is a Howard Hawks
film about a team of animal catchers in Africa. Loads and Loads of Characters
, each with their own background.
- Sean (John Wayne), the leader who's had his heart broken in the past ;
- Kurt (Hardy Krüger), a former racecar driver from Germany, also one of Brandy's love interests ;
- Dallas (Elsa Martinelli), an Italian photographer who's taking pictures of the animal catching and has a romantic subplot with Sean ;
- The Indian (Bruce Cabot), the former shooter of the team. Gets gored by a rhino in the beginning and begins to think there's a jinx on hunting rhinos ;
- Chips (Gérard Blain), also known as The Frenchman, the current shooter. Has a vitrolic friendship with Kurt and a crush on Brandy ;
- Brandy (Michčle Girardon), the daughter of the former leader. Has three men vying for her, but chooses Pockets ;
- Pockets (Red Buttons), the team joker, and prefers to stay away from the animals as they scare him. Also has a thing for Brandy. Has his pockets full of stuff ;
- Luis Francisco Garcia Lopez (Valentin de Vargas), who doesn't wear pajamas.
Howard Hawks decided not to use a plot for the movie, instead letting the characters develop and tying it together with Book Ends
. The cast mostly averts Fake Nationality
(except for Sean and Luis. The Indian is also played by an American, but not a Native one
), and as a result a lot of the actors aren't on this wiki. Check The Other Wiki
This film provides examples of:
- AB Negative: Shown Their Work, as the doctor explicitly states that he tried using plasma first on the Indian, but since it wasn't working he needs whole blood, which has to be the same type. Turns out Chips has the right type.
- Book Ends: Catching the rhino.
- Blood Brothers: Chips and the Indian joke about this when the Indian arrives.
- Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. Chips' first scene has Kurt punch him, the rest of the gang hold Kurt back, and Chips diving back in despite being outnumbered. For the record, no cheese is in the movie either.
Sean: Stop it, will you? You can't whip us all.
Chips: I can try!
- Defeat Means Friendship: Kurt only warms up to Chips after he defeats him in a shooting contest. Chips punching him at the end seems to have added to it.
Chips: Do you still want me now?
Kurt: *smiling* You got the job.
- Discriminate and Switch: Sean tells Dallas that they aren't acting condescending towards her because she's a woman, they're taking reasonable precautions around an amateur in a very dangerous job.
- Ditzy Genius: Pockets. Well, more like silly genius, but you wouldn't expect such a jokey guy to catch 500 monkeys with a rocket.
- Drawing Straws: When Brandy needs to go bathe in the river, she asks one of the men to come with her (because she can't carry a gun and bathe) and draws straws to decide. Sean breaks his straw, because two of the other men had expressed interest in her before and he was the only one who still thought of her as a kid.
- Fake Nationality: John Wayne as an Irish and Luis (actor born in New-Mexico) as a Mexican. Also, the Indian is not played by a Native American. However, Kurt is played by a German actor, Chips and Brandy are both played by French actors, Dallas is played by an Italian actress, and Red Buttons was indeed a New-Yorker.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: When Pockets falls off a fence, Brandy immediately rushes to his side, acting far more tender with him than with Kurt and Chips earlier and treating him while holding his hand. Subverted in that it's heavily implied that she had feelings for him beforehand, and saw him being injured as an opportunity.
- Great White Hunter: Sean
- Last Guy Wins: Pockets is the last guy (we see) to take an interest in Brandy, and the one she chooses.
- Never Gets Drunk: Played with: Pockets gets drunk, he just doesn't get hungover.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Very luckily played straight, as all the animals in the chase scenes are actually wild and untrained and the actors themselves do the catching. As far as we know, no animals or people were injured, but the scene where they catch the zebra had to be dubbed over due to John Wayne's cursing.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Nearly every member of the cast. A few are justified in that they are multinational and most of their nicknames derive from their real names being hard to pronounce for people with different accents.
- The Indian's real name is Little Wolf.
- Chips' real name is Charles Maurey. They found it unpronounceable, and sometimes dub him "The Frenchman" in honor of the Indian.
- Pockets' real name is never revealed.
- Dallas' real name is Anna Maria D'Allesandro.
- Platonic Life Partners: Pockets and Dallas develop into this.
- Practice Kiss / Test Kiss: Dallas invokes this with Sean, asking him how he likes to kiss, and then practicing. Finally, it ends with him grabbing her and kissing her. Unfortunately, Pockets breaks it up.
- Race for Your Love: with the baby elephants used as sniffer dogs.
- She Is All Grown Up: Sean says this of Brandy, once he realizes Kurt is interested in her.
- Throw It In: The rhino in the second chase really did escape, and the actors were forced to chase it down and recapture it. Hawks included the sequence for realism.
- Title Drop: When a rocket goes off accidentally, as "hatari" means "danger" in Swahili.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Again, Kurt and the Frenchman.