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Tigri 1900.jpg
Sandokan and Marianna cover Le tigri di Mompracem, Alberto Della Valle 1900
Created by Emilio Salgari
Portrayed by Kabir Bedi, Steve Reeves
Episode count Eleven novels
Aliases The Tiger of Malaysia
Gender Male
Specialty Boarding Raids
Occupation Pirate, Warrior
Spouse(s) Marianna Guillonk
Nationality Bornean

Sandokan is a fictional pirate of the late nineteenth century, who first appeared in publication in 1883, created by Italian author Emilio Salgari. He is the protagonist of eleven adventure novels and is known throughout the South China Sea as "The Tiger of Malaya".


Sandokan novels

Emilio Salgari wrote several novels chronicling the adventures of Sandokan and Yanez, two of his most legendary creations. The pirates are introduced in The Tigers of Mompracem, which portrays their relentless struggle against the Dutch and British powers that seek to wipe them out. In subsequent novels they battle against James Brooke, the Raja of Sarawak and also travel to India to measure themselves against the Thugs, a notorious band of stranglers devoted to the goddess Kali.

The titles in the series are:

  • The Mystery of the Black Jungle (I Misteri della Jungla Nera, 1895)
  • The Pirates of Malaysia (I Pirati della Malesia, 1896)
  • The Tigers of Mompracem (Le Tigri di Mompracem, 1900)
  • The Two Tigers (Le due Tigri, 1904)
  • The King of the Sea (Il Re del Mare, 1906)
  • Quest for a Throne (Alla conquista di un impero, 1907)
  • Sandokan Fights Back (Sandokan alla riscossa, 1907)
  • Return to Mompracem (La riconquista del Mompracem, 1908)
  • The Brahman (Il Bramino dell'Assam, 1911)
  • An Empire Crumbles (La caduta di un impero, 1911)
  • Yanez' Revenge (La rivincita di Yanez, 1913)

The last two titles were published posthumously.

There were also several other Sandokan titles published by Italian authors Luigi Motta, Emilio Fancelli and Salgari's son Omar.


A series of Italian made films with American leads were filmed in the 1960s and released internationally.

  • Sandokan the Great (1963)
  • Sandokan - The Pirate of Malaya (1964)
  • Sandokan Fights Back (1964)
  • Sandokan Against The Leopard of Sarawak (1964)

Sandokan was played by Steve Reeves in the first two movies, and by Ray Danton in the remaining ones.

TV miniseries

In 1976, Indian actor Kabir Bedi played the lead in Sandokan, a six-part miniseries for European television. Carole André was cast as Lady Marianna Guillonk, Philippe Leroy played Sandokan's trusted friend and lieutenant Yanez de Gomera. The role of the main antagonist James Brooke was performed by Adolfo Celi.

The serie included the episodes:

  • Sandokan (1976)
  • Sandokan Fights Back (1977)
  • The Return of Sandokan (1996)
  • The Son of Sandokan (1998)

A 2004 documentary Sandokan's Adventure detailed the making of the series.

Animated series

Sandokan from the Channel 4 animated series.

Sandokan the animated series was released in 1992 by BRB International, and broadcast in the United Kingdom on Channel 4. This children's animated show is loosely based on Salgari's novels. In the show Sandokan (here an anthropomorphized tiger) is an usurped prince who travels the seas as a pirate seeking to reclaim his rightful throne from the Rajah of Sarawak. The first nine episodes of the series are available in three DVD volumes in the United Kingdom. An animated movie, The Princess and the Pirate, was released in 1995.

Another animated series was released in 1998 from a coproduction among RAI or Mediaset on 1993-94, Studio Sek and Mondo TV and broadcast in Italy on Italia 1. This series was composed into three parts: Sandokan, la tigre della Malesia (Sandokan, the Tiger of Malaysia, produced in 1998); Sandokan, la tigre ruggisce ancora (Sandokan, the Tiger roars again, 2000); Sandokan, il coraggio della tigre (Sandokan, the courage of the Tiger, 2004).

See also

External links



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