Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|White Hunter Black Heart |
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Actors: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, Charlotte Cornwell, Norman Lumsden, George Dzundza
Director: Clint Eastwood
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
Clint eastwood stars in and directs the colorful tale of a flamboyant filmmaker's flair for danger and adventure while on location in Africa, based on Peter Viertel's novel inspired by The African Queen. Year: 1990 Directo... more »
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The African episode
Doug Anderson | Miami Beach, Florida United States | 01/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Clint Eastwood captures the machismo and bravado and the wit of John Huston perfectly and he gets some of the elegance and the grace which he also had in abundance and which made him one of the most interesting of characters. A more complex actor may have given a more layered performance but its pretty hard not to admire what he does with the role. Eastwood is also a legend but of a different type and from a different era and his own legend status may have interfered with the filmgoing publics ability to accept him in this role playing not himself(as we always assumed he was doing)but a different legend. I think it works very well though. You can tell Eastwood is examining his own mythic stature as he examines Hustons.
The last scene of the movie has Eastwood/Huston sitting in his directors chair ready to shoot the first scene of African Queen. The movie documents Hustons conflicting desires to be both a man who lives life fully and to be an artist. The two urges come into conflict when Huston must cater to the studio executives who want to control what he does. His endless battles with studio representatives is great comedy. He enlists the young screenwriter "Pete" as an ally, or attempts to. (Pete is the one who eventually writes the book this movie is based on.) Huston wants Pete to be as fearless as he is and Pete is taken in by the charm of the great director but not all the way in. Pete is his own man, and Huston encourages that but also comes up against it when they disagree. Sometimes Hustons willfullness is heroic as when he acts out of principle. In one of the best scenes of the movie a blonde socialite makes some antisemitic remarks unaware that Pete is Jewish. Huston defends his screenwriter and friend but not immediately, rather using all his charm and guile (which is dropped only at the last minute) he tells the blonde socialite a long story about another blonde socialite and there is no way for this antisemitic blonde socialite not to know just who the story is about... you will never forget the tell off after you have seen it. Other times however the willfullness just seems like simple childishness and irresponsibity and is at least one of the contributing factors in an accidental death. Eastwood/Huston gets beaten up pretty good in one scene(which proves just how far he'll go) and he wears the scars like badges through several scenes. You can't help like him and admire him for going through life in such cavalier fashion but you are also kind of sickened at times that he is so egocentric and callous towards others. So it is an unusual movie with a lead character that you both do and don't like. Its not what people expect from Eastwood. Its deeper, more complex. It is a thinking mans biography- adventure movie. Hustons African escapade begins as an outward journey to conquer and therby prove his greatness as a man by killing an elephant and ends with him coming to his senses... finally. Only by going too far far too many times does he realize how destructive his megolomania really was. Great character study, and great looking film. My favorite Eastwood movie."
Eastwood's finest work as an artist.
Doug Anderson | 03/26/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's fitting that in this film Eastwood plays a director who travels into the harsh conditions of Africa to shoot a film that satisfies his artistic expression but makes the studio-heads nervous because the movie is not "commercial" enough. This is certainly a reflection of what Eastwood, known for his bankability as a tough-talking action star, has done in "White Hunter, Black Heart". This was probably Eastwood's riskiest actor/director project since "Honkeytonk Man" in the early eighties. This makes Eastwood's leap-of-faith all the more admirable considering this is probably his best film as a director; even better than "Unforgiven". The film is also Eastwood's best work as an actor; anyone who still thinks that Eastwood is a one-note actor should see the way he re-invents himself in this film, playing a character unlikle anything you have ever seen before. The picture is based on the true-story of John Huston while he was shooting "The African Queen", but the film has more similarities to the works of Joseph Conrad - A man journeying into the heart of Africa to test his true manhood and to battle his personal demons. This is one of Eastwood's most unique and intelligent films."
On Safari With Clint...
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 12/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to "White Hunter, Black Heart" DVD (Warner Bros)...
It won't take long for film lovers to realize that this character study is a thinly veiled look at the strong willed movie Director John Huston. Clint Eastwood portrays John "Wilson", who is about to set off for Africa to film what appears to be "African Queen". He's going to do it his way, at any cost. He's arrogant, always going against the grain, using exaggerated methods, and exasperating those who he employs and those who employ him as well. And through it all, always seem to land on his feet.
Wilson will not hear of filming anywhere but on location in Africa. Authenticity for the film?..maybe..but most of all he has dreams of bagging the big one. An elephant. He becomes obsessed with his mission. First delaying the film production, making the cast and crew wait for him, and finally to the point of a horrible tragedy.
Eastwood digs deep for this one. Although the story is "loosely" based on Huston, we get the feeling that this is what Huston is all about and this is the way it actually happened. His superb talent as he goes through the range of emotions and character traits flawlessly, has the audience loving and hating Wilson at the same time. One moment we are cheering him on for being a defender of humanity, then smiling at his boyish charms and antics, and the next, we want to shake him as he is on his quest to kill an elephant at any cost. Eastwood brilliantly portrays the bigger than life "Wilson" as a man obsessed, but who has not come to terms with his own obsession.
A marvelous job of Directing by the multi-talented Eastwood as well. Jeff Fahey, George Dzundza, amd Marisa Berenson add their wonderful talents as well.
An excellent transfer to DVD by Warner Bros. Filmed in Zimbabwe and London, the widescreen takes in all the splendor and sights of the locations. The DD5.1 surround puts the sounds of Africa right there in your living room. There are subtitles in several languages including English, French and Spanish, and may be viewed in French, Japanese and Portuguese as well.
Travel to Africa with Clint and enjoy....Laurie
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A look into the heart of greed
Bronwyn P. Noble | Madison, Wisconsin | 03/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think that there aren't too many movies that can come even close to perfect. White hunter, black heart is one of them.
Before I started this review, I had just finished watching this film for the first time in a couple of years. It is visceral is an intellectual way -- Huh? -- meaning that one must use both head and heart to really get the most of it.
The film is wrapped around John Wilson, a fictional John Huston at the time he was filming "African Queen,"The African Queen also a favorite of mine, as witnessed by Peter (Peter Viertel), the film's screenwriter.
Wilson, like Huston, looks at things through a director's eye, analyzing everything to death. But, once analyzed, he acts emotionally -- witness the scenes with the pretty "god-damnest ugly [...]"," the hotel manager, and Kivu, the chief hunter. However, he formed relationships that were superficially intellectual, never really showing his emotions, but still always managing to be deep and lasting. He relished being colorful, and the people around him had to be as colorful as he, himself, was, otherwise they would bore him.
This combination of traits fascinates me. And Clint Eastwood's dead-on "impersonation" of the great man is loving and humorous. The other characters (fictional versions of Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall) -- with the exception of Peter -- are merely window dressing.
Show you see this film, and perhaps purchase it for your collection? Of course. But don't take it so much as a look into the making of a film -- take it as a portrait of a great man with equally great imperfections."