Safari movies, like books, have long been fascinating to anyone with a spirit of adventure. Transporting viewers to lands they’ve never visited and revealing creatures only seen behind zoo fences, such films are entertaining, riveting and well worth a movie night. The following are good examples of such safari movies.
“King Solomon’s Mines” Loosely based on the 1885 novel by Henry Rider Haggard, this 1950 film featured Deborah Karr and Stewart Granger in the title roles. Englishwoman Elizabeth Curtis manages to convince skilled hunter and safari guide Allan Quartermain to help her find her husband, who disappeared in Africa while searching for King Solomon’s mines. What follows is an adventure story full of romance, set amongst the wilds of Africa. If you’re looking for a more recent offering, a miniseries by the same name was released in 2004 and starred Patrick Swayze and Alison Doody.
“Hatari” Starring the legendary John Wayne, “Hatari” takes Wayne out of the cowboys’ lonesome desert and into the African landscape as he and his ragtag crew set out on safari to capture wild animals for zoos. However, when a female wildlife photographer arrives on the scene, she turns everything upside down.
“The Naked Prey” This eerie 1966 offering stars Cornel Wilde. As group of men safari across the South African landscape searching for elephants, they encounter a local tribe. When the men refuse to offer the natives gifts in exchange for safety, the men are executed one by one, leaving only their guide. The natives then offer him “The Lion’s Chance,” having him strip naked and escape. He is given only a brief head start before the tribe comes after him, beginning a frightening tale of cat and mouse across the African wilderness.
“White Hunter Black Heart” This 1990 film by Clint Eastwood was loosely based on the experiences between writer Peter Viertel and director John Huston while they worked on classic Humphrey Bogart/Katharine Hepburn film “The African Queen.” Filmmaker John Wilson travels to Africa with his writer friend Pete Verrill to prepare for his latest film. While there, he eventually neglects his duties, instead becoming fascinated with the safari and hunting elephants. The two men battle about the morality of such a deed, however, Wilson cannot contain his obsession, which eventually ends in disaster.