[[caption-width-right:300:Illustration from the first edition.]]

''King's Solomon's Mines'' is an adventure novel by Creator/HRiderHaggard, first published in 1885.

Allan Quatermain is a hunter and wilderness guide in Africa. He is contracted by Sir Henry Curtis to find Curtis's brother George, who disappeared somewhere in DarkestAfrica in search of the legendary diamond mines of Literature/TheBible's King Solomon. Quatermain has no interest in diamond mines and isn't particularly interested in a wild goose chase either, but Sir Henry's promise of a very hefty reward that Quatermain can send to his son back in England gets Quatermain to agree. Also agreeing to go on the journey is Captain John Good, a former naval officer, and a native named Umbopa, who has a strangely proud, regal bearing, and an agenda of his own.

It was enormously successful, launching the JungleOpera genre, and was followed by over a dozen sequels and prequels featuring the protagonist Allan Quatermain, including a crossover with Haggard's other most famous novel, ''Literature/{{She}}''. It has been adapted for film and television many times, including a 1937 film that starred Cedric Hardwicke as Quatermain and Paul Robeson as Umbopa, a British film from 1950 that starred Stewart Granger as Quatermain and Creator/DeborahKerr as Elizabeth Curtis, a 1985 film starring Richard Chamberlain and Creator/SharonStone, and a TV movie in 2004 starring Creator/PatrickSwayze and Alison Doody.

!!''King Solomon's Mines'' provides examples of:

* BoringReturnJourney: Lampshaded by Quatermain, who says that the journey back was just as hard as the outbound journey, but that telling it would be boring.
* {{Bulungi}}: "Kukuanaland", the imaginary valley where they journey to find the mines.
* ButNotTooBlack: Umbopa/Ignosi is a noble leader who speaks to the white men as an equal, so of course he must be described as "very light-coloured for a Zulu".
* ConvenientEclipse: Quatermain and his party persuade the Kukuanas to support Ignosi over evil King Twala by deploying an almanac that Cpt. Good [[ContrivedCoincidence just happens to be carrying]], detailing a lunar eclipse that will occur the following night. The credulous natives, believing that the Europeans put out the moon, agree to support them. (In the original edition, Haggard described a convenient ''[[TotalEclipseOfThePlot solar eclipse]]'' that somehow was visible all over Africa and Europe. Finding out that solar eclipses are total only over a very narrow range, Haggard had later editions changed to a lunar eclipse.)
* CrossingTheDesert[=/=]ThirstyDesert: Quatermain's party must cross a wide desert to reach the mountains. They nearly die of thirst before one of their African servants finds a pool of water at the top of a hill.
* TheDandy: Quatermain describes Good's routine while they traipse through the jungle--washing his collar, washing and folding his pants, coat, and vest, shining his boots, carefully combing his hair, and shaving with a hunk of fat for shaving cream.
* DarkestAfrica: The mountains are described as being in a remote place where, as the original 1590 letter by the Portugese explorer explains, "no white foot ever pressed before or since".
* ElderlyImmortal: Gagool the evil witch is apparently very, very old. She won't admit how old she is but she was there when the Portugese fellow entered the mine 300 years ago.
* GentlemanAdventurer: Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good, two refined Englishmen who ask the much more experienced Quatermain to lead them into the wilderness in an effort to find Curtis's brother, who disappeared while looking for the mines.
* GreatWhiteHunter: Allan Quatermain. He is irritated that after killing 65 lions, the 66th chewed on him and gave him a bad leg.
* HavingAGayOldTime: Haggard uses "ejaculate" in its old meaning of "exclaim" or "shout out".
* HighClassGlass: Captain John Good, who takes care to keep his eye-glass and the rest of his kit in perfect order, even in the jungle. His glass stays in place even while rolling down a hill after he escapes from the mine.
* HollywoodNatives: The Kukuanas, savage natives of unexplored Africa who attack all trespassers. They're easily convinced into accepting Quatermain's party as great white "visitors from the stars" by their false teeth, glass eyes, and pale uncovered legs. Note that Ignosi makes no attempt to correct this misconception.
* JungleOpera: TropeMaker, UrExample, although not a literal example as the bulk of the novel doesn't take place in a jungle.
* LivingForeverIsAwesome: Despite her wizened old crone status Gagool takes pleasure out of watching other people die while she doesn't.
* LivingMacGuffin: Sir Henry forms his party to search for his brother George, who disappeared two years ago after going off in search of the mines. About halfway through the novel, after they reach Kukuanaland, Sir Henry is told that George never arrived. Henry then writes George off as dead and George is forgotten--until they randomly stumble on George at the end, marooned in the desert but still alive.
* LostWorld: The novel's jungle civilization is one of the UrExamples of the trope.
* MightyWhitey: Sir Henry Curtis feels obligated to tell Ignosi not to conduct human sacrifices.
* NationalGeographicNudity: Quatermain somewhat obliquely describes this at the great festival, when the girls come out to dance.
--> "...company after company of Kukuana girls, not overdressed, so far as clothing went..."
* OneTwinMustDie: This is the custom of Kukuanas. Twala was supposed to be killed at birth, but was saved by his mother to usurp the throne once he grew up. [[spoiler:Umbopa, the heroes' companion, turns out to be the son of the murdered brother, [[RightfulKingReturns come to reclaim his kingdom]]]].
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Ignosi. He is described as "dignified" and addresses the whites as an equal even before he reveals his identity.
--> '''Ignosi''': How dost thou know that I am not the equal of the Inkosi whom I serve?
* RightfulKingReturns: Umbopa the servant is actually Ignosi, the rightful king of the Kukuanas, come back to retake the throne from his evil uncle. (Evil King Twala killed Ignosi's father and put Ignosi and his mother to flight.)
* SealedRoomInTheMiddleOfNowhere: Gagool flips the lever on the stone door to the treasure room, leaving Quatermain and company buried alive deep within the mountain.
* TestedOnHumans: The king of the Kukuana people asks Allan Quatermain to show the effects of his rifle upon his assembled warriors. Quatermain replies by telling the king he would be glad to do so if the king volunteers to be the subject of the experiment. At this point it is decided to use an ox instead.
* ThisIsMyBoomstick: Quatermain pacifies a group of Kukuanas by taking his rifle, which they are completely unfamiliar with, and shooting an antelope at long range.
* TreasureMap: Quatermain has one to the mines, given to him by a dying Portugese adventurer. He doesn't think much of it and never had any inclination to use it, but when Sir Henry needs to find his brother that went off after those same mines, they use Quatermain's map.
* WeAreAsMayflies: Umbopa/Ignosi launches into a speech in which he gives this as the reason he is accompanying the whites on their dangerous trek.
--> "Like a storm-driven bird at night we fly out of the Nowhere; for a moment our wings are seen in the light of the fire, and lo! we are gone again into the Nowhere."
* WitchHunt: King Twala gets his rocks off by executing people that Gagool picks out as witches. He doesn't seem to really think they're witches--it's all about killing people who he sees as threats or appropriating their property.
* WorthlessYellowRocks: The gold and diamonds, when the men are trapped in the treasure room.
--> '''Quatermain''': There around us lay treasures enough to pay off a moderate national debt, or to build a fleet of ironclads, and yet we would have bartered them all gladly for the faintest chance of escape.

!!Haggard's sequels and prequels provide examples of:

* BadassGrandpa:
** Umslopogaas, son of Chaka, is still kicking ass and taking names when he's over 60 years old.
** Hunter Quatermain was no slouch as an old man, either.
* BloodKnight: Umslopogaas in ''Allan Quatermain''. Henry is a bit like this in ''King Solomon's Mines'' as well but not to the extent of Umslopogaas.
* CharacterTitle: ''Allan Quatermain''
* InevitableCrossover: ''She and Allan''
* {{Interquel}}: Some of the later Quatermain novels.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: Used in some of the Quatermain novels.
* LostWorld: Allan Quatermain found several; Haggard was one of the trope makers.
* MentalTimeTravel: ''The Ancient Allan'' and ''Allan and the Ice Gods''
* NobleSavage: Umslopogaas, son of Chaka, in ''Allan Quatermain''.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Umsloppagaas in ''Allan Quatermain''.
* RaisedByWolves: Hendrika the Baboon Woman from ''Allan's Wife'' is, as might be guessed from her name, a woman who was raised by baboons. She is a servant to Stella's family, but the feral is never far from the surface in her.
* SerenadeYourLover: Good 'makes the night hideous' with his interminable ballad to Queen Sorais of Zu-Vendi - who Quatermain sincerely pities.
* WildChild: Hendrika the Baboon Woman from ''Allan's Wife''

!!Tropes from the 1937 film:
* BadassBaritone: Ignosi, the brave warrior, tribal chieftain, and baritone.
* CirclingVultures: Seen by the heroes as they are on the edge of death while CrossingTheDesert.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: In this movie the sealed room that Allan and the others get trapped in is also the caldera of a volcano, complete with lava lake. No one is affected by gases.
* TheFilmOfTheBook[=/=]PragmaticAdaptation: This was the first film adaptation of the novel, and it sticks closer to the novel's plot than any of the subsequent adaptations. Like all other adaptations it introduces a white female LoveInterest, here named Kathy O'Brien, played by Anna Lee--the fact that Lee played a character named "Quartermain" on ''Series/GeneralHospital'' for 22 years is not a coincidence. In this film the LivingMacGuffin is Kathy's father, and Sir Henry and Capt. Good are clients of Allan's who agree to help Kathy out. Otherwise, this film is quite faithful to the novel. The episode with the eclipse and the great battle between Ignosi and Twala are retained.
* NationalGeographicNudity: Quite obvious with a couple of the women of the Kukuana tribe. Surprising for 1937.
* VideoCredits: Used at the beginning to introduce the cast.

!!Tropes from the 1950 film:
* BelligerentSexualTension: Allan and Elizabeth's relationship reeks of this, with a lot of angry sniping and sidelong glances.
* BlackWidow: Allan initially suspects Elizabeth of only wanting to find her husband so she can prove he's dead and claim inheritance. She then reveals that ''she'' holds all the wealth.
* CanonForeigner: Elizabeth Curtis was added to the film to give Alan a LoveInterest.
* CatapultNightmare: Elizabeth is prone to these, presumably due to the stress of finding her husband. Her nightmares provide opportunities for Allan to barge into her tent while shirtless.
* CityMouse: Elizabeth is this when her party goes into the wild, riding in a cart, wearing her fancy dress. Part of her character growth is getting past this.
* GirlishPigtails: Elizabeth's brother suggests braiding her hair to prevent it from annoying her. She refuses because it would be scandalous for a grown woman to be seen like that.
* ImportantHaircut[=/=]ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: Mrs. Curtis heads out on the expedition wearing a highly impractical Victorian-style long dress and corset. Allan eventually demands that she dump the corset and dress. She later cuts off her long hair when it proves impractical.
* ImprobableHairstyle: Elizabeth Curtis gets sick of her waist length hair in the humid African jungle and hacks a slice out of it. When it cuts to the next scene she has cut it short, and somehow perfectly styled it into a short do.
* MisplacedWildlife: Asian elephants and Galapagos tortoises share the screen with African animals -- including African elephants.
* PragmaticAdaptation
** As noted below, this film, along with just about every other adaptation, includes a TokenRomance. Here, the character of the missing brother is eliminated, Sir Henry himself is the missing person, and the person who hires Quatermain is Sir Henry's wife, played by Deborah Kerr.
** The Great White Hunter bit where Allan and company shoot some elephants ForTheEvulz is here re-worked. In this film Allan is a wilderness guide and the people shooting the elephants are the British tourists who've hired him. Allan is appalled.
** Ignosi is still present in this film but his role is reduced and he wins his kingship in single combat with King Twala rather than in a great battle. This might have been for budget considerations, or maybe a little 1950s-style reluctance to feature a black man in a leading role, or maybe to avoid a lot of subtitling or awkward TranslationConvention.
** The whole sequence with the eclipse is omitted.
** Sir Henry is even more a LivingMacGuffin in this film than his brother was in the book. They find his skeleton in the cave, and that is it for Sir Henry, with Allan and Elizabeth left to be together.
* SceneryPorn: Shot on location in Kenya and what was then the Belgian Congo, with some amazing shots of African scenery and wildlife. Won an Oscar for cinematography.

!!The 1985 adaptation provides:

* AdaptationNameChange: Ignosi from the original was changed to Twala, much to the confusion of those who read the book.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: Gagoola, the usurper to Umbopo's throne at his village, opts to jump into lava than to be captured by him.
* DepravedBisexual: Dorfman. Just watch how he threatens Jesse's father.
* DumbBlonde: Jesse.
* EliteMooks: Gagoola surrounds herself with muscular henchmen that have skulls painted to their faces.
* EvilColonialist: Colonel Bockner of the Imperial German Schutztruppe, who seeking the mines to secure considerable funds for his country.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Defied by Jesse after she and Quatermain are CapturedByCannibals.
-->'''Quatermain:''' Well look on the bright side -- at least we're the main course.\\
'''Jesse:''' Oh sure, a joke! Well I don't need to die with dignity! I want to scream...''[[ScreamingWoman ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!]]''\\
''([[ComicallyMissingThePoint Cannibals give war-cry in response]])''
* GameOfChicken: Jesse and a German pilot fly directly at each other. The German thinks she's trying to bluff him into veering off, when in fact she's covering her eyes in terror and doesn't even realize what's happening. Despite his Badass Boast that he won't turn away first, he wisely does so.
* GiantSpider: Within the eponymous mines, there are three tunnels, with one leading to King Solomon's riches, and two others leading to certain doom. One of the said dooms has a giant, hungry spider waiting for anyone unfortunate enough to come to it.
* InNameOnly: The film only has the bare minimum in common with the book.
* IndyPloy: Allan Quartermain often has to improvise to get out of a situation.
* LighterAndSofter: The original tale wasn't exactly dark per se, but there was a definite serious tone to it and had very little (if ''any'') humor. This adaptation on the other hand? Not only does the movie crank up the jokes [[UpToEleven elevenfold]], it also takes itself far less seriously with a much campier tone overall.
* LikeAnOldMarriedCouple: Dogati and Colonel Bockner spend the whole movie bitching at each other in this manner. Right until the climax when they try to kill each other.
* ManOnFire: During their climactic duel, Quatermain sets Dogatin on fire before sending him flying headfirst to a pool of lava.
* NationalStereotypes: German Colonel Bockner likes beer, sausages and listening to Music/RichardWagner on his gramophone.
* NeverSmileAtACrocodile: In the sequel.
* RaceLift: Alan Quartermain is changed from English to American.
* RecycledSoundtrack: The sequel rehashes the score from the original.
* RegretEatingMe: Just before she and Quatermain are thrown into the cannibals' huge cooking pot, Jesse yells that "I hope they choke on us!"
* SettingUpdate: The original novel is set in 1880s, while the movie takes place around UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
* StewedAlive: Quatermain and Jesse get thrown into an enormous cooking pot after they are captured by a CannibalTribe. They escape by swimming back and forth until the pot turns over and they roll away downhill.
* ThrowAwayGuns: Parodied. Jessie accidentally throws a gun at the villain; he shouts: "Thank you!" and uses both it ''and'' the gun he already had to blast away at her.
* TokenRomance: As with every single other adaptation of ''King Solomon's Mines'' (surprisingly not an exaggeration), this one manages to shoehorn in a white female love interest who wasn't at all in the book.
* TooDumbToLive: A henchman who is given the following choice: either run for his life or climb out the window to retrieve the stick of dynamite Quartermain just threw out the window. You guessed it. He goes after the dynamite. To his credit, he does manage to retrieve the dynamite just before it explodes. His last words: "I've got it!"
* TraintopBattle: After noticing that Quatermain is on the same train with him, Dogati sends a GiantMook to beat him up with a [[DropTheHammer sledge hammer]]. Quatermain manages to elude the guy, and later [[TheBigGuy Umbopo]] deals with the mook proper.
* TreeTopTown: The duo meet a tribe of people who live entirely in the trees, never touching the ground.