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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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Darryl F. Zanuck appeared as the mystery guest on the "What's My Line?" TV game show just before this film was released, he said the temperatures during filming reached over 130 degrees in the daytime and only got down to 95 at night. The cast and crew were in French Equatorial Africa for 6 months making the movie and he vowed never to return. See more »
Based on a novel by Romain Gary (who was Jean Seberg's husband ;she was the star of one of his obscure works "Les Oiseaux Vont Mourir Au Pérou" ),"Roots of Heaven " is generally dismissed ,even by Huston's buffs.And nevertheless....
It was an ecological movie,at a time it was not trendy :as Nicholas Ray ,at about the same time,was filming "wind across the everglades" ,a heartfelt plea for the defense of Florida 's wildlife,Huston did the same for the elephants ,victims of the poachers .THe odd couple,who is one of Huston's recurrent features is present:Morel ,who is championing the elephants cause ,is joined by a prostitute (played by glorious actress/chanteuse Juliette Greco).
"Roots of Heaven" was a definitive improvement on "the Barbarian and the Geisha " and paved a reliable way to works to come such as "the unforgiven" , "the misfits" and the highly superior "Freud" and "Night of the Iguana" .This is an overlong movie,but even if it cannot be ranked among the director's best ,it's worth at least a watch .
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