22 user 15 critic

Something of Value (1957)

Approved | | Drama, War | June 1957 (USA)
In British Colonial Kenya, during the Mau Mau uprising, Peter and Kimani, who grew up together, find themselves on the opposite sides.


Richard Brooks


Richard Brooks (screen play), Robert C. Ruark (book)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Rock Hudson ... Henry's Son - Peter
Dana Wynter ... Peter's Betrothed - Holly
Wendy Hiller ... Henry's Daughter - Elizabeth
Juano Hernandez ... Njogu - Oath Giver
William Marshall ... Leader - Intellectual in Suit
Robert Beatty ... Elizabeth's Husband - Jeff Newton
Walter Fitzgerald ... A White Settler - Henry McKenzie
Michael Pate ... A Farmer - Joe Matson
Ivan Dixon ... Lathela - Loyal Gun-Bearer
Ken Renard ... Karanja - Father of Kimani
Samadu Jackson Samadu Jackson ... Witch Doctor
Frederick O'Neal ... Adam Marenga - Mau-Mau Leader
Sidney Poitier ... Kimani Wa Karanja


Although Peter and Kimani grew up together, Kimani soon finds that different races are treated differently. After Kimani's father is jailed for following tribal customs, Kimani joins a band of rebels that wants all non-Kenyans out of their country. While Kimani believes in the cause, he does not agree with the indiscriminate killing of women, children, and those who will not join or agree with them. Even after the Mau Mau murder his little sister and brother, Peter still believes that there is a chance for peaceful co-existence and that he can stop most of the killing if he can reason with Kimani. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love in an Inferno See more »


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Feature film debut of Ivan Dixon also the same about Kim Hamilton. See more »


Crown Consul: Swear him in.
Karanja - Father of Kimani: Which god, please?
Crown Consul: The Christian God.
Karanja - Father of Kimani: I worship Ngai, the god who lives on Mount Kenya. I will swear by our sacred Githathi stone.
Crown Consul: Your word will suffice.
Karanja - Father of Kimani: Oh, no, no. If I lie before this symbol of God... my children and their children and my home and my land will turn to dust. And when I die... I will have no life hereafter except to live forever in eternity... by the cursed hyena, cowardly eater of the dead. i speak the truth.
Crown Consul: You're the father of the dead baby in question?
Karanja - Father of Kimani: Yes.
Crown Consul: Did you...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The starting credits start with the words: "When we take away from a man his traditional way of life, his customs, his religion, we had better make certain to replace them with Something of Value!" See more »


Featured in Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992) See more »

User Reviews

Still of value
26 November 2018 | by tomsviewSee all my reviews

I first saw this movie at a Saturday afternoon matinee in 1957 at the age of ten. Seeing it 60 years later, I'm amazed that it was considered a suitable movie for children at a matinee in that era of rigorous censorship.

There is strong stuff in this film about the Mau-Mau insurrection in Kenya in the 1950's. It was a film I remembered vividly, especially the scenes of Mau-Mau rituals, but also for the haunting background music and for Dana Wynter who just seemed so perfect.

At the time, colonisation was ending. Britain, which had coloured so much of the globe pink, would sometimes just haul down the flag and sail away, but in some African countries with generations of white farmers and landowners, things were trickier.

That was the background to Richard Brook's film of Robert Ruark's novel.

Peter McKenzie (Rock Hudson) and Kimani (Sidney Poitier) have grown up together in Kenya, but find that their different skin colours and cultures are forcing them apart.

There is interesting information on the making of the film in "Tough as Nails: The Life and Films of Richard Brooks" by Douglas K. Daniel. Brooks and his crew went to Kenya and although some of the film was shot back in Hollywood, the location footage gave the film its authentic look. In an act not without danger, Brooks and Hudson went to a secret location to meet members of the Mau-Mau.

Brooks could be a bully and alienated cast and crew except for favourites such as Sidney Poitier whom he protected from discrimination in segregated Kenya. He was rude to Dana and harsh with Rock, but he created tension to get the reactions he wanted from the actors.

Miklos Rozsa, the epic film score maestro, came up with different music for this film. Composed mainly for chorus, sometimes male, sometimes female depending on the mood, it is a fascinating impression of African music and one of the most memorable things about the film.

"Simba", a British film about the Mau-Mau rebellion was made in 1955. Also shot in Kenya, it too featured Mau-Mau attacks on white farmers, but the whole thing seemed condescending towards the Kenyans while Brook's film is more even-handed with treachery and massacres on both sides.

Both films end with a scene of a Kenyan baby, symbolising the key to the nation's future.

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Release Date:

June 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Africa Ablaze See more »

Filming Locations:

Africa See more »


Box Office


$2,553,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Perspecta Sound) (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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