When the great potato famine hits Ireland, the diaspora begins as thousands emigrate. Among those leaving the Emerald Isle is Katie O'Neill and her husband, who decide that the promised land is South Africa and make their way there. Once there, they discover the hardships that are the reality of the homesteader experience. To complicate matters, Katie meets up with the love of her life, Paul van Riebeck. Will there be betrayal on the veldt? Written by
Richard Egan takes a Dumpin' and keeps on Stumpin'
I love "Untamed," but not in the same way as previous commentators. It is arguably the dumb-funniest piece of Hollywood formulaic crap every produced. Basically, Henry King remade "Gone With The Wind," set it in South Africa using standard Western gimmicks. Christ, they must have raided "Gunfight at OK Corral's" wardrobe, and cocked every cowboy hat on one side. But the joke's on them because it is such overwrought camp that I can't stop laughing. It's great! I especially love the way Susan Hayward keeps dumping, picking up, and re-dumping every sap who comes along. Plus, this chick's got to be the luckiest woman on the face of the earth. Nevermind the nasty image of her swindling starving natives by trading her worthless junk for their precious metals. Who else but a "Wild Irish Rose" stumbles upon a diamond the size of a goose-egg? And when the money runs out (no one knows why), she intrepidly sets off with her brood to mine for more gems, murderous claim-jumpers notwithstanding. Tyrone Power used this film as a practice session for "The Sun Also Rises." He's limp throughout. Richard Egan, however, is hilarious as Hayward's ubiquitous dumpee. He defends her against attacking Zulus. She dumps him. He offers to marry her. She dumps him. He plows her fields, plants her crops and builds her house. She not only dumps him again, but amputates his leg! In the end, Egan turns outlaw, still carrying a torch for Hayward. It is here that Rita Morena, the long-suffering half-breed wench, delivers the coup de grace: "...WHAT'S LEFT OF HIM IS MINE!"
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