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Out of Africa (1985)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  20 December 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 47,941 users  
Reviews: 199 user | 61 critic

In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.



(based upon: "Out of Africa" and other writings), (book), 2 more credits »
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Won 7 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Thiaka ...
Stephen Kinyanjui ...
Suzanna Hamilton ...
Lord Belfield
Mike Bugara ...
Job Seda ...


Follows the life of Karen Blixen, who establishes a plantation in Africa. Her life is Complicated by a husband of convenience (Bror Blixen), a true love (Denys), troubles on the plantation, schooling of the natives, war, and catching VD from her husband. Written by Tony Bridges <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on a true story.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jenseits von Afrika  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$31,000,000 (estimated)


$87,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (as Dolby Stereo)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sydney Pollack initially never considered Meryl Streep for the role of Karen Blixen as he figured she wasn't sexy enough. Streep landed the part by showing up for her meeting with the director wearing a low-cut blouse and a push-up bra. See more »


When arriving in his new plane, Denys hands Karen Blixen his goggles twice. The goggles subsequently reappear and disappear several times. See more »


Karen Blixen: Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.
See more »


Referenced in Zeg 'ns Aaa: Opwindend (1988) See more »


Sinfonia Concertante in E flat major for Violin & Viola (K. 364)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Alan Loveday Violin, Stephen Shingles Viola, The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Directed by Neville Marriner
Used Courtesy of London Records, A Division of Polygram Classics, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Good Woman In Africa
30 August 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This is an overlong film derived from Isak Dinesen's memoirs of running a coffee plantation in Kenya in the early years of the twentieth century. The book is a different kettle of fish altogether, but I won't go into that. Sydney Pollock does a fine job of directing here, but in a way the movie is almost overproduced. There was, it seems, so much time and money to play with that the film drags an awful lot. Kurt Luedtke's script is laconic in the Hemingway manner, and very smart, though some of the ultra-sophisticated one-liners began to irritate me after a while. Pollock has a fine dramatic instinct and I wish that there was more drama in this film for him to lavish his talent on. The location shooting is superb, and the depiction of home and village life in colonial Africa is nicely done. I find the romance between Dinesen (called by her real name, Baroness Karen Blixen) and aviator-adventurer Denis Finch-Hatton, less than compelling, partly because, as the latter, Robert Redford refuses to use a British accent, which gives the movie a Hollywood feel, not a bad thing in itself, but the film was made in Africa, with a mostly British cast, and Meryl Streep as Blixen uses an impeccable Danish accent, which makes Redford seem like a fish out of water. This is bothersome because in many ways Redford is well cast in the role, thus his American diction seems like sheer willfulness on his part, which it probably was. Streep is fine in her role, and is especially good in her grand dame moments, as lady of the manor.

There are some worthwhile incidental pleasures in this film. John Barry's fine score is perfect for the material, and really soars near the end, appropriately I imagine since one of the two main characters is an aviator. In supporting roles, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Michael Kitchen, Suzanna Hamilton and Michael Gough work small wonders. The use of Mozart, while true to life, makes this post-Amadeus film seem already like a period piece; the period being the 1980's. Mozart was all the rage in those days. His great music is, however, non- if not anti-emotional, and it's odd that it was used so often in the movie. The effect of the music is somewhat intimidating in the context of the romance at the center of the film, as it doesn't suit at all what's happening on screen, which can't help but make the viewer think that perhaps he's missing something; or maybe the film is just too smart for him. This is, again, a very eighties sort of feeling, of the sort of one gets from watching Chariots Of Fire, or listening to the music David Byrne and Laurie Anderson.

40 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is everyone wearing so many clothes? itsnotwhatyouthinkitis
Truly..the worst film ever jim154
Accent nielsinho
Did Denys deliberately crash his plane? sily-rabbit
Her accent isn't actually bad... is it? lazylisa
Mixed Feelings after seeing at 16 then 40 WDformerWB
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