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White Hunter Black Heart (1990) Poster

Trivia

Katharine Hepburn contested the accuracy of the film.
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The main character, John Wilson, portrayed by Clint Eastwood, is based on legendary director John Huston; Jeff Fahey's Pete Verrill writer character is based on novelist Peter Viertel; George Dzundza's Paul Landers producer character is based on producer Sam Spiegel; Marisa Berenson's Kay Gibson character is based on Katharine Hepburn whilst Richard Vanstone's Phil Duncan character is based on Humphrey Bogart.
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Clint Eastwood vocalization characterization in this picture is very different to the way audiences usually hear his voice. Eastwood speaks in director John Huston's very idiosyncratic matter which is done by way of drawing out the vowels in words.
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The small steamboat that they used in the whitewater scene is the same boat that Humphrey Bogart's character captained in The African Queen (1951). The boat used for the scenes in the rapids was electrically powered, but was made to appear to be steam-powered by fitting it with engines and motors developed by fxpert John Evans. The glass fibre boat was built in England and shipped to Zimbabwe especially for the movie.
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The film was made and released about 36 to 37 years after its source novel of the same name by Peter Viertel had been first published in 1953. Viertel was also one of the movie's screenwriters. The picture was Viertel's final film as a scriptwriter.
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To prepare for this picture playing John Wilson (this movie's alter ego of director John Huston), Clint Eastwood consulted his daughter Anjelica Huston and Peter Viertel, the movie's source novelist and film's scriptwriter.
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Actor Clive Mantle earns the title distinction of being the only ever person to successfully beat up Clint Eastwood on the big screen. Mantle was around half Clint's age and reportedly struggled to keep up with Eastwood during the shooting of the sequence.
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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.
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The name of the steamboat was "The African Trader", replacing the name of its source movie vessel, The African Queen (1951). The Warner Brothers studio wanted Clint Eastwood to film the scene with the steamboat "The African Trader" in the studio. But Eastwood resisted and shot the sequence as an exterior down real life rapids and steering and piloting the vessel himself.
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Clint Eastwood's worst performing picture of the 1990s at the box-office.
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His work on the screenplay became the final film work for James Bridges.
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The wrong title that John Wilson (Clint Eastwood) gave to the movie they were about to make was "The African Traitor". The correct title was "The African Trader". The real life title of the movie it it was based on was The African Queen (1951).
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In the later Clint Eastwood movie Blood Work (2002), portraying the doctor of Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) was Anjelica Huston. Anjelica's father was director John Huston whom Eastwood made this film about, which is about the making of the movie The African Queen (1951). Eastwood actually plays John Wilson, a thinly disguised characterization of John Huston. On the documentary Making 'Blood Work' (2002), Anjelica talks of how she beared witness to her father's aneurism operation. She said that the fact that she plays Eastwood's cardiologist in that film, and that Eastwood had played her father in this film, she said, was "strangely convergent".
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"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) though didn't actually start shooting until May 1951.
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In the documentary Biography: Clint Eastwood: The Man from Malpaso (1994), Eastwood states how [in real life] he never knew John Huston [the person his John Wilson character in this film is based on].
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The central character in this film, John Wilson, based on director John Huston), is played by Clint Eastwood. In the crew credits for this movie, is a real-life person called John Wilson, who worked on the movie as a draper and upholsterer.
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Clint Eastwood's twentieth film for the Warner Brothers studio.
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The picture was shot during the Summer of 1989. The production shoot for this movie went for about two months, filmed during June, July and August 1989.
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The film was made and released about 38 to 39 years after The African Queen (1951) movie first launched.
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This film was first released about three months shy of three years after John Huston had passed away in August 1987.
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Marisa Berenson plays movie star Kay Gibson who is based on Katharine Hepburn. Later, in another film about movie-making, Cate Blanchett would win a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award (Oscar) for playing Hepburn in The Aviator (2004).
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Though greatly synonymous with The African Queen (1951), the movie's character equivalent of Bogart in this film is Richard Vanstone's Phil Duncan, but this character has very little presence in the movie at all.
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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 Arica 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".
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Clint Eastwood agreed to do The Rookie (1990) in exchange for the Warner Brothers studio letting him make his personal film project, White Hunter Black Heart (1990).
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Second of almost two consecutive biopics for Clint Eastwood. This 1990 movie was about film director John Huston whereas Eastwood's 1988 film Bird (1988) was about jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker.
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"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.
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In the later Clint Eastwood movie Blood Work (2002), portraying the doctor of Terry McCaleb (Clint Eastwood) was Anjelica Huston. Anjelica's father was director John Huston whom Eastwood made this film about, which is about the making of the movie The African Queen (1951). Eastwood plays John Wilson who is a thinly disguised characterization of John Huston. On the documentary Making 'Blood Work' (2002), Anjelica talks of how she beared witness to her father's aneurism operation. She said that the fact that she plays Eastwood's cardiologist in that film, and that Eastwood had played her father in this film, she said, was "strangely convergent".
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French visa # 73360.
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Finnish certificate register # 96692 delivered on 10-5-1990.
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