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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.



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


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 Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


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:







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 »


Cremation of Remington, Colonial Patterson's blood make up on his face/neck. 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 »


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

One has to pray that the hunters don't become prey by that which is hunted.
24 April 2000 | by (Front Royal, VA) – See all my reviews

"The Ghost and the Darkness" is based on an episode from the jungles of 1896 East Africa. Various European countries are engaged in the process of establishing colonies in the wealthy lands of East Africa, and chief among those is Great Britain.

Val Kilmer has been given a task--to build a bridge over a river in one of the British colonial ventures in East Africa. When he arrives at the site, he learns that the task has been brought to a total halt by the presence of two man-eating lions the natives refer to as The Ghost and The Darkness. These lions hunt as a team, and seem to have no fear of any outside force. What's more, efforts to hunt them down have all ended in failure. Kilmer enrolls the aid of an ardent big-game hunter, Remington, played by Michael Douglas. Together, the two men set out to end the killing spree and thus allow the bridge to be built.

The story is marked with violence, may be a bit squeamish for some, but the scenery and photography, coupled with a good story, makes it all worth while. There is also a very unusual musical score, which adds to the background of the entire film. On my own scale, a 9 out of 10

23 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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