6.2/10
873
29 user 14 critic

Trader Horn (1931)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 23 May 1931 (USA)
Two white traders in the darkest Africa of the 1870s find a missionary's daughter, who was captured as a child by a savage tribe and now worshiped as a goddess.

Director:

W.S. Van Dyke

Writers:

Ethelreda Lewis (based on the book by), Dale Van Every (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Harry Carey ... Aloysius 'Trader' Horn
Edwina Booth ... Nina Trent - the White Goddess
Duncan Renaldo ... Peru
Mutia Omoolu Mutia Omoolu ... Rencharo - Horn's Gun Bearer
Olive Carey ... Edith Trent (as Olive Golden)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Kortman ... (scenes deleted)
Marjorie Rambeau ... Edith Trent (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

A veteran white trader in the darkest Africa of the 1870s mentors a younger companion on the mysteries of the Dark Continent. After meeting a missionary, they go in search of Nina, her kidnapped daughter, who was abducted by natives when she was young and now reigns over the savage tribe, regarded by them as a goddess. When the two men are captured and slated for horrible death by her people, she rescues them, and the trio flees the pursuing tribesmen through savage country. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY TRAVELED 14,000 MILES, BRAVING MYRIAD JUNGLE PERILS, TO MAKE IT! (Print Ad- Philadelphia Inquirer, ((Philadelphia, Penna.)) 22 March 1931) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director W.S. Van Dyke and many of the crew contracted malaria and were treated with quinine. Two fatal mishaps occurred during the African filming: a native crewman fell into the river and was eaten by a crocodile, and a native boy was killed by a charging rhino (which was captured on film and is in the movie). Other misfortunes also plagued the production, including flash floods, sunstroke, swarming locusts, and tse-tse fly and ant attacks. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aloysius 'Trader' Horn: Say, did I ever tell you, Peru, I was the first white man to ever set eyes on this river?
Peru: Yes, several times.
Aloysius 'Trader' Horn: I was about your age then, 18 years old or - or maybe 17.
Peru: Pardon me, I am 23!
Aloysius 'Trader' Horn: Well, I was speakin' not so much of years, lad, as of common sense.
[laughs]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is indebted to the governmental officials of The Territory of Tanganyika, The Protectorate of Uganda, The Colony of Kenya, The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, The Belgian Congo, whose co-operation made this picture possible - and to White Hunters Maj. W.V.D. Dickinson, A.S. Waller, Esq., J.H. Barnes, Esq., H.R. Stanton, Esq., for their courageous services through 14,000 miles of African veldt and jungle. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released with a three-minute prologue featuring Cecil B. DeMille discussing the authenticity of the film with the book's author, Alfred A. Horn. Eliminated for the 1936 re-issue. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stalag 17 (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Cannibal Carnival
(uncredited)
Music by Sol Levy
See more »

User Reviews

An Antique Worth Collecting
21 February 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

As sheer entertainment, the movie more than succeeds. Sure, the storyline seems familiar— intrepid white men leading safari to rescue white girl amid wilds of untamed Africa. But check out all the great vistas and teeming wildlife, even if the beasts-in-combat was filmed later in Mexico-- evidently the Africa end of the production was as much an ordeal as the storyline itself (IMDB).

Carey is convincing as the chief trader. He's got a way of tossing off dialog as though he's just thought of it, and his Trader Horn remains a commanding figure throughout. Booth is almost scary as the tribal white girl, twisting her angular features into grotesque shapes that few Hollywood glamour girls would dare risk. However, the make-up man feminizes Renaldo with enough eyeliner to embarrass Estee Lauder. I realize he needs to be attractive enough to turn the white goddess around, but in the process he's been made pretty rather than safari handsome.

One thing to note is the centrality of sound to the drama. The roar of that spectacular waterfall impresses, as do the native drums and tribal hubbub. Perhaps the sound track is heightened because of the newness of the technology (1927), but it does add a lot.

As a Third World document, however, the movie's very much a creature of its time—the casual slurs, the butt-kicking, the girl's sudden preference for the white world. Such racial assumptions shouldn't be surprising given the time period; at the same time, the rich spectacle remains, including that inspired final shot. All in all and despite the drawbacks, this influential antique remains worth catching up with.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swahili

Release Date:

23 May 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Trader Horn See more »

Filming Locations:

Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,312,636 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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