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aka - Hatari
USA 1962
Directed by
Howard Hawks
159 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars


Howard Hawks was one of finest directors of Hollywood during the studio era of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50s with a raft of classic titles to his name but this ersatz film amply demonstrates how abysmal Hollywood had become by the early 1960s.

Conceived as a light-hearted adventure romance about a group (including John Wayne, Hardy Kruger, Bruce Cabot and Red Buttons) of wild game trappers in Africa (it was filmed in Tanganyika) whose male domain is upset by the arrival of a female freelance photographer (Elsa Martinelli) it is a pedestrian affair that perhaps in 1962, with its Henry Mancini theme song, passed as entertainment but today on every level is badly out-of-date.

Leigh Brackett’s perfunctory script (she had collaborated with Hawks the previous year on the vastly superior Rio Bravo as well as The Big Sleep in 1946) with its puerile faux naiveté is padded out with lots of action shots (using very poor back projection for close-ups) showing the lads capturing various wild life (for zoos, which is supposedly a step forward in Hollywood enlightenment). If that thin premise doesn't do it for you you're not likely to find anything salvageable here.




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