Sahara Cross

Sahara Cross is a 1977 Italian action film directed by Tonino Valerii. It is the first Italian film to use steadicam.[2][3]

Sahara Cross
Directed byTonino Valerii
Produced by
  • Donatella Senatore
  • Giorgio Cardelli[1]
Screenplay by
Story byAdriano Belli[1]
Music byRiz Ortolani[1]
CinematographyFranco Di Giacomo
Edited byMario Siciliano[1]
Cine Vera s.p.a.[1]
Distributed byF.A.R
Release date
  • September 7, 1977 (1977-09-07) (Italy)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
Box office₤706.96 million




The film was originally very different than the completed film.[4] Valerii stated that the film was originally titled Arissa Ballerina and written by Adriano Belli.[4] Valerii commented that "In short, everything was the opposite of what Hitchcock recommended, that is, that characters must ignore what the viewer knows. I told the producers I would make a film out of that script, because it just made no sense!"[4] Gastaldi and Valerii re-wrote the script, but struggled as the Tunisian co-production signed on to Belli's script. Gastaldi's contribution added new motivations for characters and included a few new scenes such as the battle between two bulldozers.[4] Valerii wasn't initially happy with casting Pamela Villoresi, stating that "Sometimes you have to make do with compromises or economical limitations, Villoresi is a very good actress, but I wouldn't cast her as a terrorist, if it weren't for a pre-signed agreement."[4]

The film was shot in nine weeks.[4] It was shot at Cinecitta with exteriors shot in Tunisia.[1] Valerii used a steadicam for the desert shots.[4] As it was a very first model, director of photography Franco Di Giacomo and cameraman Gianfranco Transunto were sent for special training in Vienna to use it.[4]


Sahara Cross was released in Italy on September 7, 1977 where it was distributed by F.A.R.[1] The film grossed a total of 706,960,000 Italian lira on its theatrical run.[1]


  1. Curti 2013, p. 230.
  2. Roberto Curti, Il mio nome è Nessuno. Lo spaghetti western secondo Tonino Valerii, Unmondoaparte, Roma 2008, p. 77. ISBN 978-88-89481-17-2
  3. David Ballerini, Steadicam. Una rivoluzione nel modo di fare cinema, Falsopiano, Alessandria 1999, p. 70.
  4. Curti 2013, p. 231.


  • Curti, Roberto (2013). Italian Crime Filmography, 1968-1980. McFarland. ISBN 0786469765.

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