White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  14 September 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 8,239 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?


Clint Eastwood's worst performing picture of the 1990s at the box-office. See more »


The plane's flight to Africa is marked from it's starting point in Europe, south to it's destination in Uganda. The shot then switches to the plane flying over the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. See more »


John Wilson: We fought the preliminary for the kikes; now we'll fight the main event for the niggers.
See more »


Featured in Biography: Clint Eastwood: The Man from Malpaso (1994) See more »


Massa's In de Cold Cold Ground
Written by Stephen Foster
Arranged by Lennie Niehaus
See more »

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User Reviews

Eastwood is good (as usual) in an uneven film
7 September 2000 | by (Captain Nemo's Submarine) – 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.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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