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The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  11 October 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 43,503 users  
Reviews: 149 user | 59 critic

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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Title: The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

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



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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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Control Your Fear See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Geist und die Dunkelheit  »

Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The rifle used by Val Kilmer is a "Lee Speed" sporter, most likely in .303 caliber. The movie rifle is historically correct and most likely came from a South African movie prop supply house. BSA made these rifles from 1892 until at least the 1930s in .303, 7mm, and 8mm. BSA offered several different versions and options on these rifles. The term "Lee Speed" was used for commercial rifles. These rifles were mostly manufactured by the BSA Company, who also made Gov't rifles (Lee-Enfield Mk1 NoIII being the most common) and had the machinery in place to make sporting versions. See more »


The visibility of Kareem's earlobe under his turban when Remington has a gun to his head. See more »


[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 »


Remade as Rakshak: The Protector (2004) See more »


Jungal Bahar (The Prey Song)
Written and Produced by George Acogny
Performed by The Worldbeaters
with The Johannesburg Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

Something You Can Sink Your Teeth Into
17 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I always found this to be an outstanding based-on a true story adventure film which holds your interest throughout. It features some great suspense and the story is fascinating. It's always been ranked among my top 50 movies. A good surround system doesn't hurt here, either.

Stan Winston, one of the best special-effects men in the business, lent his talents to this film while Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas are more than adequate in the starring roles and the African with the freckles (sorry, I don't have his name) is really a likeble fellow.

Except for the first one, the lion attack scenes are not gruesome and the filmmakers did a nice job a having just the right amount of action and lulls. Neither is overdone. This film has never been given much due but I've never shown it to anyone who didn't thoroughly enjoy it.

This movie scared me so much I stopped hunting lions. It's just not fun anymore.

59 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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