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The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

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A bridge engineer and an experienced old hunter begin a hunt for two lions after they start attacking local construction workers.

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4,090 ( 640)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Henry Cele ...
Kurt Egelhof ...
Indian Victim
Satchu Annamalai ...
Worker #1
Teddy Reddy ...
Worker #2
Raheem Khan ...
Worker #3 (as Rakeem Khan)
Jack Devnarain ...
Nervous Sikh Orderly
Glen Gabela ...
Orderly #1
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Storyline

In 1896 Lt. Col. John Paterson was sent to East Africa to build a railway bridge. He had a deadline to meet but was confident he and his large workforce of Africans and Indians can get the job done in time. John's was a man of his word and got things done - which he demonstrated on his first day by killing a lion that had been pestering the workforce. This earned John respect, but it didn't last very long because a few weeks later 2 new lions began visiting and they're man-eaters. The film is based on a true story and during the construction of the bridge, the lions would enter the workers camp to kill. Believing them not to be real lions, the locals name them 'The Ghost' and 'The Darkness'. After losing dozens of workers to the lions, the railroad company brought in Remington, an American 'great white hunter', to kill them, but even his reputation for being the best could not prevent yet more carnage. It is believed that over 130 people were killed by the two lions in just a few ... Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lion | bridge | hunter | engineer | railway | See All (71) »

Taglines:

Control Your Fear See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and gore involving animal attacks | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Geist und die Dunkelheit  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,215,063 (USA) (11 October 1996)

Gross:

$38,553,833 (USA) (7 February 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Stephen Hopkins said in 1999 interview with SFX magazine how making of The Ghost and the Darkness was his worst experience as a filmmaker, "a true nightmare". Michael Douglas, who was producing the film, decided at last minute to play the Remington character. But even before filming began the working relationship between Douglas and Hopkins was very tense. Douglas even went and had the movie completely re-cut in post production removing 45 minutes of scenes in order for him to have more screen time. This also explains story parts that go nowhere and plot holes that the movie has. Like for example, a part where the story jumps from having only few people killed by lions only for characters in next scenes mentioning how the number of people dead is much bigger. Hopkins expressed disappointment with the final cut of the film. See more »

Goofs

Patterson climbs the tree to escape a lion that has blood which appears and disappears from its face. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Samuel: This is the most famous and true African adventure.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The beginning of the end credits is shown with a photograph of the real bridge as background. See more »

Connections

Version of Killers of Kilimanjaro (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Hamara Haath (Our Hands Unite)
Written and Produced by George Acogny
Performed by The Worldbeaters with The Johannesburg Choir, featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
See more »

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User Reviews

The story of a fine man facing an adventure of his lifetime
15 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A story of Col. Patterson building a bridge over the river Tsavo in Africa, and fighting the couple of killer lions and builders scared to death. Firstly it's the views. Africa's all around with yellow, sun burnt, high grown grass moving in the wind (you can smell the scent almost) and the workers who can cast a threat to Patterson if he fails their expectations of killing the lions. Secondly Val Kilmer's performance. He's not acting, he's just there fighting the obstacles. Thirdly Mike Douglas's influential way of telling things. He's more convincing than in 'Basic Instinct' and sorry Oliver, 'The Wall Street'. His macho appearance doesn't interfere with the main plot but comes to be part of it. Last not least it's Jerry Goldsmith's music. I don't know how he did it but he made it perfect. You just have to sense it to feel it. One of my favourites.


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