Sands of the Desert (Desert survival films)

by osloj | created - 20 Feb 2016 | updated - 5 months ago | Public
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1. Walkabout (1971)

GP | 100 min | Adventure, Drama

85 Metascore

Two city-bred siblings are stranded in the Australian Outback, where they learn to survive with the aid of an Aboriginal boy on his "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe.

Director: Nicolas Roeg | Stars: Jenny Agutter, David Gulpilil, Luc Roeg, John Meillon

Votes: 21,181

2. The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

Not Rated | 142 min | Adventure, Drama

After a plane crash in the Sahara, one of the survivors says he's an airplane designer and they can make a flyable plane from the wreckage.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 17,826

3. Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

47 Metascore

Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.

Director: John Moore | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Miranda Otto, Giovanni Ribisi, Tyrese Gibson

Votes: 50,140 | Gross: $21.01M

4. The Lost Patrol (1934)

Passed | 73 min | Adventure, War

A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during World War I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford, Reginald Denny

Votes: 2,764

5. Sands of the Kalahari (1965)

Approved | 119 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

After a small aircraft crashes in the Kalahari Desert, one of the seven passengers decides that his survival chances would increase if he would eliminate the other men in the group.

Director: Cy Endfield | Stars: Stanley Baker, Stuart Whitman, Susannah York, Harry Andrews

Votes: 1,057

6. A Boy and His Dog (1975)

R | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

A young man and his telepathic dog wander a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Director: L.Q. Jones | Stars: Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Susanne Benton, Tim McIntire

Votes: 15,494 | Gross: $6.90M

7. Tremors (1990)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Horror

65 Metascore

Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one.

Director: Ron Underwood | Stars: Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross

Votes: 110,264 | Gross: $16.67M

8. Lost in the Desert (1969)

G | 81 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

After a plane crash a young boy and his dog wander through the Kalahari desert.

Director: Jamie Uys | Stars: Wynand Uys, Jamie Uys, Lady Frolic of Belvedale, Wilhelm Esterhuizen

Votes: 346

9. Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

An entomologist on vacation is trapped by local villagers into living with a woman whose life task is shoveling sand for them.

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara | Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô, Kôji Mitsui

Votes: 15,258

10. Phase IV (1974)

PG | 84 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them.

Director: Saul Bass | Stars: Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy, Lynne Frederick, Alan Gifford

Votes: 6,519

11. A Far Off Place (1993)

PG | 108 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

When a gang of African poachers raid her family's farm, young Nonni, visiting American teenager Harry Winslow and a local bushman guide must escape into the Kalahari desert and reach the nearest town.

Director: Mikael Salomon | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Ethan Embry, Jack Thompson, Sarel Bok

Votes: 3,177 | Gross: $12.89M

12. The Martian (2015)

PG-13 | 144 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara

Votes: 698,444 | Gross: $228.43M

13. Legend of the Lost (1957)

Approved | 109 min | Adventure, Drama

American ne'er-do-well Joe January is hired to take Paul Bonnard on an expedition into the desert in search of treasure.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Rossano Brazzi, Kurt Kasznar

Votes: 2,614

14. Hitch-Hike (1977)

Unrated | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A bickering couple driving cross-country pick up a murderous hitchhiker who threatens to kill them unless they take him to a sanctuary. In return he agrees to split some bank loot he has on him.

Director: Pasquale Festa Campanile | Stars: Franco Nero, Corinne Cléry, David Hess, Joshua Sinclair

Votes: 2,258

15. The Naked Prey (1965)

Approved | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

During the 1800s, a safari guide, two elephant hunters and their crew run into trouble with the natives in the South African veld when they refuse to offer gifts to the tribesmen.

Director: Cornel Wilde | Stars: Cornel Wilde, Gert van den Bergh, Ken Gampu, Patrick Mynhardt

Votes: 4,642

16. The Car (1977)

PG | 96 min | Action, Horror, Mystery

A small desert town is terrorized by a powerful, seemingly possessed car, and the local sheriff may be the only one who can stop it.

Director: Elliot Silverstein | Stars: James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, R.G. Armstrong

Votes: 8,157

17. Sahara (I) (1943)

Approved | 97 min | Action, Drama, War

After the fall of Tobruk in 1942, during the Allied retreat in the Libyan desert, an American tank picks-up a motley group of survivors but they face advancing Germans and a lack of water.

Director: Zoltan Korda | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, J. Carrol Naish, Lloyd Bridges

Votes: 7,448

18. White Sun of the Desert (1970)

Not Rated | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

At the end of the Russian Civil War, Red Army soldier Fyodor Sukhov is ordered to guard the harem of a Caspian Sea guerrilla leader.

Director: Vladimir Motyl | Stars: Anatoliy Kuznetsov, Pavel Luspekayev, Spartak Mishulin, Kakhi Kavsadze

Votes: 6,063

19. Sahara (1995 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, War

A tank commander and his men along with a group of assorted stragglers they picked up along the way try to keep a limited supply of water away from the Nazis.

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith | Stars: Jim Belushi, Alan David Lee, Simon Westaway, Mark Lee

Votes: 2,555

20. Sahara (1983)

PG | 111 min | Adventure, Drama

After her father dies, young Dale takes his place in a trans-African auto race, but ends up being abducted by a desert sheik.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: Brooke Shields, Lambert Wilson, Horst Buchholz, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 1,279 | Gross: $1.40M

21. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell

Votes: 58,153

22. Sahara (2005)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

41 Metascore

Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.

Director: Breck Eisner | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz, Steve Zahn, Jude Akuwudike

Votes: 87,794 | Gross: $68.67M

23. Holes (2003)

PG | 117 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

71 Metascore

A wrongfully convicted boy is sent to a brutal desert detention camp where he joins the job of digging holes for some mysterious reason.

Director: Andrew Davis | Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson

Votes: 71,461 | Gross: $67.41M

24. Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

Not Rated | 110 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

Stranded on Mars with only a monkey as a companion, an astronaut must figure out how to find oxygen, water, and food on the lifeless planet.

Director: Byron Haskin | Stars: Paul Mantee, Victor Lundin, Adam West, The Woolly Monkey

Votes: 5,692

25. The Hills Have Eyes (1977)

R | 90 min | Horror, Thriller

64 Metascore

On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston, Martin Speer, Dee Wallace

Votes: 27,471 | Gross: $25.00M

26. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

R | 107 min | Horror, Thriller

52 Metascore

A family falls victim to a group of mutated cannibals in a desert far away from civilization.

Director: Alexandre Aja | Stars: Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Dan Byrd, Emilie de Ravin

Votes: 151,093 | Gross: $41.78M

27. The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)

R | 86 min | Horror, Thriller

25 Metascore

A group of bikers, heading to a race, become stranded in the desert and find themselves fighting off a family of inbred cannibals who live off the land.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Robert Houston, David Nichols, Virginia Vincent, James Whitworth

Votes: 5,165

28. The Hills Have Eyes II (2007)

R | 89 min | Horror, Thriller

32 Metascore

A group of National Guard trainees find themselves battling against a vicious group of mutants on their last day of training in the desert.

Director: Martin Weisz | Stars: Daniella Alonso, Jacob Vargas, Michael Bailey Smith, Cécile Breccia

Votes: 58,100 | Gross: $20.80M

29. Red Planet (2000)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

34 Metascore

Astronauts, and their robotic dog AMEE (Autonomous Mapping Evaluation and Evasion), search for solutions to save a dying Earth by searching on Mars, only to have the mission go terribly awry.

Director: Antony Hoffman | Stars: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore, Benjamin Bratt

Votes: 53,108 | Gross: $17.48M

30. Hombre (1967)

Approved | 111 min | Western

80 Metascore

John Russell, disdained by his "respectable" fellow stagecoach passengers because he was raised by Native Americans, becomes their only hope for survival when they are set upon by outlaws.

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Diane Cilento

Votes: 10,380

31. The Objective (2008)

Not Rated | 90 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

26 Metascore

A military special operations team, led by a CIA case officer, are on a mission in the harsh and hostile terrain of Afghanistan where they find themselves in a Middle Eastern "Bermuda Triangle" of ancient evil.

Director: Daniel Myrick | Stars: Jonas Ball, Matthew R. Anderson, Jon Huertas, Michael C. Williams

Votes: 7,627 | Gross: $2.25M

32. Ordeal (1973 TV Movie)

90 min | Drama

Left to die in the desert by his wife and her lover, a businessman fights to survive and get his revenge.

Director: Lee H. Katzin | Stars: Arthur Hill, Diana Muldaur, James Stacy, Macdonald Carey

Votes: 209

33. The Canyon (2009)

R | 102 min | Thriller

A survival story about a honeymooning couple who get lost in the wide expanse of the Grand Canyon.

Director: Richard Harrah | Stars: Eion Bailey, Yvonne Strahovski, Will Patton, Wendy Worthington

Votes: 3,838 | Gross: $0.00M

34. The English Patient (1996)

R | 162 min | Drama, Romance, War

87 Metascore

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 168,302 | Gross: $78.65M

35. Far Beyond the Reservoir (2014)

10 min | Short, Drama

Alone in the African plains, an unlikely trio of poachers find themselves haunted by the spirits of the deceased animals they have killed.

Director: Jonathan D'Ambrosio | Stars: Willy Burkett, Jonathan D'Ambrosio, Gregory Dockery, Henry Frost III

36. The Peace Killers (1971)

R | 88 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Siblings Kristy and Jeffrey are buying supplies at a remote desert gas station when some members of a biker gang come cruising in. The bikers recognize Kristy, who used to be the main ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Schwartz | Stars: Clint Ritchie, Jess Walton, Paul Prokop, Michael Ontkean

Votes: 245

37. The Journey to Kafiristan (2001)

Unrated | 101 min | Drama

In 1939, the author Annemarie Schwarzenbach and the ethnologist Ella Maillart travel together by car to Kabul, but each is in pursuit of her own project. Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who was ... See full summary »

Directors: Donatello Dubini, Fosco Dubini | Stars: Jeanette Hain, Nina Petri, Monika Arnó, Vassilios Avgouteas

Votes: 307

38. Road to Morocco (1942)

Not Rated | 82 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Two carefree castaways on a desert shore find an Arabian Nights city, where they compete for the luscious Princess Shalmar.

Director: David Butler | Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Anthony Quinn

Votes: 4,743 | Gross: $1.63M

39. House of Sand (2005)

R | 115 min | Drama

70 Metascore

A woman is taken along with her mother in 1910 to a far-away desert by her husband, and after his passing, is forced to spend the next 59 years of her life hopelessly trying to escape it.

Director: Andrucha Waddington | Stars: Fernanda Montenegro, Fernanda Torres, Ruy Guerra, Seu Jorge

Votes: 2,960 | Gross: $0.53M

40. Buried (2010)

R | 95 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

65 Metascore

Paul is a U.S. truck driver working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap.

Director: Rodrigo Cortés | Stars: Ryan Reynolds, José Luis García Pérez, Robert Paterson, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 141,556 | Gross: $1.03M

41. Dust Devil (1992)

R | 87 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A woman on the run from her abusive husband encounters a mysterious hitch-hiker.

Director: Richard Stanley | Stars: Robert John Burke, Chelsea Field, Zakes Mokae, John Matshikiza

Votes: 4,335

42. The Steel Lady (1953)

Not Rated | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Cameron finds a tank buried in the Arabian desert during WWII, and proceeds to attack the Arabs with it.

Director: Ewald André Dupont | Stars: Rod Cameron, Tab Hunter, John Dehner, Richard Erdman

Votes: 230

43. The King Is Alive (2000)

R | 110 min | Drama

52 Metascore

When a bus breaks down in the desert, the passengers decide to stage "King Lear."

Director: Kristian Levring | Stars: Miles Anderson, Romane Bohringer, David Bradley, David Calder

Votes: 1,804 | Gross: $0.10M

44. Thirst (I) (2010 Video)

R | 91 min | Drama, Horror

Two couples roll their truck in the desert 80 miles away from anywhere.

Director: Jeffery Scott Lando | Stars: Lacey Chabert, Tygh Runyan, Mercedes McNab, Brandon Quinn

Votes: 690

45. The Strange Vengeance of Rosalie (1972)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

A traveling salesman is lured by a precocious teenage girl to her shack in the desert for some sexual escapades. However, a scuzzy biker comes along and they both find themselves dominated and tormented by him.

Director: Jack Starrett | Stars: Bonnie Bedelia, Ken Howard, Anthony Zerbe, Sebastian

Votes: 149

46. Lapse (V) (2010)

75 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A woman wakes up one morning alone in the desert with no memory and blood on her hands. Reality and memory collide as she struggles to make sense of events.

Director: Marianne Hansen | Stars: Karolina Dryzner, Sirry Jons, Keith Roenke, Emmett J Scanlan

Votes: 7

47. Afghan Breakdown (1991)

140 min | War

The film opens with a scene of an Islamic circumcision. After the opening credits, a line of Mujahedin are shown approaching a roadway where a squad of Soviet soldiers has been slaughtered.... See full synopsis »

Director: Vladimir Bortko | Stars: Michele Placido, Tatyana Dogileva, Mikhail Zhigalov, Filipp Yankovskiy

Votes: 375