The Steel Lady

The Steel Lady
Directed by Ewald André Dupont
Produced by Edward Small
Written by Aubrey Wisberg
Starring Rod Cameron
Tab Hunter
World Films
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • October 9, 1953 (1953-10-09) (United States)
Running time
84 mins
Country USA
Language English

The Steel Lady (a.k.a. Treasure of Kalifa) is a 1953 American action film.[1]


In a manner not dissimilar to the events of the film Flight of the Phoenix, four oil company employees crash-land in the desert of North Africa. They have limited food and water, no radio, no way to repair the plane and, with no hope of rescue, face a slow death. Then one of the crew spots the antenna of a German tank from World War II sprouting from the sands. Digging down, they discover the ‘Steel Lady’ of the title, complete with mummified crew, lost in the dunes ten years before, out of water, fuel, and supplies, rather like themselves.

After burying the German crew, they attempt to repair their radio with parts from the tank's radio; only marginally successful, they manage to tell the outside world that they are alive, but can only pass on their latitude before the jury-rigged radio burns out.

It is then that they come up with a wild idea. If they could dig out and clean up the tank, they can use the petrol left in the plane to drive out of the desert.



Filming started in December 1952.[2]


It was released on a double bill with Captain John Smith and Pocahontas.[3]


  1. The Steel Lady at TCMDB
  2. Perilous Voyage' Will Star Ralston and Brady; Cameron Desert Battler Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Nov 1952: B7.
  3. Adventure Keynotes Two-Feature Program Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Nov 1953: A9.

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