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Howard Hawks

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About the Movie

Hatari! is Swahili for "danger"—and also the word for action, adventure and broad comedy in this two-fisted Howard Hawks effort. John Wayne stars as the head of a daring Tanganyka-based group which captures wild animals on behalf of the world's zoos. Hardy Kruger, Gérard Blain and Red Buttons are members of Wayne's men-only contingent, all of whom are reduced to jello when the curvaceous Elsa Martinelli enters the scene. In tried and true Howard Hawks fashion, Martinelli quickly becomes "one of the guys," though Wayne apparently can't say two words to her without sparking an argument. The second half of this amazingly long (159 minute) film concerns the care and maintenance of a baby elephant; the barely credible finale is devoted to a comic pachyderm stampede down an urban African street, ending literally at the foot of Martinelli's bed. The other scene worth mentioning involves comedy-relief Red Buttons' efforts to create a fireworks-powered animal trap. Not to be taken seriously for a minute, Hatari is attractively packaged and neatly tied up with a danceable-pranceable theme song by Henry Mancini.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 24
  • Fresh: 16
  • Rotten: 8
  • Average Rating: 6.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Perhaps the accent on the trapping of free-roaming critters for use in zoos is a mite too heavy, but this aspect of African business rates the attention it receives here. – A.H. Weiler, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Rotten: The strapping physique of the film unhappily emphasizes the anemic condition of the story streaming within. – Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Politics take a back seat to sex, served up in a dazzling wealth of innuendo. – Richard Brody, New Yorker, Mar 14, 2016

Fresh: A broader canvas for the interaction of comedy and drama than its immediate predecessor (Rio Bravo), this is both discursive and leisurely. – Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I've watched this movie over and over since I was a kid. The shots of the African landscape are spectacular and the characters are very enjoyable. The movie is very long but the action is non-stop. I highly recommend.

Star Trek in Africa... with John Wayne

The reason I say it's like Star Trek because there's a rogues gallery of a cast in this movie. You have John Wayne of course, but you also have a former taxi cab driver, a mexican bullfighter, a native american indian tracker, a german AND a french sharpshooter, an Italian photographer, a french hotty and enough stock footage of Africa to make your head spin. All that's missing is a Maori fisherman and a Japanese Samurai, but I digress. This is one of my favorite John Wayne movies simply because of his line when he sees the Italian photographer in his bed, a hot italian photographer at that, and he looks at her and goes "What are you doing in my bed?" Overall, it's a long, long, funny movie, well worth the money. -V.

Amazing Must Buy!

This movie had me laughing every minute! I love everything about it and the length doesnt matter because it is so enjoyable. The characters are amazing and I love everyone of them.
Highly recommended one of my all time favorites.

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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Action & Adventure
  • Released: 1962

Customer Ratings