Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Vic and Janet go on Safari in 1956

Here is a delicious programmer from 1956, and amazingly, Janet Leigh says in her autobio that they really went to Africa to film it - whereas Susan Hayward and Mitchum over at Fox never left the backlot for their African adventure WHITE WITCH DOCTOR, neither did Susan & Ty Power in UNTAMED; Dirk Bogarde and Virginia McKenna also did one, SIMBA, for Rank about the same time, they never left Pinewood. KINGS SOLOMON'S MINES - the 1951 one with Stewart Granger and Deb Kerr is probably the best of these 50s treats (which MGM cannibalised for WATUSI in 1959), and at least they went to Africa, as of course did Huston with THE AFRICAN QUEEN, Ford for MOGAMBO and Hawks with HATARI!; then there was BORN FREE and THE LION plus of course there were endless 'African' potboilers like TANGANYIKA, BEYOND MOMBASA, MOZAMBIQUE etc .... I also remember seeing a black and white African drama SOMETHING OF VALUE in 1957 from a popular Robert Ruark novel, with Rock Hudson and a young Sidney Poitier, but its never cropped up anywhere since. 

A fond childhood memory is looking at the stills layout of current films in the windows of my local cinema The Astor and seeing the stills of SAFARI and then seeing the film, I particularly remember Janet in a canoe in the rapids as crocs slither into the river .... Its your standard African saga wih a rousing climax as the Mau-Mau attack, but better than usual, with John Justin, Earl Cameron, Niall McGuinness and the usual faces, directed by Terence Young who went on to do ZARAK and other trash favourites before helming the first two James Bond epics DR NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

During the Mau Mau Uprising in British Kenya in the 1950s, settler-hunter Ken Duffield is a hired guide for a lion hunting party but he also hopes to find the Mau Mau rebel who killed his family. 
Vic strides through it with his standard expression - whether shooting a rogue elephant or grieving over his son, but Janet is lovely here, just after MY SISTER EILEEN and before reporting to Mexico for TOUCH OF EVIL and then off to Norway for THE VIKINGS ....  Victor went on to dates with that other blonde Anita Ekberg in 2 guilty plreasures we like: INTERPOL and ZARAK, also by Terence Young. 

1 comment:

  1. I've never seen SAFARI (too low-brow for a Tarkovskyite like me?) but I do have fond memories of SIMBA. I tried to get SOMETHING OF VALUE recently on download but the version was in German and without subtitles!