Robert Wilson leads safaris on the Kenyan savanna. On this occasion, he takes Mr. and Mrs. Macomber out to hunt buffalo. The obnoxious ways of Margaret Macomber make the three of them get ...
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Robert Wilson leads safaris on the Kenyan savanna. On this occasion, he takes Mr. and Mrs. Macomber out to hunt buffalo. The obnoxious ways of Margaret Macomber make the three of them get on each others nerves. During the hunt Francis Macomber is shot by his wife. An accident or an attempt to get rid of Francis? Written by
When Margaret and Robert start out on their safari driving across the country, in close shots they are shown looking out the right side of their truck at wildlife, but the shots of the animals they are presumably viewing are taken out the left side of a moving vehicle. See more »
According to the Michael Freedland biography of Gregory Peck, The Macomber Affair was the second of two films he owed Casey Robinson the screenwriter who occasionally produced and directed. The first was Peck's debut film Days Of Glory and for the second since Robinson did not know what he wanted to use Peck for, he let Greg pick the property. As he had just got around to reading the story which had been published a decade earlier in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Peck chose the Ernest Hemingway short story, The Short Unhappy Life Of Francis Macomber, the title shortened to The Macomber Affair for marquee purposes.
Producing this film with Robinson was Benedict Bogeaus who usually did B films with real limited production. A second unit crew did go to Africa and got some real nice black and white jungle footage, but the cast did this one strictly on the back lot. I have to give Bogeaus and Robinson good marks for editing the film shot with the cast in with the background.
In fact this film is a notch or so above Gregory Peck's second film with a Hemingway subject, The Snows Of Kilimanjaro which was shot in Africa. This one is no frills Hemingway with the exception of a changed and cop out ending to please the Code.
Gregory Peck plays the white hunter who escorts Mr.&Mrs. Francis Macomber on a safari where they are trying to recapture the magic that has gone from their relationship. Peck warns them up front that women and safaris don't mix and what follows seems to confirm his point of view.
The Macombers are played by Robert Preston and Joan Bennett and they have the much showier parts than Peck does and they make the most of it. Especially Bennett who essays one of the great bitch roles of all time, successfully poaching on a part that Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck would have gone to town with. How that woman just demeans Preston especially after he shows some understandable fear as a newbie in the jungle during a hunt for a wounded lion is really just sad.
Under Peck's tutelage who is the ultimate machismo Hemingway hero, Preston starts losing his inhibitions which Bennett cannot stand. The result is tragedy.
Hemingway's timeless writing and subject matter hold up well for today's viewer. We get a realistic portrayal of Africa that you normally don't see from American studios. The Macomber Affair is a film that fans of all the principal players and Papa Hemingway will appreciate centuries from now.
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