5.2/10
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13 user 2 critic

The Mark of the Hawk (1957)

Approved | | Drama | December 1957 (UK)
The man called Obam struggles with the increasingly hostile forces facing each other in a colonial African country. The African natives want their land and lives back from the British ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Audley

Writers:

Lloyd Young (original story), H. Kenn Carmichael (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eartha Kitt ... Renee
Sidney Poitier ... Obam
Juano Hernandez ... Amugu
John McIntire ... Bruce Craig
Helen Horton Helen Horton ... Barbara Craig
Marne Maitland ... Sandar Lai
Gerard Heinz ... Govenor General
Patrick Allen ... Gregory
Earl Cameron ... Prosecutor
Clifton Macklin Clifton Macklin ... Kanda
Ewen Solon ... Inspector
Lockwood West Lockwood West ... Magistrate
Francis Matthews ... Overholt
Philip Vickers Philip Vickers ... Ben (as Phillip Vickers)
Bill Nagy ... Fred
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Storyline

The man called Obam struggles with the increasingly hostile forces facing each other in a colonial African country. The African natives want their land and lives back from the British colonists. Obam's motives are questioned by his own people, in particular his brother Kanda. With the help of his wife Renee and missionary Bruce Craig, will he be able to get things under control before the country self-destructs? Written by Greg Bruno <burlynerd@usa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Actually filmed in the Heart of the Dark Continent See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1957 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Accused See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography, Sidney Poitier said that his biggest surprise was Eartha Kitt, perpetually portrayed in the tabloid press as a vacuous starlet, who he felt acted with great integrity and intelligence on this shoot. See more »

Soundtracks

This Man Is Mine
Composed by Ken Darby
Performed by Eartha Kitt
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User Reviews

 
"What are you... an Uncle Tom?"
30 November 2015 | by The_Movie_CatSee all my reviews

Cheaply made and often badly staged, The Mark of the Hawk is nevertheless a worthwhile venture despite its failings.

With its wordy script, in some hands it can seem poetic, notably Sidney Poitier's. (Still a year off his first star billing, despite being the nominal lead in this, his tenth movie). Yet in lesser hands it can seem leaden, ham-fisted and trite. Certainly David Goh was unlikely to take any Academy Awards for his work here, and he's not alone. Parts of the film look like one of the best dramas Poitier was ever involved with... other parts look like an amateur home movie.

The film begins with an air of sophistication, but the longer it runs, the more it starts to unravel. Poitier's intelligent militant Obam begins to turn his back on the idea of independence when he learns of the love of Jesus, the film's concept of exploring all sides of the argument evaporating for a syruppy get-out. While many of the themes are looked at from a mature perspective, the film's tagline "Against Voodoo Fury... The Flame of Faith!" was something which set out to unintentionally undermine it.

We go from a manor house party with elegantly crafted lines and gradually descend through the ranks of amusingly kitsch flashbacks, all the way down to Eartha Kitt deciding to make this political message film a light musical. A rare British movie appearance for Poitier, his future forays into this arena - A Warm December, The Wilby Conspiracy and, particularly, To Sir With Love - all reaped richer rewards. Ultimately The Mark of the Hawk goes from a lesser- known gem in his career and down to something of a missed opportunity.


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