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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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

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:

 »
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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Goldman first heard about the story when travelling in Africa in 1984, and thought it would make a good script. In 1989 he pitched the story to Paramount as a cross between Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Jaws (1975), and they commissioned him to write a screenplay which he delivered in 1990. See more »

Goofs

When Robert Beaumont asks Col. Patterson to build the bridge, the world map behind him shows countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and various African countries which were obviously not separate countries in 1896. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Samuel: This is the most famous and true African adventure.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Remake of Bwana Devil (1952) 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
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User Reviews

 
A tense, intense, and spooky hunt
3 October 1998 | by (Laurel MD) – See all my reviews

"The Ghost and the Darkness" is a marvellous movie, in the literal sense: the lions come out of the long grass in the daylight or the groundfog in the darkness like the devils they are thought to be. No true motives are ascribed to them, as how could they be?, and that actually serves to make them more demonically terrifying. But whether they are the devils come to prevent Val Kilmer's Patterson from building his bridge, or merely (!) animals hunting for the pleasure of it, they provide more suspense, more terror, and more death than most high-tech cgi aliens. Michael Douglas's Remington, dispossessed of home and family in the American civil war, is an interesting character, but it's Kilmer's British bridge-builder in a time where engineers had to know how to shoot tigers and manage Hindu-Muslim conflicts fully as much as how to put up their structures, who is the focus of the film, and rightly so. Kilmer's performance is quiet, almost understated, but one of the best I've seen him give; he's fully convincing, especially as he fights the belief that the lions are, in fact, out to get him personally. "They are just lions," he says halfway through the movie, and you can hear how much he wants to believe it. John Kani also gives a good performance, contained mostly in small moments that are so true they almost hurt. The cinematography is beautiful, especially the of the lion attacks and their passages through the grass. Again, no cgi effects could convey so much beauty and lurking menace. This movie is beautiful, intense, and dramatic; I highly recommend it.


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