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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 UN doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator
Sahara poster

Movie poster

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PLOT

The film begins with a prologue set in Richmond, Virginia in 1865, showing the ironclad CSS Texas, carrying the last of the Confederacy’s treasury, as Captain Adrian Tombs tries to run a Union blockade.

The film then moves to the present day, circa 1990s, where World Health Organization doctors Eva Rojas and Frank Hopper are investigating a disease that is spreading across Mali, Africa. Assassins attempt to murder Eva, but she is rescued by Dirk Pitt, from National Underwater and Marine Agency, who was working nearby.

Dirk gets a call from a dealer in Nigeria. He sells Dirk a gold Confederate States of America coin, one of supposedly only five in existence, which was found in the Niger River. Dirk believes that this is a clue to the long-lost Texas. He convinces his boss, James Sandecker, to let him, Al Giordino, and Rudi Gunn, from NUMA, go to Mali to search. They give Eva and Hopper a ride, so that they can continue their investigation, for the WHO.

Businessman Yves Massarde and dictator General Kazim, who controls half of civil-war torn Mali, try to stop the doctors from discovering the source of "plague". Kazim sends men to kill them and the NUMA team, not realizing their CIA and Navy background. Dirk, Al and Rudi survive the attack. Rudi tries to get out of the country to get help while Dirk and Al go to rescue the doctors. They save Eva, and then the three try to get across the border, but are captured by Tuareg, who are fighting the civil war. The Tuaregs’ leader, Madibo, shows Eva his people, who are dying from the same disease she was investigating at the beginning. After taking samples, Eva finds that their water is contaminated.

By accident, Al stumbles into a cave with a painting showing the ironclad Texas. Dirk believes that the Texas became stranded when the river water dried up after a storm and that the same river that carried the Texas now runs underground, spreading the contamination. They start to follow the dry river bed and work their way to the border. Dirk still hopes to find the ironclad along the way. Their plans are interrupted when they stumble upon the solar detoxification plant owned by Massarde, and realize that it is the source of the contamination. Rudi and Sandecker analyze their samples and find that the contamination is heading down the Niger River to the ocean, but they can't get any government help to intervene during a civil war in a sovereign country.

Massarde captures Dirk and the others. He keeps Eva but sends Dirk and Al to Kazim. They escape and contact Sandecker, who warns them that Kazim and his troops are after them. Dirk and Al enlist Madibo’s aid to return to the plant and rescue Eva. He helps them infiltrate the plant and rescue his people who are working there as slaves. Rather than risk discovery, Massarde plans to destroy the plant, making it almost impossible to stop the contamination. Al goes to defuse the bombs while Dirk tries to head off Massarde. After a battle with a corrupt Tuareg, Dirk manages to save Eva while Massarde escapes. Dirk, Eva, and Al get away from the plant, but are strafed by Kazim in a helicopter gunship. A series of explosions along the dry river bed reveals the Texas, right where the cave
Sahara

Movie poster for 2005 version of Sahara

painting showed it to be. They take cover inside but Kazim’s ammunition is too much for the old ironclad's armor. They manage to fight back with the old cannon and destroy Kazim's gunship, just as Madibo arrives with Tuareg reinforcements.

In the end the contamination is dealt with, and Sandecker is offered a deal to do some covert work, while the government serendipitously funds NUMA, which he accepts, tentatively. Massarde, busy eating with a businessman, does not notice that the waiter who serves him water (which he drinks) served only him and disappeared with the rest of the bottle. The Texas gold, which belongs to the CSA - Confederate States of America, is left with Madibo’s people. Later, while Al, Rudi, Sandecker are busy, Dirk and Eva are at the beach at her house on the bay in Monterey.

Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:

Dirk Pitt: [after they come across a wrecked plane in the middle of
  the Sahara] Ill bet you a hundred theres a tool kit in there.
Al Giordino: [looking at the tattered remnants of the plane] I dont
  wanna rain on your crazy parade, buddy, but I dont think we can
  fix this thing.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

[on the phone, after they pulled a Panama]
Admiral James Sandecker: He pulled a Panama!

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

[first lines]
Sailor Who Drops Gold: Sorry, captain.
Pilot, Ironclad: Its all right son, just keep moving. Thats the
  future in your hands.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: Hey, you ever been after marlins, doctor?
Dirk Pitt: Oh, no, not the marlin story again, Al.
Al Giordino: Seven hundred and thirty-three pounds. Five and a half
  hours in the fighting chair.
Dirk Pitt: I thought it was 600 pounds.
Al Giordino: Hey! What did you catch that day? I cant remember
  anything at all.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Dirk Pitt: He is going to blow it up.
Al Giordino: That isnt very subtle.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Dirk Pitt: [after they have pushed the bed of a pick-up truck out,
  that they are handcuffed too and each other] Well, thats a new
  one.
Al Giordino: [looking at the chains that are still attached] Yeah.
  Were home free now.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Admiral James Sandecker: I cant ask you boys to do this alone.
Dirk Pitt: Thats the great part about it, sir. You know you never
  have to.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

[first title card]
Title card: Richmond, Virginia 1865 / The end of the Civil War
Title card: The last ironclad ship to run the Union blockade

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Admiral James Sandecker: [after being ignored on the phone] Theyre
  ignoring me. I cant believe they are ignoring me. [turns around to
  see that no one is listening to him on his ship] Everyones
  ignoring me.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

[last lines]
Dirk Pitt: Theres something I wanted to say to you that I never got
  a chance to.
Eva Rojas: Whats that?
Dirk Pitt: You DO throw like a girl! Hey! You do!

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: [in Kazims stolen car, being chased by a chopper] Its
  Kazim! Hey, maybe he wants his car back?

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

[Al, Dirk and Rudi are being chased in the Admirals boat]
Al Giordino: What do you think, Dirk?
Dirk Pitt: Uh... I think we need to pull a Panama!
Al Giordino: A Panama... a *Panama*?
Admiral James Sandecker: [on the phone] A Panama? No! No Panama!

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: Hey, you know how it is when you see someone that you
  havent seen since high school, and they got some dead-end job, and
  theyre married to some woman that hates them, they got, like,
  three kids who think hes a joke? Wasnt there some point where he
  stood back and said, "Bob, dont take that job! Bob, dont marry
  that harpy!" You know?
Dirk Pitt: Your point?
Al Giordino: Well, were in the desert, looking for the source of a
  river pollutant, using as our map a cave drawing of a Civil War
  gunship, which is also in the desert. So I was just wondering when
  were gonna have to sit down and re-evaluate our decision-making
  paradigm?
Dirk Pitt: [coming up on the fortress seen in the cave painting] I
  dont know - it seems to be working so far.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: [points at Dirks coin clue] Hey, you know my dad
  collected ancient coins, from Rome, China, Siam, Persia... somehow
  they all ended up in a shoe box in New Jersey.
Dirk Pitt: Meaning?
Al Giordino: Coins travel, Dirk. I mean, even if that poor guy was
  still alive, it could have been nothing.
Dirk Pitt: Yeah, but the coin traveled from somewhere Al. Unless it
  hitched a ride on the back of a dolphin, Im gonna guess its
  jumping off point was a little closer to where were sitting.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Dirk Pitt: We could use some serious muscle out here.
Admiral James Sandecker: Well, youre not gonna get it. Im getting
  the D.C. two-step, big time!

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: [after the boat blows up] I lost my hat!

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

[two of Zatibs gunboats have just intercepted the NUMA team]
Dirk Pitt: Im sorry, I dont speak English.
Gunboat Officer: You are speaking English right now.
Dirk Pitt: No, I only know how to say, "I dont speak English" in
  English.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: Ah, how do you put this thing on, anyway?
Dirk Pitt: What? Just wrap it around your noggin.
Al Giordino: Which part, this? [Holds up end of turban fabric] .
Dirk Pitt: Yeah.
Al Giordino: [Pulls the fabric from his head] well, how come yours
  stays on?
Dirk Pitt: Maybe you have a small head.
Al Giordino: I dont think so. Someone would have told me.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: Man, the Admirals gonna be mad when he hears you lost
  his satellite phone.
Dirk Pitt: Not as mad as when Rudi tells him it was attached to the
  boat.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Dirk Pitt: Ill meet you at the boat. [Slaps Al in the arm then
  leaves the bar]
Al Giordino: [acts like Dirk is still there] Ow. No, I got the check.
  Dont worry about it. Im serious. I know, I get it all the time.
  Sit down, Ill get the check. Laddition.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Dirk Pitt: [to Eva as Al, Dirk and Eva are being pursued in Kazims
  car] I hope you dont throw like a girl!

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Eva Rojas: [as Kazims troops lay down their weapons in surrender]
  Looks like you killed the snake.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Al Giordino: [after an explosion that ripped down an interior wall to
  reveal confederate gold] Jefferson Davis had how many samples made?

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Dr. Frank Hopper: How long have you two be together, anyway?
Al Giordino: Kindergarden, college, Navy, NUMA. Poor guys always
  been in my shadow.
Dr. Frank Hopper: That is long time.
Al Giordino: Yep. Always the Als maid, never the Al.

'Movie Name: Sahara (2005) Quote:'

Admiral James Sandecker: Youve got 72 hours, and not a nanosecond
  more.

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