Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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.