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so much fun
MichaelM2416 July 2001
HATARI! is a film I could watch over and over for all eternity. I've loved it since I was a kid. John Wayne and a great ensemble cast are fun to watch as they have adventures in Africa capturing wild game for zoos around the world. Most of the laughs come from Red Buttons's comic relief Pockets, who does everything from make sly comments to building a giant rocket in order to capture monkeys. The capture sequences with the larger animals (especially the first and second rhino chases) are thrilling, with the actors themselves right in there with the animals. The almost three-hour running time flies by before you even know it. Throw in one of Henry Mancini's greatest scores and two pretty girls, and you've got a fun-filled adventure the whole family can enjoy for years and years.
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Hawks' African 'Buddy' Film a Wayne Classic!
cariart4 December 2003
HATARI! may be the most enjoyable of the Howard Hawks/John Wayne collaborations (their other pairings produced the classics RED RIVER and RIO BRAVO, and the RIO BRAVO 'remakes' EL DORADO and RIO LOBO), and is exceptional in several ways; at 157 minutes (2 hours, 37 minutes), it may be one of the longest 'buddy' films ever made; nearly all of the animal 'chase and capture' sequences involved the actual cast members (professional handlers serving as stunt doubles were only rarely used); and the filming began with virtually no script (which was written based on the 'on location' footage in Africa, after the cast returned to California). At 65, director Hawks was still in top form, and the risks he took paid off...HATARI!, despite it's length, is never boring!

The story focuses on a season with a team of professional hunter/trappers, capturing animals for zoos and circuses. With a breathtaking opening scene of a rhino chase, costing them the use of veteran driver, 'Indian' (legendary actor Bruce Cabot), the 'family' dynamic is quickly established, with rugged Sean Mercer (Wayne) both boss and father-figure to the group. As he and the rest of the 'family' (Red Buttons, Hardy Krüger, Valentin de Vargas, and Michèle Girardon) meet 'Indian's' replacement, 'Chips' (Gérard Blain), Mercer has an even bigger headache to deal with; beautiful photographer Anna Maria 'Dallas' D'Allesandro (Elsa Martinelli) has arrived, to shoot a magazine spread. A 'traditional' Hawks leading lady, 'Dallas' is feisty, sultry, and attracted to Mercer, and the older man, uncomfortable with the ease by which she fits into the group, as well as his own stirrings, tries to make it clear that romance has no place on his agenda (in much the same manner as he did with Angie Dickinson in RIO BRAVO...and with the same results).

While some elements of the story are dated and politically incorrect (shooting a baby African elephant, even as a 'mercy killing', would be a major offense, today, as it is an endangered species), the combination of spectacular 'hunt' sequences, and the warmth and easy camaraderie of the cast in the subplots make HATARI! a rich, rewarding experience.

A major plus for the film is a very atypical Henry Mancini score, combining tense, African-influenced themes for the chases, and the very funny 'Elephant Walk' to punctuate 'Dallas's' relationship with her adopted pachyderm 'children'. The baby elephant scenes are film highlights, as is the rocket capture of a tree filled with monkeys, and both rhino chases (which clearly shows Wayne in some real danger!)

From the opening rhino sequence to the closing 'Honeymoon' scene, HATARI! is a grand entertainment, and escapism at it's best!
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Great film for the whole family
lee18816 February 2005
Hatari is one of the best non cowboy films John Wayne ever made. And the supporting cast is superb. This one is a must see for the entire family. Red Buttons brings the humor, John Wayne the adventure and Else Martinelli the romance. All you need is the pop corn. The kids will get a big kick out of this movie as I did growing up. Many funny scenes in this movie. We have rockets going off, monkeys being trapped and a rhino that just wont give up. And don't forget the two baby elephants running thru the streets.

And yes, there is plenty of action for the adults too. This picture was made in Africa and has beautiful cinematography. And the actors preformed their on stunts in this movie. John Wayne can not only rope a horse, but a rhino too. I don't want to give the movie away if you haven't seen it. The movie is about three hours long, but it will fly bye. It is a fast pace movie. And by the way, Hatari means danger in Swahili.
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One of a Kind
glentom110 September 2004
I am somewhat surprised at a few of the negative comments in this forum regarding the movie. Although I see 95% positive, the ones that dislike the movie because of the romance between Dallas and John are particularly distasteful.

They point out an age discrepancy, and call John "Grandpa Wayne", good grief! John Wayne was 59 yrs old at the making of this movie, and the actress that played Dallas was 27. In real life those kind of romances happen all the time, why would anyone be surprised when they happen in fiction?

The animal scenes are exquisite. I doubt there will ever be a movie like this made again. This is how animals get into the zoos, they just don't walk in there and say "sign me up!"

I like everything about this movie; it is a diversification for Wayne, who was already maybe the most diverse actor in Hollywood history. (consider The Conquerer vs. The Quiet man). It has love, comedy, drama, and animals!

Plus all the actors in the movie were given great character depth. I am sure many people have heard of the baby elephant walk, but did not know it came from this movie.

Its such a fun movie, I have to give it a 10, because there is no way to make it any better. What a great achievement of direction, producing, and animal filming!
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Funny, gem of a Wayne movie set in beautiful Africa
SRMonecke22 January 2005
I have loved this film since I was a child, and have found even more things to enjoy about it since I've grown up! Now, my 4 year old daughter is in love with all the animals (and she thinks Pockets is so funny). In fact, we have to play it at least once a day! If you haven't seen this film, it is definitely worth your time. The scenery is beautiful as are the animals they capture. This performance of John Wayne is one of his funniest, and the supporting cast are just as great. You have no problem believing these people truly do this for a living, and Red Buttons will keep you laughing.

This has something for all ages: exotic animals and Red Buttons' antics for the kids; adventure and romance for the adults. Give this one a try, especially if you are looking for a good family film you all can enjoy!
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Sensational and wonderfully filmed story about zoo-suppling animal hunters in Tanganyka
ma-cortes9 December 2010
¨Hatari¨ is an awesome mixture of moving action , sunny adventure and light comedy about some wild-animal trappers , and in Swahili language it means ¨Danger ¨. A team of professionals who holds each other to high standards in their job have a common objective , the animal trapping in Tanganyika . As it follows the travails of a group (Hardy Kruger , Red Buttoms, Michelle Girandon , Gerard Blain , Elsa Martinelli, Bruce Cabot among others) of safari hunters led , of course, by John Wayne , undergoing adventures , risks , and amusing situations . They form a lively community , preservationists working a game reserve and interwoven with friendship ,camaraderie, integration , professionalism , romance and self-respect .

Superb blend of adventures and comedy ; effortlessly switching between love story and humor . This is a fascinating flick upon a sympathetic group in that includes adventure ,crisp banter, romance, and noisy action . It contains Hawks' usual issues as a community decided to build their aim on a dangerous territory , friendship , conflict and attraction between men and women, importance of the group and comradeship among people and ample shots over prairies and African savanna . Though John Wayne acted his part in about a thousand ways for Hawks over decades , and he could not be more exciting as intrepid hunter . Impressive chase scenes through its riveting footage of the real capture of wildlife in that the risk of the hunt are stunningly evoked . This Howard Hawks's adventure-comedy is mainly the same, loosely plotted story Hawks made over and over again for years . As this could easily be seen as ¨Only Angels have wings¨ transferred from the Andes to the African savanna. Furthermore , ordinary improvisation , and free-screenplay for that reason many scenes were spontaneously realized by Hawks who was continuously telephonying to screen-writer Leight Bracket to America . It only Hawks had been able to do as he wished and stars Clark Gable and John Wayne , but the King passed away and stood Wayne at his best .

Colorful cinematography by Russell Harlan who won Academy Award nomination with dangerous shooting in which animals destroyed three cameras . As we are watching several African animals , without use of stock-shots, but they are actual Hyenas, Gnus, Elephants, Crocodiles, monkeys ,Buffalos and spectacular Rhino hunts . Marvelous score by Henry Mancini with notable and popular themes as ¨ Baby elephant walk¨ and song titled ¨Just for tonight¨ by Carmichael and Johnny Mercer . The picture has the usual Howard Hawks message¨: ¨Every time get real action , then you have danger¨ and all his habitual themes emerge naturally and gently. This phenomenal film results to be one of the best productions about Africa chase and is developed in relaxed pace and tone , constituting a real masterpiece.
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lapt20 March 2005
This, among others, is one of my favorite movies. I have the movie and my Granddaughter and I watch it often. She likes all the animals in it. Being an animal lover myself, this is the perfect movie with a perfect cast. John Wayne was remarkable in making this; he acted as if what he was doing was something he did everyday. Very natural.

Red Buttons was cute, funny and great in the role of "Pockets". The casting director couldn't have done a better job by putting him in this part. As far as that goes, all the actors were made for the parts they played.

The scenery is exceptional. Not sure if they were actually in Africa or not. Even if it wasn't made in Africa, you believed they were there. The music was what brought the whole thing together. Gave it feelings.
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The most hilarious John Wayne movie
lcover0012 May 2003
I first saw this movie in 1962. Today it is still as fresh and funny as it was forty years ago. And it is so politically incorrect! It should be put on a pedestal!!! Think about it cool and suave dudes out in the wilds of Africa capturing wild animals for zoos! It's great to see those these folks, rousting beasts during the day, dancing around the piano, while they hold a martini in one hand and a beautiful girl wrapped around the other. The Henry Mancini music is a pleasure to listen to. Just try to obtain a rare CD of the Hatari soundtrack. The humor in the movie is largely supplied by an adorable Red Buttons, playing a former New York cabbie who currently acts as manic truck driver for John Wayne on his daily quest to capture animals. And why is Buttons now driving in Africa? His explanation is that the animals are like New York drivers, so he feels right at home. So run, don't walk to your nearest video rental joint. Rent this baby and spend the next few hours laughing with a movie from a different time and world view.
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The best of the John Wayne movies
oldaker9 April 2001
This movie is fast paced but seems leisurely. It is filled with exciting animal chase sequences but is really a romance. It is my favorite Red Buttons movie as well as my favorite John Wayne. One of the things that I really like about this movie is that the supporting cast carry so many scenes without John Wayne overwhelming them. All of the characters get developed as if they actually have a life off-screen. This is a very entertaining comedy that never seems to lose its appeal to my whole family.
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Great Family Movie
pattycraven20 June 2005
I saw this movie for the first time when I was about 7. I am in my later 30's now and still enjoy seeing it anytime I can. This is a movie that I would be interested in buying it was so entertaining. This was a great movie back then for me to see, and a movie that I would be happy to sit down with my children and watch now. It is clean fun with a lot of humor. My favorite parts of the film were when they were working with the animals, which was most of the time. The baby elephants added quite a bit to the movie and made it fun. Excellent family film. If you enjoy animals and have a few hours to kill, I recommend you rent this one.
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"By the way, how you doing with the Big Bwana?"
classicsoncall17 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The first time I saw "Hatari" was on a Boy Scout excursion to New York City during it's original release year of 1962. I had no idea at the time who John Wayne was, let alone any of the supporting players in the movie, but I did like wild animals. What young kid doesn't? Since then of course, the Duke has moved on to that big rodeo in the sky, as his legacy survives in the many fine Westerns and war films in which he appeared. "Hatari" in some ways might be considered an African Western, replete with sidekicks, drinking and pretty women, with a fair share of action adventure as the Hatari gang captures wild game for America's zoos. As such, the film doesn't have a whole lot of story line going for it; it's more of a series of vignettes of Wayne's character Sean Mercer rallying his men on to collect giraffe, zebra, leopard, buffalo, rhino and a proverbial barrel of monkeys. Though in this case it's a tree full of monkeys thanks in large part to a clever design masterminded by Pockets (Red Buttons), complete with a red and white silver rocket and a huge fish net. The fact that it worked makes it worth the price of admission alone.

In between the animal chases, director Howard Hawks sprinkles his movie with comic interludes like the goat milking scene, the ostrich roundup, and the kissing demonstration that the pretty photographer Dallas (Elsa Martinelli) plants on Wayne. Of course, Red Buttons has his share of comic moments as well, though at times his timing seems forced, especially when he nags his partners to retell their versions of the monkey capture.

I must say, my admiration for the film's players rose a considerable notch when I learned that they did all their own work in capturing the large game. The rhino scene in particular left me wondering how the animal didn't severely injure itself, much less the occupants of the jeep chasing him down.

Some dozen years following the film's release, I had the pleasure of going on a photographic safari of my own to East Africa. The locales mentioned in the movie such as Arusha and Manyara were on my itinerary, though by that time Tanganyika no longer existed, having merged with Zanzibar to form the new country of Tanzania. Along with wild game locations in neighboring Kenya, that trip remains the highlight of my travel abroad.

As others have noted in their postings, I would highly recommend "Hatari" as solid family entertainment, although John Wayne does let loose with a 'hell' while wrestling the buffalo into the transport cage. It must have been one of his milder curses that survived the final cut.
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Fun Movie
Julius20693 June 2005
Hatari is a fun movie to watch at any age and Red Buttons is hilarious as pockets. I saw this movie when it first came out in the 60s and as a young teenager I "fell in love" with Michele Girardon (Brandy). Unfortunately, I found out years later that she died of cancer as a result of too much smoking. The subplot of Pockets (older guy) falling in love with Brandy (the younger woman) while the other two girl chasers(Kirt & Chips) compete for Brandy's attention, is well performed. I still see Hatari whenever it comes out on AMC or Turner Classic Movies. If this type of movie was produced today, I wonder which collection of movie stars would be willing to star in it.

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A family-friendly African adventure just after Tanganyika became Tanzania!
gilligan196531 August 2015
This movie has it all:

1.) adventure;

2.) wild animals;

3.) beautiful settings;

4.) beautiful ladies;

5.) a great story;

6.) a great cast lead by John Wayne;

7.) a great director, Howard Hawks;

8.) a great musical score by Henry Mancini that 'accidentally/incidentally' spawned the #1 worldwide hit-song..."Baby Elephant Walk;"

9.) a lot of comedy;

10.) and, a lot of enjoyment by whomever sees this movie! :)

John Wayne is the tough but fair leader he always is. Hardy Kruger and Bruce Cabot are his tough right-and-left-hand men. Gerard Blain is the 'new-guy' who makes a great impression. Red Buttons is the helpful and innovative guy who is also the comic-relief. AND...Elsa Martinelli and Michèle Girardon are the beautiful ladies who complete this African safari adventure.

Why would someone so young and beautiful kill herself!?!? RIP Michèle Girardon.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this movie to anyone from the ages of two to 122! :)
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"Hatari" means "Danger" in Swahili.
estabansmythe22 April 2006
"Hatari" means "Danger" in Swahili. It should also mean "Great Fun!" "Hatari" (1962) is unique to John Wayne's incredible resume of films in that it takes place in Africa, what was then Tanganyika (currently Tanzania).

The Duke and Howard Hawks made several terrific films together, regardless of the often-terrible dialogue Hawks used in his Wayne films and the flat-out unconvincing, unrealistic manner in which it was sometimes delivered: larger than life, but seldom believable.

These films included "Rio Bravo" (1959) & it's close-enough-to-qualify-as-a-remake bookend, "El Dorado" (1966). But their "Hatari" is tied with "Rio Bravo' as their finest effort.

"Hatari" is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable films you'll ever see. It's funny, at times hilariously so; it's action-packed; and it's romantic. It's the last remnants of old Hollywood movie-making at its finest.

The co-stars are great: always amiable Red Buttons & beautifully thin babe Elsa Martinelli as well as Hardy Kruger, girl next door-type beauty Michèle Girardon, Gérard Blain, the suave Valentin de Vargas & old Duke pal Bruce Cabot.

And you can't forget Henry Mancini's atmospheric score, including the subsequent hit, "Baby Elephant Walk"; and Russell Harlan's Academy Award-winning cinematography, shot on location in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

You will love "Hatari"!
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Fun and Romance in Africa with the Duke
ledornaiklas1 April 2006
I have certain John Wayne movies that I enjoy very much and this movie is one of them. It's funny, witty, filled with unsuspecting romance and the beautiful backdrop of Kenya. A cute and feisty French photographer whose on assignment to film catching of animals for a zoo, and injured employee, a driver afraid of animals also falls in love and there's also two young men vie for the affections of the owner of the game reserve. And exciting scene with the photographer being pursued by John Wayne and three baby elephants. The ventures of seven people in the catching of animals of Africa and of the pursuit of love. Bring the beauty of Kenya into your living room and a love story for all.
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My favorite John Wayne film
dragonlady14 December 2002
I have seen this movie about 20 times and its appeal never fades. The nice mix of comedy and action make this my favorite John Wayne film. Each of the supporting characters are so unique and well-developed that it is truly an ensemble piece. Even the music is wonderful. "Elephant Walk" is still so reconizable that I can't help but smile every time I hear it.
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Ignore the trolls, this is a great adventure film
winner5522 June 2009
The political attack on this film is bewildering and annoying; it's such a parody of outraged liberalism that I can't help wondering if it's not the work of right-wing trolls pretending to be liberal to anger readers here.

At any rate let's knock down the most obvious fallacies of this attack: 1. In the "Trivia" section here, it is charged that the film was made under an apartheid regime because John Wayne supported it. Hatari was filmed in Tanganika, and there was no apartheid in effect in that country at the time. ("Apartheid" was a legalized caste system only ever in effect in South Africa.)

2. While the native African populations are kept largely in the background, there are no denigrating remarks made concerning them, but instead an insistence that their traditions be respected. The film's social structure is actually constructed to emphasize cultural pluralism - the focal group is made up of a German, several French descendants, a Swiss-Italian, a Spaniard, a Native American, an American Jew (Buttons as "Pockets") and of course Wayne - an Irish Catholic playing the only WASP in the group.

3. The "homophobia" charge directed against the film has to do with a single line, when Dallas asks Pockets why Wayne's character "doesn't like women," and Pockets says she suffers under a "misapprehension." I'm sorry, this is "homophobic?" I watched this movie several times over the past 40 odd years and I never noticed this until I read it on IMDb? Well, maybe it's not really there.

4. It is charged that the film has been "censored" for homophobia, sexism, racism and smoking (?!) in television broadcasts. Maybe in the troll's fantasy world. The film has occasionally been shortened due to it's length.

5. The film, it is charged, is sexist, using women as mere objects. Of what? Dallas, the female lead, is aggressive about her job, about her desires to experience Africa, about her sexuality. And she's hip and intelligent, intimidating the older (and old-fashioned) Wayne on a number of occasions. If this defined sexism, there would never have been any need for feminism.

6. Smoking - it should be pointed out that smoking is as much a right-wing issue as a liberal concern (it insults fundamentalist Protestant aesthetics). There's no denying that a lot of smoking takes place in this film. It was made when the preliminary studies on the dangers of smoking were just coming out and their veracity contested by the tobacco companies, and after a long tradition of heavy smoking in the cinema. The smoking behavior of the characters is just one of the things one tolerates if one wants to see a good film of the era.

7. It is suggested that the animals - especially the elephants - were mistreated during the film and killed off afterwards. There's no evidence to suggest this, reports that the actors themselves were involved in the capture of the animals are counterfactual evidence against this charge (what you see is largely what actually happened), and it is known that the baby elephants died four decades later of natural causes in zoos.

Now onto the film itself: The acting is largely insufficient (as plagued most Hawks films of the '60s). It is episodic. The plot, such as it is, meanders. The conclusion does feel somewhat artificial.

But it's largely a fantasy about a real way of life that most of us hardly knew existed before watching the film. And it's a fascinating way of life, fantasy or real.

The film is a kind of "Western" set in Africa, without a villain but with chases aplenty. It's an adventure film and a romantic comedy. Its canvass is wide, its strokes are broad. And it is character centered - if you like these people (and I do) you will have no problem liking this film.
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bamcubz8 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Forgive me but I'm not much of a John Wayne fan but I did find this movie hilarious and the young photographer steals the show. Makes me wish there was a sequel to it. I know how much work it is taking care of animals but I think 3 baby elephants would be fun to have, at least for awhile. My husband and I have 3 cats so of course we loved the scenes with the cheetah. What a beautiful animal. The guys all trying for the attention of the lady boss makes for a great side story. Always fun to see how the opposite sex reacts to each other when they have to work with each other, even more so when they have to share the same place to live for any length of time.
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Another fan of Hatari...
mpsarkar5 August 2008
I suspected the movie I happened by on the AMC cable channel was HATARI...and lo & behold :) The first and only other time I recall seeing this movie was as a child living in Calcutta (INDIA) at the time ...somehow the music (baby elephant walk ) and the scenes were permanently etched in my memory. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS MOVIE for capturing a certain sentiment of a bygone era ...the 60s...he he he..it's so quintessentially and humorously American (John Wayne, et al) --- the stereotyped American/Euro folks in the backdrop of the African wilderness with the animals and the locals...great scenery with lots of animals too...

SEE IT..!!! - Cheerios
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Outstanding adventure film.
Roman-Nies25 December 2006
This is one of the best adventure films that play in eastern-Africa. The story is simple but yet entertaining. It looks as if the actors had a lot of fun. Why was there no sequel? I would have liked to see the Duke in another role like this. He would not have made a good look as Quatermain but Lettow-Vorbeck would have suited him perfect. The guide line is chasing wild animals, whereas the "chasing" two white men do after a white woman is more disturbing and superfluous.There is a lot of humour and action of the harmless kind so that there was no need to introduce the rivalry of the Frenchman and his eastern neighbour. The best performance is that there are no special-effects. They are simply not necessary. This is always serving to improve any movie. The movie is realistic. Movies nowadays look not only artificial, in reliance on technical possibilities too often the producers and directors forget to be engenious and skillful. I am sure that films like "The Lord of the Ring" will lose their attraction in near future. They are a big spectacle, much noise, nothing more.
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My favorite Movie
apanchal17 March 2006
This movie is simply beautiful and exotic. Yes it is pictured on the border of Tanzania and Kenya. The scenery, animals, music and actors are perfect combination. My favorite tunes are the Baby Elephant Walk and the Ostrich dance!. I liked Pockets and Mama Tempo - specially her accent is so refreshing and so nice to hear. It brings back the beautiful memory of Kenya and the plains of Savannah and those umbrella trees back. The last scene is so hilarious starting from the baby elephants looking for their Mama tempo and the scene ending with the four poster bed trampled by the elephants. This movie is worth watching. John Wayne as usual is very commanding and offers another masterpiece of great acting. Wonder how they shot the rocket in to cover the tree. They did not have any photographic tricks those days. Every scene includes something new, like a tamed cheetah walking around the house! The house itself is so cool and just makes me want to visit Africa!
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Great action, romance, and laughs rolled into one!
lenteasdale25 July 2001
One of John Wayne's best, non-western, movies. Good cast, but the real stars in many respects are the animals. Great mix of action, as they try to catch, not kill the animals. Good mix of romance, with one major romantic entanglement (John Wayne and Elsa Martinelli), will they or won't they and one minor romance (Red Buttons and Michele Girardon), how did that happen?

And last but not least, great fun with the baby elephants and the capture of the monkeys, scientifically??!!! A great movie the whole family can enjoy.
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A must see for John Wayne fans.
whatshamata23 April 2006
A must for John Wayne fans. I can remember vividly, my Dad taking me to see this movie. The movie has everything from good looking guys to pretty women, baby elephants and pretty scenery. While John Wayne's character is not his usual macho guy, he is still wonderful. The animal catching scenes are exciting,more so when you know that the actors actually performed their own stunts. Red Buttons is his usual delightful self as the subtle comic relief. His invention to catch a tree full of monkeys will leave you laughing. While these days the idea of "hunters" going to Africa to round up animals to sell to zoos is very politically incorrect, it makes this movie no less enjoyable.
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Enjoyable but long John Wayne African Western with plenty of good wildlife scenes.
Slim-426 December 1999
John Wayne is in charge in this Howard Hawks directed African Western. His character reminds me of Sam McCord in "North To Alaska". This time around Elsa Martinelli is Wayne's romantic interest.

This is not your standard John Wayne movie. He doesn't get to use his fists once. The emphasis here is on comedy rather than violence. Veteran comedian Red Buttons is on hand for wise cracks and some very funny moments. His capture of hundreds of monkeys is one of the film's better moments.

Some of the action is almost slapstick in character. Elsa Martinelli's baby elephants steal the show. Martinelli's character seems to be a magnet for homeless elephants. Ultimately, they have a central role in the film's finale, a fast and very funny tour around a Kenyan town.

There is plenty of exciting wildlife photography in this film, perhaps too much. The film tells the story of one season on a game ranch that captures animals for zoos. There is little real plot. Much of the suspense revolves around the dangers of capturing rhinos. A rhino gores Bruce Cabot in one of the early scenes. Later, he cautions Wayne to avoid them. Wayne of course ignores him and ultimately they capture a rhino.

Although enjoyable, this film reminds me of a Disney real-life adventure. There is little character development, a slim plot and the whole thing takes far too long. Henry Mancini's score is very nice, particularly the cute "Baby Elephant Walk". There is also some great stunt work, including a jeep crash in which two lead characters are messed up. This film is exciting and worth watching, but don't expect any great moral message. It's not here.
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Hawks and elephants
flasuss6 May 2005
As most Hawks' films, Hatari! a light and unpretentious film in which the plot doesn't really matter, the most important things are the characters and their relationships. Although here both are not very deep, they are responsible for some great moments. The cast is good, specially Red Buttons in the traditional Walter Brennan role as the comic relief and the best friend of John Wayne, who plays the tough guy who wants distance from women after being left by one, nothing new in his and Hawks' careers, and seems to be having a lot of fun. but the elephants are the ones who steal the show. Mancini's score is pretty good, one of his best, and the pacing is slower than the director's screwball comedies, but faster than Rio Bravo (which is a little too slow), and because of that and the other elements mentioned above, it's perhaps the best one to begin with him.
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