Fortune hunter Allan Quatermain teams up with a resourceful woman to help her find her missing father lost in the wilds of 1900s Africa while being pursued by hostile tribes and a rival German explorer.
J. Lee Thompson
Guide Allan Quatermain helps a young lady (Beth) find her lost husband somewhere in Africa. It's a spectacular adventure story with romance, because while they fight with wild animals and cannibals, they fall in love. Will they find the lost husband and finish the nice connection?Written by
Kornel Osvart <email@example.com>
On the set, cast and crew suffered from stifling heat, dysentery, malaria, fever, snakes and tsetse flies. The most bizarre danger, however, came from the indigenous Massai tribal members who were performing in the film. The British colonial government had a longstanding ban on manyatas (large gatherings for tribal dances) as it was feared that they would stir things up. The reality was that such dances were typically celebrations or observances, such as the Kikuyu's harvest dances. For this film the government allowed the Massai to hold a manyata. Five hundred warriors got so wound up chanting, dancing and screaming for two days, that they went berserk and began actually hurling their spears at the westerners. Deborah Kerr scrambled high up a tree for safety. Eventually calmer heads prevailed, but seven spears found their way into the camera case. One other notable case of the allowing of a manyata was when the Prince of Wales visited Kenya, met Karen Blixen (whose life was the focus of the film Out of Africa (1985)). While the proper time for a manyata for the Kikuyu would have been in celebration of the harvest, not only were manyatas illegal, but it was the wrong time of year. Despite this, as this was the heir to the throne of England, allowances were made and, due to the respect of the chiefs for Karen Blixen, they agreed to hold a manyata on her farm, with the Prince (the future King Edward VIII) in attendance. See more »
During the encounter with the rhino, in the closeups, Quartermain is holding his rifle. In the distance shots, he is unarmed.
Also, the position of Elizabeth is not constant, in the closeups, she is pushed behind Quartermain, in the distance shots she is standing next to him. See more »
...in the end you begin to accept it all... you watch things hunting and being hunted, reproducing, killing and dying, it's all endless and pointless, except in the end one small pattern emerges from it all, the only certainty: one is born, one lives for a time then one dies, that is all...
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A step forward in the use of authentic locales for Africa...
H. Ryder Haggard's adventure tale has been transposed to the screen with professional polish, given authentic African locales for all the background color, and uses no music on the soundtrack except for the chants of African tribes. As such, it's a stunning film to look at in gorgeous Technicolor and nicely played by STEWART GRANGER as the burnt by the sun Safari guide and DEBORAH KERR in another of her prim leading lady roles.
Kerr is actually seeking the best of guides so she can hunt for her husband, so she takes along her good friend RICHARD CARLSON. Naturally, a romantic attachment to Granger gradually develops once Kerr starts to melt under the African sun.
All of the scenes involving actual native tribes are beautifully staged and handled with a sense of excitement and adventure, as are the scenes of wild animals. But it's basically a showcase for MGM's new property, Miss Kerr, and their new leading man, Mr. Granger.
It kept fans happy when it opened at New York's Radio City Music Hall in the summer of '50, but today it's largely forgotten among the many gems that came out that year. It did win a couple of Oscars, one for the beautiful color cinematography.
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