Monday, May 1, 2017

Hatari! (1962)

Director: Howard Hawks

Writers: Leigh Brackett, Harry Kurnitz

Composer: Harry Mancini

Starring: John Wayne, Hardy Kruger, Elsa Martinelli, Red Buttons, Gerard Blaine, Bruce Cabot, Michele Girardon, Valentin de Vargas, Eduard Franz, Wueenie Leonard

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Fun! Adventure! Romance! Thrills! For People Of All Ages! A Wonderful New World Of Entertainment!

Plot: A group of men trap wild animals in Africa and sell them to zoos before the arrival of a female wildlife photographer threatens to change their ways.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not.

I didn't think I was going to dig this one as much as I did and I don't know why.  It was fun.  Most of the cast were a blast.  I haven't seen a bad performance from Hardy Kruger yet and I'd like to see more of his work sooner than later.  Red Buttons was there for the comic relief and he did a great job.  Valentin de Vargas was a lot of fun, too.  All of the guys (and Brandy, played by Michele Girardon) that were part of John Wayne's crew had a nice camaraderie about them that played very well.  The location shooting in Africa was neat.  It reminded me a lot of the Ron Ely TARZAN TV show from the mid sixties.  I watched the hell out of that when I was a little kid.  I'm certain I knew this but forgot that this was the picture Mancini wrote "Baby Elephant Walk" for.  You'll recognize it almost immediately.

This track is used when a baby elephant escapes the compound and wanders into the nearby town causing problems.  On one level it's kind of cute (kids and families probably ate this stuff up back then) but at the same time it's over the top and silly.  I didn't care for that.  That also extends to some of the other 'humorous' moments in the picture, mostly from Red Buttons.  There are times when he doesn't know when to hold back.  It's one thing when you're trying to funny to get the attention of another character but he does things for laughs that only small children would like.  The point is, it's sometimes too much.  Prepare some snacks when you see it, it's over two and a half hours long.  I probably see this again if it were in a theater.  Seeing this as a grand spectacle would help a lot.  The Paramount DVD sports a great looking anamorphic widescreen print with the sole extra in the theatrical trailer, also anamorphic widescreen. 

No comments:

Post a Comment