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
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 »
In one scene, Remington tells Patterson that "We have an expression in prize fighting: 'Everyone has a plan until they've been hit.' Well my friend, you've just been hit." The events of this film take place in or closely around 1898, however the prizefighting expression used by Remington was coined by World War 2 era boxing great Joe Louis, who was not even born until 1914. See more »
This is the most famous and true African adventure.
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The beginning of the end credits is shown with a photograph of the real bridge as background. See more »
"The Ghost & the Darkness" is a very good adventure flick set in Africa in the late 19th century, and is based on a true incident. Kilmer plays an engineer sent to build a railroad bridge over the Tsavo river. Work is halted by attacks from two man-eating lions which terrorize the workers. Seems these lions are exhibiting behavior not seen in lions before, i.e. they appear to be hunting for sport ('the Ghost' and 'the Darkness' are the names given to the 2 lions by the native workers). Douglas plays a famous renegade American hunter, a tragically scarred Civil War veteran, hired by the railroad to kill the lions.
Good adventure, well-paced, with stunning photography of the African countryside. The movie has an "R" rating which I can't figure out; perhaps because of the bloodiness of the lion dinner scenes (and lunch, and breakfast, and between-meal snacks....). I have seen many PG13's which have more blood & guts than this.
I give it a straight A; my 10-year old son gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up also).
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