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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
The elephant gun used by John Wilson (Clint Eastwood) was a Holland & Holland Double Rifle aka a double-barreled elephant magnum. It's been valued at being worth UK £65,000. The manufacturers made the real-life gun that John Huston used whilst filming The African Queen (1951) in Africa in 1951. According to a May 1990 interview with production designer John Graysmark in 'Cue International', the production took great care of the firearm during the shoot and sold it back to the gun-makers at the end of principal photography, "unharmed, unscratched, [and] unused". See more »
The map detailing the crew's trip by plane from England to Uganda shows Germany with pre-WWII borders. The movie is set around 1950. See more »
[regarding shooting an elephant]
How many chances does a man get?
That's never a reason to do something wrong.
See more »
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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