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The Roots of Heaven (1958)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 582 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 7 critic

In Fort Lamy, French Equitorial Africa, idealist Morel launches a one-man campaign to preserve the African elephant from extinction, which he sees as the last remaining "roots of Heaven." ... See full summary »

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Title: The Roots of Heaven (1958)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Forsythe
Juliette Gréco ...
Minna (as Juliette Greco)
...
Morel
...
Abe Fields
...
Cy Sedgewick
...
Saint Denis
...
Orsini
Grégoire Aslan ...
Habib
André Luguet ...
Governor
Friedrich von Ledebur ...
Peer Qvist (as Friedrich Ledebur)
Edric Connor ...
Waitari
Olivier Hussenot ...
Baron
Pierre Dudan ...
Major Schölscher
Marc Doelnitz ...
De Vries
Francis De Wolff ...
Father Farque (as Francis de Wolff)
Edit

Storyline

In Fort Lamy, French Equitorial Africa, idealist Morel launches a one-man campaign to preserve the African elephant from extinction, which he sees as the last remaining "roots of Heaven." At first, he finds only support from Minna, hostess of the town's only night club, who is in love with him, and a derelict ex-British Army Major, Forsythe. His crusade gains momentum and he is soon surrounded by an odd assortment of characters: Cy Sedgewick, an American TV commentator who becomes impressed and rallies world-wide support; a U.S. photographer, Abe Fields, who is sent to do a picture story on Morel and stays on to follow his ideals; Saint Denis, a government aide ordered to stop Morel; Orsini, a professional ivory hunter whose vested interests aren't the same as Morel's; and Waitari, leader of a Pan-African movement who follows Morel only for the personal good it will do his own campaign. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las raíces del cielo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Terrible heat and sickness took their toll on the cast and crew. The 130 people had 920 sick calls during the filming. See more »

Quotes

Habib: [after Minna spits in his face] I don't mind - that's what the human face is made for, anyway.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Minna's Theme
(uncredited)
Music by Henri Patterson
Arranged by Malcolm Arnold
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Forgotten, but worth watching.
3 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is not a classic film, but I found it very worthwhile to make the effort to find it and watch it.

The issues of wildlife conservation, specifically African elephant conservation, that it raises are still very relevant. The film seems at least 30 years ahead of its time in this respect, as we are still struggling to find ways for elephants and humans to co-exist. The conflicts between poachers, elephants, and well-meaning people trying to make the world better for humans AND elephants depicted here are playing out in the real world very much as depicted here.

John Huston made several timeless movies. While this is not one of his best movies, it is an interesting companion piece to "African Queen" and is thought-provoking about issues of wildlife conservation and the effects of colonialism on African and world politics.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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