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A veteran white trader in the darkest Africa of the 1870s mentors a younger companion on the mysteries of the Dark Continent. After meeting a missionary, they go in search of Nina, her kidnapped daughter, who was abducted by natives when she was young and now reigns over the savage tribe, regarded by them as a goddess. When the two men are captured and slated for horrible death by her people, she rescues them, and the trio flees the pursuing tribesmen through savage country. Written by
Halfway through filming, MGM sent a sound crew to Africa because of the public's desire for all-talking sound pictures. However, the sound quality was so poor almost all the dialogue sequences were reshot at MGM's Culver City Studio. African natives Mutia Omoolu and Riano Tindama were brought back to Hollywood for some additional filming. When this activity caused rumors to circulate that the entire production was filmed on the back lot, MGM scrapped much of the new footage, including scenes with Marjorie Rambeau, who was replaced by Olive Carey as Edith Trent. See more »
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is indebted to the governmental officials of The Territory of Tanganyika, The Protectorate of Uganda, The Colony of Kenya, The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, The Belgian Congo, whose co-operation made this picture possible - and to White Hunters Maj. W.V.D. Dickinson, A.S. Waller, Esq., J.H. Barnes, Esq., H.R. Stanton, Esq., for their courageous services through 14,000 miles of African veldt and jungle. See more »
I woke up in the middle of the night in my apartment in New York City, turned on Turner Classic Movies, and here is this amazing adventure in Africa captured on film that deserves a "10" for tremendous.
What an effort making this movie must have been for everyone involved. The sheer magnitude of the undertaking is something that would never get produced today. Only though the magic looking glass of film can we witness fiction and nonfiction brought together on such scale.
For kids who love "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings" or the new crop of video-game movies, imagining what it was like for the cast and crew of "Trader Horn" to accomplish what they did is something entirely different. There's nothing digital here; it's all real. You can SMELL the animals on the plains of the old (and gone) Africa, a brutal and far more primordial place than it is today, all filmed without CGI or green-screen gimmickry.
The cast includes Harry Carey in the title role (who performed in more than 250 films) along with the arrestingly beautiful young actress, Edwina Booth, playing a bizarre White Goddess, and who, like many of the cast and crew, was so wiped out and sick from what must have been grindingly grueling conditions on location in Africa, in 1930, that it basically ended her acting career. Two of the crew died during filming; one consumed by crocodiles, and one native boy charged by a rhino in a scene captured and kept in the film. Duncan Renaldo (who played the Cisco Kid years later on television) adds another dimension to the ensemble of the four leading players, completed by Mutia Omoolu, a native African playing Trader Horn's gun bearer in the only role of his life, plus hundreds of extras and other African actors whose names are lost to history.
Fortunately, the remarkable effort of the people who created "Trader Horn" is not lost. Today, and for generations to come, we can experience this truly amazing adventure in Africa and "miracle of pictures."
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