96 user 46 critic

Hatari! (1962)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 19 June 1962 (USA)
2:59 | Trailer
A group of men trap wild animals in Africa and sell them to zoos before the arrival of a female wildlife photographer threatens to change their ways.


Howard Hawks


Leigh Brackett (screenplay), Harry Kurnitz (story)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Sean Mercer
Hardy Krüger ... Kurt Muller (as Hardy Kruger)
Elsa Martinelli ... Anna Maria 'Dallas' D'Allesandro / Mama Tembo
Red Buttons ... Pockets
Gérard Blain ... Charles 'Chips' Maurey (as Gerard Blain)
Bruce Cabot ... Little Wolf aka The Indian
Michèle Girardon ... Brandy de la Court (as Michele Girardon)
Valentin de Vargas ... Luis Francisco Garcia Lopez
Eduard Franz ... Dr. Sanderson
Queenie Leonard ... Nurse (scenes deleted)


Sean Mercer (played by John Wayne) runs a business in East Africa. He and his team capture wild animals for zoos. It is dangerous work - one of his men almost dies after being gored by a rhino. He accepts a request from a photographer to join his business and capture their experiences but is very surprised, and bit inconvenienced, when the photographer turns out to be a woman. However, over time he grows fond of her. Meanwhile, plans to capture certain animals lead to all sorts of plans and adventures. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Danger! Excitement! Romance! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In 1960, Clark Gable had agreed to star in the movie with John Wayne, provided he received first billing on the opening credits, and one million dollars, plus ten percent of the gross. Paramount, however, would not raise the budget to finance Gable, so the script was radically changed. Gable died twelve days before filming began. This was immediately after finishing The Misfits (1961). Considering that for The Misfits he was paid &750,000 plus 10% of the net, the figure of $1 million was not outrageous. The irony was that he was planning on retiring but wanted to do two last films, at least one of them being a major hit. With John Huston directing The Misfits, he thought that might be the one. If he had survived another year and had been signed for Hatari, that would have been his very last film. Another irony is that Huston was best known for the blockbuster African adventure film, The African Queen (1951). See more »


Chips borrows 15 pounds from the Indian, and Kurt tosses a shilling to decide whether he or Chips accompanies Brandy, but when Pockets takes up a collection to buy goats, he asks for two dollars each. See more »


[first lines]
Sean Mercer: [over two-way radio] Kurt, can you hear me?
Kurt Muller: Go ahead, Sean.
Sean Mercer: At about eleven o'clock... right in the middle of that herd of wildebeest - see him?
Kurt Muller: Oh, that's a good one.
Sean Mercer: Let's go; start out easy.
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Referenced in Eye of the Dolphin (2006) See more »


Just For Tonight
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
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User Reviews

Hawks, the African King
30 October 2001 | by nachocorcesSee all my reviews

When you read the way Henry Mancini reached the music for "Hatari!" you´re sure he really made it. And when you listen the score it´s the hearing of adventure´s landing. The thrill of it all. Wait and see! Once there was a time when the next step into fantasy was as real as wild life. The excitement you feel at the view of John Wayne running after the zebras and specially the rhinos, and the pleasure you get from the whole group at work and at leisure (days and nights of slender and beautiful Elsa Martinelli, funny fellow Red Buttons or the non-tense rivalry, basically "a cause d´une femme", between french Blain and german Kruger), well, this is more than you´re used to see in a movie. Howard Hawks made it, and he really knew how to put a script in a breath of eternity.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Swahili

Release Date:

19 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tanganyika See more »

Filming Locations:

Lake Manyara, Manyara, Tanzania See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Malabar See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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