White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  14 September 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 8,245 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 28 critic

A thinly fictionalized account of a legendary movie director, whose desire to hunt down an animal turns into a grim situation with his movie crew in Africa.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlotte Cornwell ...
Miss Wilding, Wilson's Secretary
Norman Lumsden ...
Butler George
Paul Landers
Reissar - a British Partner (as Edward Tudor Pole)
Roddy Maude-Roxby ...
Thompson, British Partner
Richard Warwick ...
Basil Fields, British Partner
John Rapley ...
Gun Shop Salesman
Catherine Neilson ...
Irene Saunders
Kay Gibson, Film Star
Richard Vanstone ...
Phil Duncan, Film Star
Jamie Koss ...
Mrs. Duncan
Anne Dunkley ...
Scarf Girl in Nightclub Show
David Danns ...
Bongo Man in Nightclub Show


The world famous movie director John Wilson has gone to Africa to make his next movie. He is an obstinate, contrary director who'd rather hunt elephants than takes care of his crew or movie. He has become obsessed with one particular elephant and cares for nothing else. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An adventure in obsession...


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cazador blanco, corazón negro  »

Box Office


$24,500,000 (estimated)


$2,319,124 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Slate 1 - Take 1" for shooting this movie's movie-within-a-movie, "The African Trader", was dated 14th February 1951. In real life, The African Queen (1951), which is the film represented by "The African Trader" in the movie, though didn't actually start shooting until May 1951. See more »


The map detailing the crew's trip by plane from England to Uganda shows Germany with pre-WWII borders. The movie is set around 1950. See more »


John Wilson: We fought the preliminary for the kikes; now we'll fight the main event for the niggers.
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Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


Written by Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer and Billy Strayhorn
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User Reviews

Too bad about the beginning of the movie
29 July 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I must admit that Clint Eastwood was the main reason why I watched this movie. I'm already quite familiar with his work as an actor and as a director - even though I still haven't seen his biggest success "Million Dollar Baby" yet - and overall I can enjoy his work. Does that mean that I love all his movies? No, certainly not, but most of the time, he's the one who saves the movie, even when it isn't all that good. Knowing that he directed this movie and played a major role in it, only made it more interesting for me.

"White Hunter Black Heart" shows how the world famous movie director John Huston is planning on making a trip to Africa, where he will shoot his next movie. But despite his reputation of being a good director, he is also a very difficult man to work with. He doesn't want to make any concessions towards the producers and to make things worse he is also more interested in shooting the biggest elephant possible than shooting his movie and there is nothing or no-one who can bring him to other ideas...

Overall this is a good movie, although I must say that the beginning didn't do it for me. At first I had the feeling that the characters weren't all that real. They felt too much like caricatures, almost making this movie feel like a comedy, which it certainly isn't. That's also the reason why I wasn't exactly thinking about giving this movie a very high rating. But I always make that final decision at the end of the movie and I admit that the end of the movie was a lot better than the beginning. Not only was it very clear that John Wilson felt himself more at ease in Africa than in England, his reactions after the hunt also showed that this wasn't yet another typical type of quiet tough guy without any human emotions that Clint Eastwood plays so often. I really appreciated that in this movie. What I also liked was the entire 'behind the scenes of a classic movie' idea. OK, if you regularly buy a DVD, then you know from the extra's how a movie is shot. But that's how it is done today with all the modern techniques, camera's, lighting equipment. They didn't have all that in the fifties and it's nice to see how it was done back then.

Overall this is an enjoyable movie that offers some good acting and an interesting story. If the beginning had been more believable, this might well have become one of my all-time favorites. Now I give it a rating in between 7/10 and 7.5/10.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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