Sir Robert Beaumont is behind schedule on a railroad in Africa. Enlisting noted engineer John Henry Patterson to right the ship, Beaumont expects results. Everything seems great until the crew discovers the mutilated corpse of the project's foreman, seemingly killed by a lion. After several more attacks, Patterson calls in famed hunter Charles Remington, who has finally met his match in the bloodthirsty lions. Written by
In original drafts Remington was called Redbeard, and William Goldman says his purpose in the story was to create an imposing character who could be killed by the lions and make Patterson seem more brave. See more »
When Patterson is waiting up on his perch (with the baboon as bait), the familiar "Who-cooks-for-you" call of a barred owl (Strix varia), only found in North America, can be plainly heard in the background. Although there is a species known as the African barred owl, it is an entirely different species (Glaucidium capense) and is much smaller, with a call bearing no resemblance to that of the larger American species. See more »
This is the most famous and true African adventure.
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The beginning of the end credits is shown with a photograph of the real bridge as background. See more »
"The Ghost & the Darkness" is a very good adventure flick set in Africa in the late 19th century, and is based on a true incident. Kilmer plays an engineer sent to build a railroad bridge over the Tsavo river. Work is halted by attacks from two man-eating lions which terrorize the workers. Seems these lions are exhibiting behavior not seen in lions before, i.e. they appear to be hunting for sport ('the Ghost' and 'the Darkness' are the names given to the 2 lions by the native workers). Douglas plays a famous renegade American hunter, a tragically scarred Civil War veteran, hired by the railroad to kill the lions.
Good adventure, well-paced, with stunning photography of the African countryside. The movie has an "R" rating which I can't figure out; perhaps because of the bloodiness of the lion dinner scenes (and lunch, and breakfast, and between-meal snacks....). I have seen many PG13's which have more blood & guts than this.
I give it a straight A; my 10-year old son gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up also).
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