Escape from Zahrain

Escape from Zahrain is a 1962 American action film directed by Ronald Neame and starring Yul Brynner, Sal Mineo, Jack Warden, Madlyn Rhue and Anthony Caruso.[1][2] The film is based on the novel Appointment in Zahrain by Michael Barrett (1960).[3][4]

Escape from Zahrain
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRonald Neame
Produced by
  • Ronald Neame
  • Francisco Day
Screenplay byRobin Estridge
Dudley Nichols (uncredited)
Based onAppointment in Zahrain
by Michael Barrett
Music byLyn Murray
CinematographyEllsworth Fredericks
Edited byEda Warren
Release date
  • April 23, 1962 (1962-04-23) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film is set in the fictional state of Zahrain, located in the Arabian Peninsula. An officer in the security service of a despotic regime arranges to murder a jailed revolutionary leader (Brynner) while he is being transferred between prisons. The leader’s supporters stage a rescue, intending to subsequently flee across the desert to the Protectorate of Aden.

In the chaos of the rescue two condemned prisoners, a common criminal with no interest in politics (Caruso) and an American oil worker (Warden), join the leader and the mastermind of the breakout (Mineo) in getting away. Later they encounter an educated nurse (Rhue) who they are compelled to take along, and a jaded British intelligence agent (James Mason) who they are confident will not reveal their whereabouts. Together they provide different perspectives on the Middle East of the early 1960s.



The film was based on the novel Appointment in Zahrain which was published in 1960.[5] Paramount bought the novel prior to publication and gave the job to adapting the script to Dudley Nichols.[6]

In October 1960 Paramount's then-chairman Jack Karp announced Richard Matheson was doing a script and Edward Dmytryk was going to direct the film.[7]

By May 1961 Yul Brynner was attached as star, with Ronald Neame to produce and direct and Sal Mineo to co star.[8][9] Neame said "the picture is a complete departure for me - a completely uninhibited chase story. For years I had tabbed as a long haired boy who likes difficult subjects and the notion has always badgered me. Escape for Zahrain however is one for the drive ins and I've thoroughly enjoyed it."[10] Robin Estridge wrote the script.

Filming began June 1961.[11]


  1. "Escape from Zahrain". 23 May 1962 via
  2. "Escape from Zahrain (1962) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies.
  3. "Escape from Zahrain (1962) - Screenplay Info -". Turner Classic Movies.
  4. ESCAPE FROM ZAHRAIN Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 29, Iss. 336, (Jan 1, 1962): 94.
  5. UNDER THE BOMB Share, Bernard. The Irish Times (1921-Current File); Dublin, Ireland [Dublin, Ireland]20 Feb 1960: 6.
  6. Looking at Hollywood: Cary Buys Screenplay for Himself, Hepburn Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 12 Sep 1959: w_a8.
  7. Dmytryk to Direct Paramound Picture: 'Appointment in Zahrain' His First Since 'Mountain' Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 10 Oct 1960: C13.
  8. Looking at Hollywood: Carroll Baker Set for Broadway Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963); Chicago, Ill. [Chicago, Ill]22 May 1961: b11.
  9. Looking at Hollywood: TV Star Rod Taylor to Be in Mitchum Film Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 26 June 1961: b16.
  10. Neame Completes 'Drive-In' Feature: British Director Satisfied With Non-Long-Hair Debut Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 15 Sep 1961: B7.
  11. Robert Horton Forms Production Company Los Angeles Times 22 June 1961: C8.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.