6.8/10
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164 user 64 critic

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

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 5 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

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

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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 »

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Details

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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) (13 October 1996)

Gross:

$38,619,405 (USA)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Douglas' character Remington is fictionalized. Val Kilmer's character John Patterson killed both lions. See more »

Goofs

When Patterson loads his rifle for the hunt on his first day in Tsavo the ammunition has jacketed spitzer bullets. In 1898 the bullets would have been unplated lead. 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

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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