charlie falls in love with Janet at first sight, but she treats him with disdain.

From the moment Charlie arrives in the desert, a sequence of incredible and hilarious events land him in all kinds of situations – from scuffles in the bazaar to an evening in a desert harem with a bevvy of beauties.

It turns out the proposed holiday camp is located in an area contested by two tribal leaders – Sheikh El Jabez and Sheikh Ibrahim (Peter Illing) – one of whom has a secret oil contract.

Despite the exotic-sounding location, the film is studio-bound (it was filmed at Elstree) with poor acting and a truly awful script – but there are long scenes of big healthy girls in the harem, so there’s that.

Charlie Sands
Charlie Drake
Sheikh El Jabez
Peter Arne
Janet Brown
Sarah Branch
Mr Bossom
Raymond Huntley
Rebecca Dignam
Sheikh Ibrahim
Peter Illing
Harold Kasket
Advisor to Sheikh
Marne Maitland
Neil McCarthy
Derek Sydney
Alan Tilvern
Martin Benson
Eric Pohlmann
Inia Te Wiata
Paul Stassino

John Paddy Carstairs