63 user 35 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.


Clint Eastwood


Peter Viertel (novel), Peter Viertel (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »




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 ... 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


The world famous movie Director John Wilson (Clint Eastwood) 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


An adventure in obsession...


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


When Paul Landers (George Dzundza) hears that the rain will continue for another week, he grabs a large sheet of paper, screws it up and throws it away. It was almost certainly the production shooting schedule, which would have had to be completely re-planned if there was going to be a week's delay. See more »


In the scene where the first day of shooting is interrupted by rain, the rain was created using a special rig, which is a common practice in film in order to make sure there's rain on schedule. During the shot where Lockhart talks about the rainy season, in the background you can clearly see that the wet ground reaches a sudden end a few metres away and beyond it everything is perfectly dry. See more »


John Wilson: I would like to tell you a little story.
Mrs. MacGregor: Oh, I love stories.
John Wilson: Well, you mustn't interrupt now, because you're way too beautiful to interrupt people. When I was in London in the early 40's, I was dining one evening at the Savoy with a rather select group of people, and sitting next to me was a very beautiful lady, much like yourself.
Mrs. MacGregor: Now you're pulling my leg.
John Wilson: Now, just listen, dear. Well, we were dining and the bombs were falling, and we were all talking about Hitler and comparing him with Napoleon,...
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Referenced in Juice (1992) See more »


Written by Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer and Billy Strayhorn
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User Reviews

good Clint
22 September 2016 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

In post war Europe, writer Pete Verrill (Jeff Fahey) joins director John Wilson (Clint Eastwood) to work on his next movie to be filmed in Africa. John wants to do a safari to hunt big game. Producer Paul Landers (George Dzundza) is concerned of many issues including the new technology of colored photography, locations, and money. While he deals with various people and issues surrounding the film, John is more interested in taking down a big tusker elephant with the help of local guide Kivu.

This is a thinly-veiled fictionalization of legendary director John Huston and his filming of 'The African Queen (1951)'. It's probably more meaningful for fans of the old classic. Clint delivers. The most compelling scene is probably him taking down the racist Mrs. MacGregor. The story can be meandering at times. The drama isn't that high since the film isn't threaten much. The elephant hunt has a poignant power and delivers a meaningful commentary on the character. Jeff Fahey is much less impressive. He takes up space without giving much in return. He is too reserved and too willing to be secondary. He needs to be a better foil for Eastwood.

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Release Date:

14 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

White Hunter Black Heart See more »


Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$165,450, 16 September 1990

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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