MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,601 this week

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Horror  |  11 October 1996 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 43,026 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 59 critic

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

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 23 Feb 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 08 Oct 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 16 Aug 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 07 May 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 08 Feb 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Ghost and the Darkness.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Saint (1997)
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Simon Templar has no real family, no real home and Simon Templar isn't even his real name. Yet Simon Templar , also known as the Saint for his use of creating false identities using the ... See full summary »

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue, Rade Serbedzija
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This is the sequel to "Romancing the Stone" where Jack and Joan have their yacht and easy life, but are gradually getting bored with each other and this way of life. Joan accepts an ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Teague
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Running (1979)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

American marathon runner Michael Andropolis sets his heart on representing his country at the Olympic games. Meanwhile his marriage has fallen apart and his children have no respect for him... See full summary »

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Michael Douglas, Susan Anspach, Lawrence Dane
The Edge (1997)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A billionaire and two other men are stranded, unequipped, by a plane crash in a dangerous wilderness. How many will survive to be rescued?

Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle Macpherson
Disclosure (1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A computer specialist is sued for sexual harassment by a former lover turned boss who initiated the act forcefully, which threatens both his career and his personal life.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Donald Sutherland
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Dial M for Murder (1954).

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A romance writer sets off to Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister, and soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An American woman of Irish, Jewish-German parentage goes undercover in Nazi Germany.

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Michael Douglas, Melanie Griffith, Liam Neeson
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
Black Rain (1989)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he's extradited to Japan.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A computer expert and his friends manage to disable a department store's security system so they can rob it, but once inside they find themselves stalked by a killer.

Directors: Stephen Hopkins, David Lewis
Stars: Miles Buchanan, Marcus Graham, Steven Grives
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
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
Edit

Storyline

Set in 1898, this movie is based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 35 people over a nine month period, while a bridge engineer and an experienced old hunter tried to kill them. Written by Adil Siddiqi <adil@virginia.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

Only the most incredible parts are true. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The book, The Maneaters of Tsavo, is still available after nearly 100 years, and well worth reading See more »

Goofs

The hand that Patterson is holding his rifle in when running to discover Remington's body. 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

Prepare for Battle
(uncredited)
Written by Jerry Goldsmith
Performed by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"These Lions . . . Don't Act Like Lions."
8 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is 1898 and charming, cretinous Captain of Industry Beaumont has hired Col. John Patterson,eminent engineer/bridge builder to complete a bridge spanning the river by Tsavo, Africa.

Arriving in the continent he has dreamed of forever, Patterson meets his project. There are problems with it: Competing French and German rivals, Ethnic hatred among the crews and, on Patterson's first day there, a worker is attacked by a lion. He goes to "sort it out" by shooting the beast with one shot; gaining the admiration of his crews, lifting spirits, adding motivation to complete the bridge, and unleashing a nightmare

Only weeks after the shooting the camp is suddenly besieged by a pair of giant man-eating lions. Their first "kill" is Mahina (Henry Cele), considered the strongest man in the camp. This serves to unnerve every man on the project, including Indian rabble-rouser Abdullah, who doesn't like Patterson from the start. Nerves jangle and fray as the lions repeatedly and relentlessly attack and attack and attack! They strike under the cover of night AND during the heat of day; They kill not for hunger, not for sport, but simply because they like it. Men are dragged from their beds and mauled to death in the tall grasses; the hospital becomes a blood-bathe; Laborers aren't safe as the beasts leap out and snatch them from their work. Everything is falling apart and Patterson is at his wit's end as Beaumont arrives to make matters worse. And still the lions attack and attack and attack.

Enter Big Game Hunter Charles Remington who is as determined to destroy the lions as the lions seem determined to eat every man in camp.

This is an under-appreciated, well made, well scripted nail biting adventure. It boasts solid artists on both sides of the lens: William Goldman penned the script, Gail Anne Hurd and H. Kitman Ho are two of the producers who know how to spend the budget wisely, the great Vilmos Zigmond is responsible for the mesmerizing African cinematography. Stephen Hopkins directs with great vision and skill and the actors are uniformly solid and believable in their roles. Val Kilmer plays Patterson with an understated, simple and elegant performance; Tom Wilkerson is the charming snake of a boss Beaumont, Brian McCardie gains the viewers sympathy as a youthful, innocent, and doomed Angus Starling, John Jani is the stalwart Project Manager Samuel, Bernard Hill the irritable/irritating Dr. Hawthorne, Om Puri is the creepy, sarcastic Abdullah ("You are white. You can do anything.") and Michael Douglas, also an Executive Producer – he got the money – plays hunter Charles Remington, removing the sweet edges of his Romancing the Stone role to create our renown hunter.

Hopkins not only knows how to build tension, suspense, and terror, but when to let us relax and how to fill that time. The quiet moments are never dull. They let us empathize with these men, their characters get to develop and we bond with them and their nightmare. Zigmond (Close Encounter of the Third Kind) uses deep oranges and blacks for the African locale, except during a daylight lion hunt and cave exploration when he switches to bright sunlight, vibrant greens and sharp browns as if to show us that even a travelogue holds a nightmare. It is near Hitchcockian.

Rolling underneath the film like summer thunder (or the breathy growl and snarling of our killer lions) is Jerry Goldsmith's pounding, tribal driven score, which accents the mood and gives further dimension to the narrative. Listen closely, you can hear him using tonal motifs he developed for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

As the hysteria builds and the men frenzy, many explanations are offered for the appearance of these animals: Are they the spirits of medicine men come to exact revenge; Or demons sent by the devil to keep Africa unsoiled; Or have they come to claim John Patterson? Is it to helplessly watch as they strip away the layers of security around him until he is exposed and defenseless against their teeth and claws? It is no coincidence that Kilmer is photographed at times slack- faced and full on and LOOKS like a lion himself.

Once this film starts, I can guarantee you that you won't be able to take a snack break, bathroom break, or even think about dozing off. It is that good. And remember this: You can see the preserved bodies of these two giant man-eaters at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois because this incredible story is TRUE.


48 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Legit movie utehawkeyebronco
Michael Douglas' character and performance... soybean1895
Eaten by animals, worst way to die. Trukluvr84
Blu-ray??? GiricNS
debate with my brother bmi2677
Why Michael Douglas Top Billing? lambimacfly
Discuss The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?