This article is about a fictional novel. For a place in Malaysia, see Sandakan.
For The Italian camorrista Francesco "Sandokan" Schiavone, see Francesco Schiavone.

Sandokan and Marianna "the pearl of Labuan" on the cover of the novel The tigers of Mompracem, Alberto Della Valle 1900
Created by Emilio Salgari
Portrayed by Kabir Bedi, Steve Reeves
Aliases The Tiger of Malaysia
Gender Male
Occupation Pirate, Warrior
Spouse(s) Marianna Guillonk
Nationality Bornean

Sandokan is a fictional pirate of the late 19th 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 Malaysia".[1]

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 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.

Paco Ignacio Taibo II has written a modern Sandokan novel called The Return of the Tigers of Malaysia.



The first Sandokan films were made in 1941 Italy with Luigi Pavese as Sandokan

A series of Italian-made films with American leads were filmed in 1964 and released internationally.

A pair of Italian films featuring a character named "Sandok" were filmed based on the character by Salgari

TV miniseries

In 1976, Indian actor Kabir Bedi played the lead in Sandokan, a six-part miniseries for European television directed by Sergio Sollima. 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 series included the episodes:

In 1977 Kabir Bedi reprised his role in the film La tigre è ancora viva: Sandokan alla riscossa! (aka The Tiger Lives Again: Sandokan To The Rescue!). The TV series theme song, Sandokan, was composed by Oliver Onions (a pseudonym of the De Angelis brothers), and made the Top 10 in many European countries, albeit mostly in the translated English version.

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

Animated series

Sandokan the animated series was released in 1992 by Spanish animation studio BRB International, and broadcast in the United Kingdom on Channel 4. This children's animated show, written by Doug Stone and Dave Mallow, 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 on 1993-94, Studio Sek and Mondo TV and broadcast in Italy on Rai 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, le due tigrie (Sandokan, The Two Tiger, 2004). The adventures of this 26 episode cartoon series are based on the stories of the famous Italian novelist Emilio Salgari (1862–1911). The story takes place in the second half of the 19th century, and is situated in the Malaysian archipelago, Borneo, and India. Co-produced with RAI Italy, and TF1 France, the series achieved a big success such that it a second series was decided to be produced on this character. An interactive computer game, a video special, a sticker album, along with other Merchandising articles such as books, toys, shirts, bags etc. are now available based on the series


  1. "Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies - Google Books". 2006-12-26. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
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