What director Howard Hawks did for South American mail plane pilots in 1939’s Only Angels Have Wings, he does here for a mismatched band of professional big game catchers – capturing wild animals for export to zoos around the world – and their women in this virtually plotless but energetic safari comedy-adventure, shot in Tanganyika, Africa (now Tanzania).
There are only two women at the camp to seven men and Sean Mercer (John Wayne), who doesn’t believe in mixing romance with business, is slow to catch on that Dallas (Elsa Martinelli) is pining for him.
And while Frenchman Chips Maurey (Gérard Blain) and German Kurt Muller (Hardy Kruger) have to be stopped from coming to blows over Brandy de la Court (Michèle Girardon), Pockets (Red Buttons) – who is shy but not reticent – waits for his chance to move in and take over.
The stars are inevitably upstaged by a trio of baby elephants and Henry Mancini’s perky score.
“Hatari” is the Swahili word for “danger”.
Anna Maria ‘Dallas’ D’Allesandro
Charles ‘Chips’ Maurey
Brandy de la Court
Luis Francisco Garcia Lopez
Valentin de Vargas