6.5/10
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Trader Horn (1931)

Passed | | Adventure, Romance | 23 May 1931 (USA)
Two white traders in the darkest Africa of the 1870s find a missionary's daughter, who was captured as a child by a savage tribe and now worshiped as a goddess.

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Writers:

(based on the book by), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Nina Trent - the White Goddess
...
Mutia Omoolu ...
Rencharo - Horn's Gun Bearer
...
Edith Trent (as Olive Golden)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
(scenes deleted)
...
Edith Trent (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHITE GODDESS OF THE PAGAN TRIBES. THE CRUELEST WOMAN IN ALL AFRICA! (1953 reissue lobby card). See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 May 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horn le trafiquant  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,312,636 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

African actor Mutia Omoolu plays the part of Rencharo, Horn's loyal gun bearer. His first name was used as the name of Tarzan's escarpment at MGM. See more »

Quotes

Aloysius 'Trader' Horn: Aye, that's Africa for you. When you're not eating somebody you're trying to keep somebody else from eating you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Dennis the Menace: Miss Cathcart's Friend (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Cannibal Carnival
(uncredited)
Music by Sol Levy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic Film Of High Adventure
27 May 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

TRADER HORN, the Great White Hunter, treks into Darkest Africa in search of the long-missing daughter of a lady Missionary.

MGM produced one of the seminal adventure classics with this film, a benchmark against which all others would be measured for years to come. Although beset with production difficulties & traumas, including the near death of the leading actress, the film was an eventual triumph. Rarely seen today, it still packs a punch, if for no other reason than its splendid performances and the undeniable impact of its on-location filming.

Harry Carey, giving one of the first great performances of the sound era, is perfect in the title role. So well does he inhabit the character like a second skin that it is nearly impossible to imagine anyone else playing the part. Having already starred in innumerable silent Westerns, he brings enormous physicality to a movie which made great demands on its actors. Carey looks & sounds like someone who's spent years in the veldt. The slouch of his hat, the grim set of his eyes, the rough growl of his voice are all just right.

Handsome Duncan Renaldo, as Horn's earnest young Spanish companion, and exquisite Edwina Booth, as a white tribal queen, are both admirably suited to their roles. The sparks of their budding, hesitant romance lightens the end of the film.

Olive Golden Carey, the star's wife, is radiant in her very small role as a tough, determined but saintly missionary; the image of her seated in a sedan chair, being carried through the jungle on her endless quest, remains in the mind. Special mention should also be made of Mutia Omoolu, as Horn's gun bearer & friend, adding dignity and strength to his role; he was rewarded with rare recognition alongside the other performers during the opening credits.

Movie mavens will recognize wonderful old Sir C. Aubrey Smith, appearing uncredited for a few moments at the end of the film, in the role of an Irish trader.

Director Woody Van Dyke liked working on location, if possible, and so MGM went to the greatly added expense of sending the entire company to Africa. (Filming would take place in the Territory of Tanganyika, the Protectorate of Uganda, the Colony of Kenya, the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan & the Belgian Congo.) This proved a great boon to the picture, giving it an authenticity not replicable in any studio back lot. The scenes of the actors beside a tremendous waterfall, floating down a swollen river infested with hippos, or interacting with native Africans are still sensational today.

However, the cast and crew were forced to live and work under appalling conditions for many weeks. Miss Booth, one of the most beautiful actresses of the day, caught a ‘jungle fever' which left her deathly ill for years and effectively ended her film career.

The attempts of the Studio to shut down the film after the company returned from Africa, and lawsuits & demands for more money on the part of ill-used performers, only added to the acrimony at the time. However, from a vantage point of more than seventy years distance, TRADER HORN has emerged as one of the great adventure movies and a prime example of the sort of film ‘they just don't make anymore.'


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