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Screening Details

Running Time: 79 min. (Colour) / Copyright Date: not given / Release Date: 30 November 1959 / Languages: Afrikaans, English & Portuguese / Genre: Crime / Alternative Title: none.


When it is discovered that tons of coral have disappeared from the seabed off the coast of Inhaca Island across what is now Maputo Bay, the Mozambican authorities call in Ponie de Wet, a rich South African who is an expert on the subject. Accompanied by his valet, Gamat, he flies to Lourenco Marques (staying at the Polana Hotel) before starting his investigations. While exploring the ocean floor, he meets a young woman who turns out to be in cahoots with the villains and is supposed to keep Ponie’s mind on other things – without much success. Apparently “a certain foreign power” is removing the coral in order to deposit it in the Gulf Stream, thus growing a barrier reef that will cause Western Europe to freeze over. In the meantime Ponie’s secretary, who is in love with her boss, flies in from Cape Town to assist him, while the villains are devising plans to eliminate them all....


Curiously, actor Ponie de Wet plays a character called Ponie de Wet. It was his only film role, but he became the Executive Director of the National Academy of Fashion in Pretoria. Actress Tessa Laubscher later became a noted jewelry designer under her married name, Tessa Fleischer. For Gabriel Bayman it was his first film variation on his Cape Malay persona, while popular radio broadcasters Dana Niehaus and Peter Chiswell had small roles as diplomats. The film was also the first to be directed by Elmo de Witt.

Note: Though the film was originally released in colour, subsequent reissues on DVD were in black-and-white.


Ponie de Wet (Ponie de Wet), Tessa Laubscher (Anita Dumont), Gabriel Bayman (Gamat Slingers), Lindea Bosman (Miss Malan), Desmond Varaday (Boss), Jan Bruyns (du Plooy), Willie Herbst (Henchman), Felix Sevell (Henchman), Peter Chiswell (Consul's Secretary), Dana Niehaus (Foreign Affairs Official), Hans Kaniuk (van Wyk), Don Barrigo - uncredited (Radio Operator).


Production Company: Jamie Uys Filmproduksies in cooperation with Johannesburg Filmproduksies / Director & Editor: Elmo de Witt / Producer, Story & Screenplay: Jamie Uys / Executive Producer: Hans Kaniuk / Cinematographers: Judex C. Viljoen & Vincent G. Cox / Special Underwater Photography: Frank Meerholz / Art Director: Han Vandenberg / Production Manager: Dawie van Heerden / Sound: Jos Gericke / Continuity: Yvonne Jennings.


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm

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