Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)

The Snows of Kilimanjaro(1952). film based on the short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway. The film version of the short story was directed by Henry King, and starred Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, and Susan Hayward.

Harry Street, on safari in Africa with his second wife Helen, when a cut on his leg becomes infected and he becomes very ill. While waiting in camp for help to arrive camp, Harry, never has hidden his contempt for his wife Helen's money. Reminiscing about the past, Harry tells Helen about his first love, but his uncle, knowing that Harry wants to become a writer, thinks it best to end the relationship. Back in the present, Harry insults Helen and to get away from him she goes hunting. While she is gone, Harry falls into a deep sleep and dreams of how he met the love of his life Cynthia.

Harry living a bohemian life in Paris, meets Cynthia, in a jazz club and immediately falls in love with her. Soon, the couple are married, and after Harry's first novel is published, he fulfills his lifelong dream of going on a hunting safari in Africa. On the evening that Harry kills his first rhino, Cynthia confides in their friend Johnson, that she is pregnant. Cynthia decides not to tell Harry about her condition. Cynthia deliberately falls down a flight of stairs and she looses the baby. Although, Cynthia tells Harry that the fall was an accident, guilt and blame ruins their relationship. In Madrid, Cynthia, torn between her love for Harry and her feelings that he resents her, leaves him for a flamenco dancer. Harry is soon taken over by his obsession for roaming the world in search of stories for his novels. Cynthia is never out of his thoughts.

Back in Africa, the feverish Harry awakens from his dreams while Helen listens to his rantings and tries to fight his illness until help arrives.. Will he give Helen chance for love and happiness?

Growing up I never gave The Snows of Kilimanjaro a chance. Now it is one of my favorite movies and my favorite Hemingway story.

Fun Fact:

Gene Tierney and Anne Francis were considered for the Ava Gardner role.

Ernest Hemingway.

Timeless Hemingway, websight.

Writer and journalist who had written seven novels, six collections of short stories, and two works of non-fiction published, with a further three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction autobiographical works published after his death. Hemingway had an enormous influence on 20th-century fiction, as did his life of adventure. Winning the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hardy Krüger

Hardy Kruger, bought Ngorongoro Farm in what is now northern Tanzania in 1960, which he owned for 13 years. Ngorongoro served as the setting for the 1962 film Hatar!, in which Krüger appeared with John Wayne. He has worked in numerous European and American films such as the original 1965 version of The Flight of the Phoenix and the German version of The Moon is Blue. Other films include: The Wild Geese (1978), A Bridge Too Far . His daughter Christiane Krüger and his son, Hardy Krüger, Jr. are also actors.

Hatari! (1962)

Hatari! (1962). Director: Howard Hawks. The title means "danger" in Swahili. One of the reasons the film is popular because of the the beautiful scenery of Mount Meru, a dormant volcano. Hatari! was filmed on location in Tanganyika. Many scenes were filmed near Arusha, Tanzania on a hunting ranch, Ngongongare Farm, owned by actor Hardy Krüger. The final chase through town was filmed in Nairobi, Kenya. Cast: John Wayne, Red Buttons, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Krüger, Michele Girardon, Gerard Blain, Valentin De Vargas.

The story is about a group of men and women catching wild animals in Africa and selling them to zoos. After Indian is injured during a rhinoceros chase. He is rushed to the hospital where he needs a blood transfusion. Chips is the only one who has the same rare blood type. Chips is then hired to take the place of the Indian. After the Indian is left back at the hospital, everyone else gets drunk and sing a hilarious song.. "Oh whiskey leave me alone, I'm tired and I want to go home". When they arrive home they find wildlife photographer Dallas who is supposed to take photos of the captures for the zoo. At first She is mistaken for a man because of a letter she had signed with her initials. Later she becomes known as Mama Tembo (Mother of Elephants) because she saved three baby elephants. The script was written by Hawks' favorite writer, Leigh Brackett. Hatari! introduced the Henry Mancini song "Baby Elephant Walk".

One of the reasons I enjoyed the film, was the action scenes.


According to director Howard Hawks, all the animal captures in the picture were performed by the actual actors; no stuntmen or animal handlers were substituted onscreen. The rhino really did escape, and the actors really did have to recapture it - and Hawks included the sequence for its realism.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


The Naked Jungle(1954). Director Byron Haskin. Cast: Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker. Telling the story of an attack of army ants on a Peruvian cocoa plantation, it was based on the short story "Leiningen Versus the Ants" by Carl Stephenson.

In the jungles of South America, as Joanna Leiningen of New Orleans travels by river boat to meet her new husband Christopher. While on the river Joanna, asks the commissioner what her new husband is like.

After reaching the plantation, Joanna meets some of the house staff, including Incacha, his "number one man" and Zala, her personal servant, who shows her to her room.

Later Joanna meets Christopher as he comes in from the jungle, sweaty from a hard day working on the plantation. Christopher, is startled by how beautiful she is and although she assures him that she is ready to fulfill "all her marital obligations," he seems very distant. Joanna tells him that she read some of the letters he sent to his brother, Christopher becomes angry and leaves the room.

Later Christopher orders Joanna to play the grand piano and then asks if she speaks any foreign languages. Joanna accuses Christopher of treating her like a possession, and he complains that she is too "perfect" and must be hiding something. Joanna tells him that she is a widow and that her husband was a drunk, Christopher, who has lived in the jungle since he was nineteen and has no experience with women, says she is "used."

Christopher gives Joanna a tour of the plantation, showing her the ways of jungle life, including Kutina"s shrunken head treasure. Upset Joanna, heads back to the house and barely speaks to Christopher.

When Joanna goes to her bedroom,Christopher breaks down her door and grabs her and ruffs her up. Christopher confesses that he cannot accept another man's "leavings," and is going to send her back to New Orleans on the next boat.

Later, the commissioner returns to the plantation with another American planter, who has accused Christopher of stealing two of his workers. To keep the abusive Gruber from taking his men back, Christopher accuses them of murder, and the commissioner goes along until Gruber leaves, empty-handed.

That night, while the commissioner is having dinner with the Leiningens, he is saddened to learn that things did not work out and Joanna is planning on leaving. The commissioner shares his concerns with Christopher as to why the birds and monkeys have been fleeing the jungle. The commissioner shares his suspicion that the source of the problem is "Marabunta,". Christopher says he will join him to the Rio Negro and then tells Joanna that she is leaving with them in the morning and will be catching the mail boat upriver. Will Joanna join the fight to save the plantation and will Christopher change his mind about sending her away?

The Naked Jungle is one of my favorite films! I really can't imagine anyone else in Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker roles. I read where 23 year old Charlton Heston, improvised the argument scene when he splash perfume all over Parker. Which helped her act surprised .

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Elephant Walk (1954) Adventure/romance/drama. Director: William Dieterle, Cast: Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, Peter Finch and Abraham Sofaer. based on the novel "Elephant Walk" by Robert Standish(1898-1981).

An England, book shop clerk Ruth, is looking forward to her upcoming marriage to John Wiley, the owner of a Ceylon tea plantation. When Ruth arrives at Elephant Walk, Ruth is thrilled that John's "bungalow" is really a mansion. Troubling her, is the fact that John's father built the mansion across the path of the elephants on their way to water. Ruth is surprised to learn John's father is buried in a marble grave behind the house. Soon John's friends and his overseer, Dick Carver, drop by the house to meet Ruth. Dick, who is leaving for Paris the next day, tells Ruth not to take Tom legacy too seriously. Later that night, Ruth is awakened by the sound of John and his friends playing polo on bicycles across the mansion's wood floors.

When Ruth tells John she was frightened by the noise, he calls her childish. Ruth runs crying back to her bedroom, John follows and apologizes.

The next day, Ruth tours the enormous kitchen with Appuhamy. He shows Ruth the items that were the favorites of "the old master".

Since games absorb much of John's time, his friend Dick and Ruth soon become involved. Now wanting to leave the a house, Ruth asks Dick to take her to Paris. But an epidemic of cholera suddenly breaks out, and everyone on the plantation is put under quarantine.

Will John come out from under his fathers spell in time to save his marriage and his tea plantation?

This film is a great Elizabeth Taylor flick. She is absolutely gorgeous and makes the right decision in the end.


Vivien Leigh was originally cast. Illness began affecting filming, so she was replaced by Elizabeth Taylor. Many long shots and shots from behind are still of Leigh.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Another Dawn (1937) adventure/ romance/ drama. Director: William Dieterle. Cast: Kay Frances and Earl Flynn.

British Colonel John Wister, on leave from his post in the Sahara, falls in love with Julia Ashton. Julia agrees to marry him, but warns him that she can never love him because she is still in love with her fiance, an aviator who died tragically. John and Julia marry and return to Dikut, where Julia meets John's best friend, Capt. Denny Roark, and Denny's sister Grace, who is in love with John. Over a short period of time Denny, reminds Julia of her lost fiance. After realizing that they are in love, Denny, thinks it is best for the three of them that he transfers over to another garrison. John learns that Julia has fallen in love with Denny, and although he would give her her freedom, he knows that she would not leave him. As warfare with the local tribes heats up. Fate presents a solution when one of the two men must fly a fatal bombing mission.

Who will be flying the plane at dawn?

I saw this movie for the first time.. I thought it was a wonderful soap opera. Earl Flynn, was wonderful as always. I really do not know much about Kay Frances films..But.. thought she also gave a wonderful performance.


Another Dawn, is based on a Somerset Maugham storyline (The Ambassador's wife) and that it uses the British Empire as an exotic backdrop for the story.

Monday, January 11, 2010


King Solomon's Mines (1950). Romance/adventure film based on the 1885 novel Henry Rider Haggard. Cast: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger, and Richard Carlson. Directer: Compton Bennett. The movie won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Color and Best Film Editing and was nominated for Best Picture. In this film version, it changes Haggard's plot to include a female lead. In 1959, a sequel titled Watusi was made by the same studio.

Africa(1897), white hunter and guide Allan Quatermain is through with his passion for adventure after the death of his native friend in an elephant stampede. Englishwoman Elizabeth Curtis, wants to hire him to take her and her brother John Goode on a expedition through Africa to find her missing husband Henry. Who disappeared in the unexplored part of Africa on an adventure to find the legendary mines. Allan needs money to send to his son in England, so he agrees to lead them on safari. Allan is given a 400 year old map to King Solomon's diamond mines, Henry's final destination. They then begin their journey, a spectacular adventure across the African desert. One of my favorite scenes, is a Amazing stampede of zebras, giraffes and other wild animals forces the expedition members to take cover. Will they find Elizabeth's lost husband?

They do not make movies like this anymore, and you are going to have a hard time finding this kind of African footage in any other film.