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Sundown

Sundown(1941)

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Remind Me

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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At Manieka, an isolated outpost in British East Africa, civil commissioner William Crawford sends a telegram to the governor of Nairobi, requesting a furlough so that he may study the native customs of the Shenzi tribesman. Lieutenant Roddy Turner, concerned about rumors of impending trouble from the Shenzi, sends his own telegram urging the governor to deny Crawford's request. The governor responds by transferring control of the outpost to Major A. L. Coombes, who criticizes Crawford's lax security, particularly the fact that an Italian prisoner of war, Pallini, is permitted to cook for the officers. As Coombes is warning Crawford and Turner that the Shenzi have been arming themselves, they are joined by Dutch mineralogist Jan Kuypens, who had been acting for the Italian government and now offers his services to the British. Later, the native troops are ambushed by the Shenzi during a marching exercise, and Pallini warns Crawford and Coombes that Africa now has tremendous geopolitical significance, and that if Britain loses Africa, it will lose the war. Soon after, the exotically dressed Zia and her caravan approach the fort, and Pallini recognizes her as the operator of the largest trading network in Africa. That night, a birthday party for Pallini comes to an abrupt end when Zia and the natives suddenly leave, responding to a mysterious telepathic message that one of the white men will die. Crawford attributes this to Abdi Hammud, a suspected arms trader he had captured and released after the earlier ambush. The men keep careful watch, and when Hammud opens fire on the post with a machine gun, wounding Zia, who has returned to warn Crawford, they return fire and kill him. The next day, after Coombes has ordered her to leave the post, Zia tells Kuypens that she knows Hammud was distributing guns for him and offers to take over Hammud's smuggling route. As her caravan prepares to depart, Zia tells Pallini to warn Crawford about Kuypens, but Kuypens kills him before he can deliver his message. Crawford and Coombes, now in receipt of an official telegram identifying Kuypens as an arms dealer, set out in pursuit, stopping only to blow up a cache of guns at a native encampment. The next day, Crawford is captured and imprisoned in the fortress that serves as Kuypens' base of operations. As Kuypens communicates by radio with the Nazis, Zia warns Crawford that a series of native uprisings will begin the next day, and helps him escape from his cell. Kuypens catches Zia and tells her to order her caravan to release their arms to the Shenzi. She refuses, however, and fierce fighting breaks out among Kuypens' men and Zia's. Coombes, who had disguised himself as a member of the caravan, exchanges gunfire with Kuypens, and both men are killed. Later, at a bomb-ravaged church in London, newlyweds Crawford and Zia listen as the bishop, Coombes's father, repeats his son's final words, an inspirational message about the victory that will be England's.