31 July 2008 | ma-cortes
Rousing adaptation lavishly produced by Sam Zimbalist about H. Rider Haggard's classic adventure novel
The screenplay follows the British version by Robert Stevenson but the screenwriter Helen Deutsch changed the plot, as introducing a female character, the brotherhood relationship for matrimonial relation and eliminating the fantastic elements. Two English actors starred, Stewart Granger as the famous Allan Quatermain and Deborah Kerr as Elizabeth Curtis, hiring the great white hunter and accompanied by her brother John performed by Richard Carlson. At the time was announced as starring Errol Flynn , though he renounced for performing 'Kim' by Victor Saville. The safari led by Stewart Granger set out in search for her husband and the king Salomon's treasure mines. The brave hunter and the elegant lady become fast friends, confronting risks and danger in search of legendary diamonds mines.The African native is played by a real Watusi ethnic, Sinaque, reclaiming his rights over throne.In 1937 version was the supreme role performed by the singer Paul Robeson who proved his singing faculties.
The filming started in Africa 1949, running time five months. The crew travelled by hundred miles in planes and trucks across Kenia, Uganda, Congo Belgian, Lagoon Victory, Falls of Murchisin and north of lagoon Tanganika where live the Watusi. Polished and coloristic production design by the veteran Cedric Gibbons. Heat and ills affected the crew and main actors but Deborah Kerr surprised for her resistance. There had confronting between Stewart Granger and Compton Bennett and Andrew Marton directed the second unity. Then, Metro Goldwyn Mayer dismissed Compton and Marton finished the picture. It was nominated for best movie and won Academy Award for cinematography by Robert Surtees and edition. Had several take-out with no use and later Metro Goldwyn Mayer utilized for its follow-up.
The picture is followed by a sequel, rapidly made, created with excess footage previous, titled 'Watusi'(1959) by Kurt Neumann with George Montgomery and David Farrar. An inferior version directed by J.Lee Thompson(1985) with Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone; and a TV adaptation directed by Steven Boyum with Patrick Swayze and Alison Doody, among others.