6.7/10
9,363
54 user 30 critic

White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

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.

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Writers:

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

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

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

Taglines:

An adventure in obsession...

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cazador blanco, corazón negro  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$165,450, 16 September 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,319,124
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The elephant gun used by John Wilson (Clint Eastwood) was a Holland & Holland Double Rifle aka a double-barreled elephant magnum. It's been valued at being worth UK £65,000. The manufacturers made the real-life gun that John Huston used whilst filming The African Queen (1951) in Africa in 1951. According to a May 1990 interview with production designer John Graysmark in 'Cue International', the production took great care of the firearm during the shoot and sold it back to the gun-makers at the end of principal photography, "unharmed, unscratched, [and] unused". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

John Wilson: I would like to tell you a little story.
Mrs. MacGregor: Oh, I love stories.
John Wilson: Well, you mustn't interrupt now, because you're way too beautiful to interrupt people. When I was in London in the early 40's, I was dining one evening at the Savoy with a rather select group of people, and sitting next to me was a very beautiful lady, much like yourself.
Mrs. MacGregor: Now you're pulling my leg.
John Wilson: Now, just listen, dear. Well, we were dining and the bombs were falling, and we were all talking about Hitler and comparing him with ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Eastwood After Hours: Live at Carnegie Hall (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Rowan Tree
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

Eastwood is good (as usual) in an uneven film
7 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

White Hunter, Black Heart both left me confused as well as breathless. The movie, that I saw earlier this year on television, struck me as deep yet peculiar. Clint Eastwood, in one of his most memorable roles ever, John Wilson, goes out to shoot an elephant while what he really should be doing is shoot a Hollywood movie in the 1950s.

The only person on the crew who shares his view and almost understand him is Pete Verril (Jeff Fahey), a writer brought on to improve the script. Although Pete supports Wilson, Pete realizes that the hunt of an elephant is more than just an adventure for Wilson, but an obsession. Wilson is willing to compromise the entire crew's careers and futures just to commit "the only legal sin."

The movie has certain themes, including conservation, obsession and movie-making theories. The themes aren't explored too well, which explains the muddled ending. But still this is an enjoyable film.

Based on a novel by Peter Viertel, based on his experiences while filming the African Queen, the film is either going to grip you from the start, or bore you to death. You'll ever like it or forget it. The ending takes a little figuring out (especially at mentioning the title), but people who like movies about film making and Africa should like this.


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