Wayne plays Sean Mercer, the grizzled veteran behind a group tasked with collecting exotic animals ordered by various zoos. Along the way, he must contend with various minor crises - a female photographer wants to tag along, ostriches get loose, a baby elephant needs to be cared for.
"Hatari!" means "Danger!" in Swahili, but alas, the only hatari to be found in this rated G-class production is a minor rhino goring at the beginning of the film and a crocodile attack. Instead, most of the scenes play out like Abbott and Costello vignettes, with Wayne getting water or milk dumped on him every half hour or so.
The real hatari, I suppose is the hatari of love - with a minor battle breaking out over the affections of the two females on the ranch. A 159-minute romantic comedy, set in Africa and starring John Wayne? Quite an idea they had there...
Run time: 157 mins
In Theaters: Tuesday 19th June 1962
Distributed by: Howard Hawks
Production compaines: Malabar
Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 7
IMDB: 7.3 / 10
Director: Howard Hawks
Producer: Howard Hawks
Screenwriter: Leigh Brackett
Starring: John Wayne as Sean Mercer, Hardy Krüger as Kurt Muller, Elsa Martinelli as Anna Maria 'Dallas' D'Allesandro, Red Buttons as Pockets, Gérard Blain as Charles 'Chips' Maurey, Bruce Cabot as Little Wolf, Michèle Girardon as Brandy de la Court, Valentin de Vargas as Luis Francisco Garcia Lopez, Eduard Franz as Doctor Sanderson