Movie Mom

Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) hires the best “white hunter” in Africa (Stewart Granger as dashing Allan Quartermain) to help her find her husband, who was lost searching for the legendary King Solomon’s diamond mines. At first, he refuses, saying that women have no place on safari. When she offers twenty times his usual fee, he accepts, but he remains skeptical about her motives and about her ability to survive the trip. In the traditional “road movie” fashion, they develop respect and affection through their adventures. This is the best of the many versions of the classic adventure novel by H. Rider Haggard. The story (and the performances) are a bit creaky, but it is an old-fashioned technicolor spectacular, with breathtaking and Oscar-winning cinematography. Filmed on location in Kenya, and the then- Tangynika and Belgian Congo, the out-takes from this movie were used in several other movies, including the otherwise poor 1977 remake. The footage of the landscapes and of the animals is strikingly clear and vivid, especially an unforgettable shot of a just-uncurling brand-new baby alligator and the scenes of the Watusi dancing. NOTE: Some children may be disturbed by the violence, and others may be upset by the scene in which Elizabeth Curtis admits that she did not love her husband, and that she is seeking him out of guilt rather than devotion.

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