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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1960 Clark Gable had agreed to star in the movie with John Wayne, provided he received first billing on the opening credits and $1 million plus 10% of the gross. Paramount however would not raise the budget to finance Gable, so the script was radically changed. Gable died twelve days before filming began. See more »
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 »
I first saw this movie in 1962. Today it is still as fresh and funny as it was forty years ago. And it is so politically incorrect! It should be put on a pedestal!!! Think about it cool and suave dudes out in the wilds of Africa capturing wild animals for zoos! It's great to see those these folks, rousting beasts during the day, dancing around the piano, while they hold a martini in one hand and a beautiful girl wrapped around the other. The Henry Mancini music is a pleasure to listen to. Just try to obtain a rare CD of the Hatari soundtrack. The humor in the movie is largely supplied by an adorable Red Buttons, playing a former New York cabbie who currently acts as manic truck driver for John Wayne on his daily quest to capture animals. And why is Buttons now driving in Africa? His explanation is that the animals are like New York drivers, so he feels right at home. So run, don't walk to your nearest video rental joint. Rent this baby and spend the next few hours laughing with a movie from a different time and world view.
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