6.8/10
46,086
155 user 62 critic

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,176 ( 1,132)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Edge (1997)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An intellectual billionaire and two lesser men struggle to band together and survive after getting stranded in the Alaskan wilderness with a blood-thirsty Kodiak Bear hunting them down.

Director: Lee Tamahori
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle Macpherson
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 6.1/10 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
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
Comedy | Romance
    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
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Rockin' the Wall is the story of rock music's part in bringing down the Berlin Wall, featuring the Doors, Quiet Riot, Toto, Vanilla Fudge, plus 'witnesses' from behind the Iron Curtain. ... See full summary »

Director: Marc Leif
Stars: Adam Baldwin, Jimmy Haslip, Kim Kicks
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
Blown Away (1994)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An Irish bomber escapes from prison and targets a member of the Boston bomb squad.

Director: Stephen Hopkins
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Tommy Lee Jones, Suzy Amis
Tombstone (1993)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A successful lawman's plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.

Directors: George P. Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre
Stars: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott
Thunderheart (1992)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young mixed-blood FBI agent is assigned to work with a cynical veteran investigator on a murder on a poverty-stricken Sioux reservation.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, Graham Greene
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A borderline personality disordered 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
Zillion: Burning Night (Video 1988)
Animation | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Mizuho Nishikubo
Stars: Masahiro Anzai, Steve Bulen, Michael Forest
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

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:

 »
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

First cinema feature of Emily Mortimer. See more »

Goofs

The lions in the film are "normal" male lions with large manes. The actual man-eaters were "Tsavo" lions which means that the males do not have manes. 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

Featured in No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Iye Oyeha
Traditional music
Lyrics by George Acogny
Produced by George Acogny
Performed by The Worldbeaters with The Johannesburg Choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Man is the Prey
18 September 2007 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

(Some Spoilers) True story of the Tasvo Man-eaters who terrorized the workers working on the Kenya Ungandan Railway back in 1898 killing and devouring almost 140 of them in nine, March-December 1898, months. It's during that reign of terror the Tasvo Lions, weighing some 500 pounds each, lived or dined almost exclusively on human flesh.

The film starts with Irish engineer Col. John Patterson, Val Kilmar, sent to Kenya by his British overseer, or boss, the pompous and all full of himself the future Sir, hoping that he'll be knighted by the Queen, Robert Beaumont, Tom Wilkerson. As soon as Col.Patterson arrives on the Dark Continent he's faced with a revolt by those workers that he's in charged of with them afraid to go out and build a bridge over the Tasvo River.

These two man-eating lions have been snatching and devouring workers at will and it thought that they, the killer cats, aren't even lions but evil and murderous spirits preventing the bridge, that's being erected on sacred native ground, from being built. The killings go on unabated and it's when one of the local native leaders Mahina, Danny Cele, is dragged out of his tent and eaten by the lions the rail workers just refused to go back out and lay tracks, to build the bridge, over the Tasvo River.

Being like phantoms more then lions the killer cats are immune to anything that Col. Patterson and his native guide Samuel, John Kani, can come up with in both trapping and killing the two giant felines. It's then out of sheer desperation that the "I've never been wrong in all my life" Robert Beaumont, it must have taken a lot out of his giant ego, hires big game hunter Charles Remington, Michael Douglas, to do the job, kill the Tasvo Man-eaters, that nobody including Col. Patterson can seem to do. ***SPOILER*** Remington who after failing to put down the killer cats with both Col. Patterson and Samuels' help goes out on his own, without Col. Patterson's knowledge, only to end up becoming the Tasvo Man-eaters next victim and meal.

Far better then many of it's critics and detractors say it is "Ghost and the Darkness" does have it's share of shocks and thrills despite not having the benefit, like similar movies like "Jaws", of having any real and state of the art special effects. There's only one scene where there's a mechanical or fake lion, like the shark in "Jaws", in the movie and that was about the most ineffective scene in which the killer cats attacked in the entire film. The lions are seen mostly in close up when they do most of their damage, attacking and killing the rail workers. But the few scenes where the lions do fully expose themselves, like the dream-like attack on Col. Patterson's wife and son, are truly heart-stopping and as good as anything you'd see a like-wise animal attack film.

P.S The notorious Tasvo Lions have been said to have become man-eaters because of an epidemic that killed off most of their food, gazelles zebra and wildebeests, in the area or their hunting grounds. This forced them to go for humans as prey since human beings were the only source of food, with all their normal prey dying out, left open to them. A far more interesting clue, in later checking out their skeletal remains, to the man-eating Tasvo Lions turning to prey on humans has to do with them having abscesses and infections in their teeth and gums. This had the lions suffer extreme and excruciation pain when they had to bite into the extremely thick and tough hides of their normal prey in order to kill and eat them. They turned to hunt kill and eat human beings only because their skin or hides weren't as tough and thus easier to penetrate and not cause the Tasvo Lions any terrible pains in doing so.


17 of 19 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
debate with my brother bmi2677
Blu-ray??? GiricNS
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:
?