Film: Out of Africa

Last night I dreamed of Africa...

Based on the eponymous novel by Isak Dinesen, pen name of Danish writer Karen Blixen, Out of Africa tells of Blixen's time in the Kenyan highlands in the years before, during, and after World War I. It includes her unhappy marriage, her attempts at a failed coffee farm, and her romance with big game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton.

Meryl Streep stars opposite Robert Redford as Denys Finch-Hatton and Klaus-Maria Brandauer as Bror Blixen. It's directed by Sydney Pollack, scored by John Barry, and absolutely full of Scenery Porn.

Provides examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Arranged by the participants themselves, oddly enough. Bror is a baron who doesn't have any money, and Karen is an heiress who wants to get out from under the thumb of her family. It seems like a good deal, although Karen probably changed her mind right around the time Bror gave her syphillis.
  • Character Development: Karen begins by marrying Bror so that she can be a baroness and very much attached to fine things. Near the end she admits to Denys that she was beginning to like living without them. Denys had previously admitted that Karen had ruined being alone for him.
  • Double Standard: Subverted: Karen can, eventually, hunt and farm with the best of them, and is even invited into the to-this-day men-only bar at the Muthaiga Club. She remains the only woman ever to drink there.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Especially when you play them Mozart.
  • Finding A Bra In Your Car: Karen took Bror back after he gave her syphillis, but after she finds someone else's underwear in her car (not shown in the movie), she kicks him out for good.
  • Framing Device: Old Karen remembering her African histories.
  • Geeky Turn-On: One of the reasons Denys falls for Karen is her ability to tell stories.
  • Gold Digger: At Karen's suggestion, Bror marries her for her money.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Fashion of the 1910s was pretty stunning, even for hunting outfits.
  • Great White Hunter: Denys Finch-Hatton, although he's not brutal about it, declining to shoot a lioness that is menacing Karen. Bror quickly tires of farming and says he will become this.
  • Instant Expert: Denys and flying.
  • Lady of Adventure: Karen goes to Africa specifically to be this. By the time she leads a caravan of cattle across the desert to an Allied army, she's definitely succeeded.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: "Here Comes the Bride" played on bagpipes at Karen and Bror's wedding.
  • Mighty Whitey: Alluded to in a scene where Denys is skeptical of Karen's plan to start a school for the local children. She is indignant, but he says he doesn't think the children of the tribes should be turned into "little Englishmen".
  • National Geographic Nudity: From some of the locals as Karen's train reaches the station.
  • New Year Has Come: Karen and Denys share a dance at New Year's 1919.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Robert Redford actually wanted to try for an English but eventually it was decided that he wasn't very good at it. Some of his lines were looped in accent-free in post-production. There's still a trace of an accent in some of his lines in his first scene.
  • Record Needle Scratch: In-universe. This is something you should expect when you play Mozart to monkeys.
  • Scenery Porn: The African savanna is shot to look beautiful in so many scenes, especially with Denys flying his plane around the landscape.
  • Shoot the Money
  • Spirited Young Lady: Felicity seems this way in her few scenes.
  • The Storyteller: Karen is very good at stories.
  • Triang Relations

Alternative Title(s):

Out Of Africa