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A group of men trap wild animals in Africa and sell them to zoos before the arrival of a female wildlife photographer threatens to change their ways.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Kurt Muller (as Hardy Kruger)
...
...
Gérard Blain ...
Charles 'Chips' Maurey (as Gerard Blain)
...
Michèle Girardon ...
Brandy de la Court (as Michele Girardon)
Valentin de Vargas ...
...
Queenie Leonard ...
Nurse (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

John Wayne and his ensemble cast cavort over the African landscape filling orders from zoos for wild animals. Bruce Cabot plays "the Indian", a womanizing sharpshooter who is gored by a rhino in the opening scenes of the film. This becomes a running theme through the movie; their bad luck in catching rhinos, and provides the climactic ending chase. While Bruce is in the hospital, Elsa Martinelli shows up as a woman photographer from a Swiss zoo, and John wants to send her packing. She strongarms the Duke into letting her stay by promising that her zoo will buy most of their animals this season if she's allowed to go along on the hunts and take photos. Hardy Kruger, Gerard Blain, Michelle Girardon and Valentin de Vargas round out the group. They traipse over the African landscape capturing animals; Elsa also has a running gag where she collects baby elephants as the movie goes along. In the end she's acquired three of them. Written by Marta Dawes <smdawes@home.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hatari means Fun Hatari means Adventure! Hatari means Thrills! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 June 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hatari  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$14,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Howard Hawks was inspired by the famous animal photographer Ylla, so he had Leigh Brackett add the character of Dallas. Hawks said, "We took that part of the story from a real character, a German girl. She was the best animal photographer in the world." See more »

Goofs

The group is returning from the hospital in the two vehicles; all the characters are singing on the radio with each other. This cannot be done over this type of radio. Only one vehicle can talk over the radio at one time. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sean Mercer: [over two-way radio] Kurt, can you hear me?
Kurt Muller: Go ahead, Sean.
Sean Mercer: At about eleven o'clock... right in the middle of that herd of wildebeest - see him?
Kurt Muller: Oh, that's a good one.
Sean Mercer: Let's go; start out easy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in La última película (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Giraffe Country
Music by Henry Mancini
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hawks' African 'Buddy' Film a Wayne Classic!
4 December 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

HATARI! may be the most enjoyable of the Howard Hawks/John Wayne collaborations (their other pairings produced the classics RED RIVER and RIO BRAVO, and the RIO BRAVO 'remakes' EL DORADO and RIO LOBO), and is exceptional in several ways; at 157 minutes (2 hours, 37 minutes), it may be one of the longest 'buddy' films ever made; nearly all of the animal 'chase and capture' sequences involved the actual cast members (professional handlers serving as stunt doubles were only rarely used); and the filming began with virtually no script (which was written based on the 'on location' footage in Africa, after the cast returned to California). At 65, director Hawks was still in top form, and the risks he took paid off...HATARI!, despite it's length, is never boring!

The story focuses on a season with a team of professional hunter/trappers, capturing animals for zoos and circuses. With a breathtaking opening scene of a rhino chase, costing them the use of veteran driver, 'Indian' (legendary actor Bruce Cabot), the 'family' dynamic is quickly established, with rugged Sean Mercer (Wayne) both boss and father-figure to the group. As he and the rest of the 'family' (Red Buttons, Hardy Krüger, Valentin de Vargas, and Michèle Girardon) meet 'Indian's' replacement, 'Chips' (Gérard Blain), Mercer has an even bigger headache to deal with; beautiful photographer Anna Maria 'Dallas' D'Allesandro (Elsa Martinelli) has arrived, to shoot a magazine spread. A 'traditional' Hawks leading lady, 'Dallas' is feisty, sultry, and attracted to Mercer, and the older man, uncomfortable with the ease by which she fits into the group, as well as his own stirrings, tries to make it clear that romance has no place on his agenda (in much the same manner as he did with Angie Dickinson in RIO BRAVO...and with the same results).

While some elements of the story are dated and politically incorrect (shooting a baby African elephant, even as a 'mercy killing', would be a major offense, today, as it is an endangered species), the combination of spectacular 'hunt' sequences, and the warmth and easy camaraderie of the cast in the subplots make HATARI! a rich, rewarding experience.

A major plus for the film is a very atypical Henry Mancini score, combining tense, African-influenced themes for the chases, and the very funny 'Elephant Walk' to punctuate 'Dallas's' relationship with her adopted pachyderm 'children'. The baby elephant scenes are film highlights, as is the rocket capture of a tree filled with monkeys, and both rhino chases (which clearly shows Wayne in some real danger!)

From the opening rhino sequence to the closing 'Honeymoon' scene, HATARI! is a grand entertainment, and escapism at it's best!


27 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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