6.7/10
9,901
55 user 31 critic

White Hunter Black Heart (1990)

A thinly fictionalized account of a legendary movie director, whose desire to hunt down an animal turns into a grim situation with his movie crew in Africa.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Peter Viertel (novel), Peter Viertel (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... John Wilson
Jeff Fahey ... Pete Verrill
Charlotte Cornwell Charlotte Cornwell ... Miss Wilding, Wilson's Secretary
Norman Lumsden Norman Lumsden ... Butler George
George Dzundza ... Paul Landers
Edward Tudor-Pole ... Reissar - a British Partner (as Edward Tudor Pole)
Roddy Maude-Roxby Roddy Maude-Roxby ... Thompson, British Partner
Richard Warwick ... Basil Fields, British Partner
John Rapley John Rapley ... Gun Shop Salesman
Catherine Neilson Catherine Neilson ... Irene Saunders
Marisa Berenson ... Kay Gibson, Film Star
Richard Vanstone Richard Vanstone ... Phil Duncan, Film Star
Jamie Koss Jamie Koss ... Mrs. Duncan
Anne Dunkley Anne Dunkley ... Scarf Girl in Nightclub Show
David Danns David Danns ... Bongo Man in Nightclub Show
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Storyline

The world famous movie director John Wilson has gone to Africa to make his next movie. He is an obstinate, contrary director who'd rather hunt elephants than take care of his crew or movie. He has become obsessed with one particular elephant and cares for nothing else. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An adventure in obsession...

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cazador blanco, corazón negro See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$165,450, 16 September 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,319,124
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood agreed to do The Rookie (1990) in exchange for Warner Brothers letting him make his personal film project, White Hunter Black Heart (1990). See more »

Goofs

When John Wilson is talking to Pete Verrill over breakfast he refers to him as 'Jeff', Jeff Fahey being the real name of the actor. See more »

Quotes

Pete Verrill: [looking at elephants through binoculars] Oh. I've never seen one before, outside the circus or the zoo. They're so majestic. So indestructible. They're part of the earth. They make us feel like perverse little creatures from another planet. Without any dignity. Makes one believe in God.
[chuckles]
Pete Verrill: In the miracle of creation. Fantastic. They're part of a world that no longer exists, Hod. Feeling of unconquerable time.
Hodkins: You certainly have a way with words, Pete. No wonder you're a writer.
See more »


Soundtracks

SATIN DOLL
Written by Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer and Billy Strayhorn
See more »

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User Reviews

Eastwood is good (as usual) in an uneven film
7 September 2000 | by bigsleepjSee all my reviews

White Hunter, Black Heart both left me confused as well as breathless. The movie, that I saw earlier this year on television, struck me as deep yet peculiar. Clint Eastwood, in one of his most memorable roles ever, John Wilson, goes out to shoot an elephant while what he really should be doing is shoot a Hollywood movie in the 1950s.

The only person on the crew who shares his view and almost understand him is Pete Verril (Jeff Fahey), a writer brought on to improve the script. Although Pete supports Wilson, Pete realizes that the hunt of an elephant is more than just an adventure for Wilson, but an obsession. Wilson is willing to compromise the entire crew's careers and futures just to commit "the only legal sin."

The movie has certain themes, including conservation, obsession and movie-making theories. The themes aren't explored too well, which explains the muddled ending. But still this is an enjoyable film.

Based on a novel by Peter Viertel, based on his experiences while filming the African Queen, the film is either going to grip you from the start, or bore you to death. You'll ever like it or forget it. The ending takes a little figuring out (especially at mentioning the title), but people who like movies about film making and Africa should like this.


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