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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
The picture was entered into competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1990. To attend its screenings there, Clint Eastwood halted production on his next picture The Rookie (1990) for five days. Reportedly, this cost an estimated US $1.5 million. Moreover, whilst at Cannes, Eastwood fulfilled his life-long ambition of meeting Japanese director Akira Kurosawa who had directed Yojimbo (1961) which Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964) starring Eastwood had been based. See more »
When John Wilson is talking to Pete Verrill over breakfast he refers to him as 'Jeff', Jeff Fahey being the real name of the actor. See more »
[looking at elephants through binoculars]
Oh. I've never seen one before, outside the circus or the zoo. They're so majestic. So indestructible. They're part of the earth. They make us feel like perverse little creatures from another planet. Without any dignity. Makes one believe in God.
In the miracle of creation. Fantastic. They're part of a world that no longer exists, Hod. Feeling of unconquerable time.
You certainly have a way with words, Pete. No wonder you're a writer.
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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.
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