Escape from Zahrain

Escape from Zahrain is a 1962 American Panavision and Technicolor 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 [fr] (1960).[3][4]

Escape from Zahrain
The Poster for this film shows people running from a truck.
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 [fr]
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] Robin Estridge wrote the script.

Filming began June 1961.[10]


  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. 29 (336). London. Jan 1, 1962. p. 94.
  5. ^ Share, Bernard (Feb 20, 1960). "UNDER THE BOMB". The Irish Times. p. 6.
  6. ^ Hopper, Hedda (Sep 12, 1959). "Looking at Hollywood: Cary Buys Screenplay for Himself, Hepburn". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. w_a8.
  7. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (Oct 10, 1960). "Dmytryk to Direct Paramound Picture: 'Appointment in Zahrain' His First Since 'Mountain'". Los Angeles Times. p. C13.
  8. ^ Hopper, Hedda (May 22, 1961). "Looking at Hollywood: Carroll Baker Set for Broadway". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. b11.
  9. ^ Hopper, Hedda (Sep 15, 1961). "Looking at Hollywood: TV Star Rod Taylor to Be in Mitchum Film". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. B7.
  10. ^ "Robert Horton Forms Production Company". Los Angeles Times. June 22, 1961. p. C8.

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