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Hatari! (1962)

John Wayne , Elsa Martinelli , Howard Hawks  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (550 customer reviews)

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Hatari Hatari 4.5 out of 5 stars (550)
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Elsa Martinelli, Hardy Krüger, Red Buttons, Gérard Blain
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Harry Kurnitz, Leigh Brackett
  • Producers: Howard Hawks, Paul Helmick
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 157 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (550 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JSGK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,256 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hatari!" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer

Editorial Reviews

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, G+ªrard 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hawks' African 'Buddy' Film a Wayne Classic! December 4, 2003
Format:DVD
HATARI! may be the most enjoyable of the Howard Hawks/John Wayne collaborations (their other pairings produced the classics RED RIVER and RIO BRAVO, and the RIO BRAVO 'remakes' EL DORADO and RIO LOBO), and is exceptional in several ways; at 157 minutes (2 hours, 37 minutes), it may be one of the longest 'buddy' films ever made; nearly all of the animal 'chase and capture' sequences involved the actual cast members (professional handlers serving as stunt doubles were only rarely used); and the filming began with virtually no script (which was written based on the 'on location' footage in Africa, after the cast returned to California). At 65, director Hawks was still in top form, and the risks he took paid off...HATARI!, despite it's length, is never boring!

The story focuses on a season with a team of professional hunter/trappers, capturing animals for zoos and circuses. With a breathtaking opening scene of a rhino chase, costing them the use of veteran driver, 'Indian' (legendary actor Bruce Cabot), the 'family' dynamic is quickly established, with rugged Sean Mercer (Wayne) both boss and father-figure to the group. As he and the rest of the 'family' (Red Buttons, Hardy Krüger, Valentin de Vargas, and Michèle Girardon) meet 'Indian's' replacement, 'Chips' (Gérard Blain), Mercer has an even bigger headache to deal with; beautiful photographer Anna Maria 'Dallas' D'Allesandro (Elsa Martinelli) has arrived, to shoot a magazine spread. A 'traditional' Hawks leading lady, 'Dallas' is feisty, sultry, and attracted to Mercer, and the older man, uncomfortable with the ease by which she fits into the group, as well as his own stirrings, tries to make it clear that romance has no place on his agenda (in much the same manner as he did with Angie Dickinson in RIO BRAVO...
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great action film January 2, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
If you are a John Wayne fan and want a break from his usual western, this is the video to buy. You can tell he loves Africa and being around African big game...it shows in his face and his manner. And he's surrounded by a very capable supporting cast...Red Buttons and Elsa Martinelli are fantastic. The scenery is breathtaking and the action shots are superb....especially chasing the rhinos and the cape buffalo who give the game hunters quite a fight. I also think Howard Hawks used some interesting techniques to get honest reactions from the actors....some of the scenes had to been a surprise to Wayne and Martinelli! The movie has something for everyone.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless comedy April 5, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I don't know how many times I've seen this movie since I was a child. And it is still one of my all time favorites. I hope Paramount is making a DVD in the near future, cause my old VHS tape is pretty worn out and won't do it any longer. Although John Wayne is mostly famous for his western movies, he's best in Non-westerns. His exprssion when Martinelli asks him how he likes to kiss is priceless. I LOVE IT!! Howard Hawks was an excellent director and never in the 160 minutes the movie is boring. The action scenes are exciting, the comedy scenes are funny. Don't touch it when you love Stallone or Van Damme, but it is a must when you love Good Old Hollywood!!
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How times have changed! August 15, 2002
Format:DVD
I ran across this movie by accident on late nite TV -- and I loved it! Hatari is East Africa 40 years ago. There's no plot to speak of. John Wayne heads a team that chases down and catches animals to sell to zoos. They carry guns -- but they don't shoot anything; they smoke and drink to excess and eat lots of fatty foods (crab cakes fried in antelope fat!); they drive old beat-up jeeps and land rovers and they don't wear seatbelts -- and when they roll a jeep they pick everybody up and dust them off instead of calling a doctor (or a lawyer); the men are dumb and tough and lovable and honest and the women are smart and competent and sexy and honest -- and they don't have to prove anything to anybody.
There's no way you could make this movie now. These guys lasso real animals -- giraffes and rhinos and zebras -- and wrestle them to the ground and put them in cages. The animals were probably not amused. But Hatari was politically correct in its day. Wayne's team includes a German, a Frenchman, an American Indian, a Spaniard, and an Italian femme fatale and they all get along pretty well. The Africans in the movie are called boys and there's not a hint that they might prefer to be called something else, like Mr. or Sir.

The scenery is marvelous, the photography fabulous, the music cute, the comedy stupid, the love scenes corny, and the animal capture scenes are fascinating. So this is how zoos get their animals....
Hatari is an idealized Africa of Bwanas and boys. Today, I suppose we're safer, happier, healthier, etc., but living in the shadow of Kilimanjaro and chasing animals around sure looks like a lot of fun.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rhinos and Other Horny Beasts in Africa January 25, 2004
Format:DVD
There's not much this movie doesn't have. Action? Got it. Romance? Yep. Comedy? Check. Wild animals? Naturally. Punching, gunplay, explosions, and rocket blasts? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Hyena bathing and slapstick elephant chases? But of course. Shape-shifting space aliens? Okay, it doesn't have that, but it has everything else and a cast that works well together and isn't overscripted.
The story follows a season in the lives of a team of big game hunters (a catch-and-release group that works for zoos and circuses). A couple outsiders come in and the group dynamic changes; the young girl of the group is suddenly all grown up and a love triangle (later a quadrangle) forms and resolves itself; the group's leader has to choose between letting go of the past or missing the relationship of a lifetime; and then there's the horrible rhino curse that must be broken. In lesser hands, it would all be a "very special episode" of Little House on the Savanna, but Howard Hawks masterfully directs his cast and winds up with some incredible footage of the African plains and its wildlife as well. Add in an excellent score by Henry Mancini, and you are really drawn into the action; the whimsical "Baby Elephant Walk" provides a nice break from the tension - you know nothing bad can happen once the calliope starts up, so just sit back and enjoy the fun.
John Wayne keeps his swagger and drawl mostly in check, but Buttons' physical comedy is a little overeager. Still, the remaining 98% of the film is on target in tone and balance. The scenes between lovelorn Martinelli and Buttons feel genuine, the animal herding and capture scenes feel dangerous, the rhino goring and dislocated shoulder repair feel painful, and your arteries begin to clog at the mention of codfish cakes deep-fried in antelope fat.
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