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White Hunter, Black Heart



"An adventure in obsession..."

Set in 1951, the film begins as film director Wilson (Eastwood) summons an old friend, writer Pete Verrill (Jeff Fahey), to recruit him for his latest project about a hard-drinking boat captain and a schoolmarm who take on the German navy in Africa during WWII. All Wilson really cares about is that the film will give him a fast infusion of cash to put a dent in personal debts totaling a quarter of a million dollars. Even more important, it will provide him with an all-expenses-paid opportunity to fulfill his longtime dream of going big-game hunting.

Play RealAudio Clip

Listen as Clint Eastwood speaks openly about his thoughts on this film including it's theme on obsession.

  • The story is very obviously based on John Huston's making of The African Queen - writer Peter Viertel had been on location with Huston and recorded his experiences.
  • Clint faced pressure from Warner Bros. to shoot the scene with the "African Trader" in the studio. Clint resisted, and piloted the boat down the rapids himself, adding to the realism.
  • Clive Mantle, star of BBC TV's Casualty, bears the distinction of being the only person to beat up Clint on film and get away with it. Despite being half Clint's age, Mantle found himself struggling to keep pace with him while filming the fight scene.
  • The film was well received when shown at Cannes, although it was not a box-office success. Clint stopped work on his next film, The Rookie, for five days in order to attend, at an estimated cost of $1.5 million.
  • While at Cannes Clint fulfilled a life-long ambition by meeting Akira Kurosawa, director of Yojimbo, on which A Fistful of Dollars had been based.
  • To research the part, Clint talked to (among others) Peter Viertel, the writer of the book, and John Huston's daughter Anjelica.

John Wilson
Peter Verrill
Paul Landers
Kay Gibson
Ralph Lockhart
Phil Duncan
Miss Wilding
Irene Saunders
Basil Fields
Butler George
Gun Shop Salesman
Mrs. Duncan
Scarf Girl
Bongo Man
Ape Man
Alec Laing
Tom Harrison
Mrs. MacGregor
Dickie Marlowe
Desk Clerk
Riding Double
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Clint Eastwood
Jeff Fahey
George Dzundza
Marisa Berenson
Alun Armstrong
Richard Vanstone
Charlotte Cornwell
Catherine Neilson
Edward Tudor Pole
Richard Warwick
Boy Mathias Chuma
Norman Lumsden
Roddy Maude-Roxey
John Rapley
Jamie Koss
Anne Dunkley
David Danns
Myles Freeman
Geoffrey Hutchings
Christopher Fairbank
Clive Mantle
Mel Martin
Martin Jacobs
Norman Malunga
Timothy Spall
Alex Norton
Eleanor David
Andrew Whaley
Conrad Asquith
Bill Weston
George Orrison

Executive Producer
Director of Photography
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David Valdes
Clint Eastwood
Peter Viertel
James Bridges
Burt Kennedy
Jack N. Green
Joel Cox
Lennie Niehaus


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