King Solomon’s Mines (1950)

DailyView: Day 100, Movie 169

It looks like so far Day 100 in the DailyView has been a bit of a flop. The first film I saw today was Flightplan with Jodie Foster and I found that one too silly. I moved on to an Oscar winner from 1950, with the well known character of Allan Quartermain, King Solomon’s Mines, a film that had been made from a classic novel and remade from a 1937 film.

Unfortunately, the film felt desperately out dated and, at times, dull.

Honestly, the film lost me in the first scene. Allan Quartermian (Stewart Granger) was with a group of hunters in Africa, leading them on a safari. One of them shot an elephant and it went down. The scene where the elephant is shot twice looks authentic. The other elephants surrounded the fallen beast and laid their heads against the corpse. It looked as if they were all mourning the loss. It was a terribly sad moment and treated as if it were the right of these hunters. I have never been a big proponent of hunting, but it never bothered me before. This scene left a terrible taste in my mouth and it tainted my thoughts of the rest of the movie so when Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) arrived to hire Quartermain as a guide, I had checked out.

That scene when she was hiring him felt familiar. It felt as if it had been lifted directly from this movie and dropped into the latest Dwayne Johnson film, The Jungle Cruise.

Quartermain led Elizabeth and John Goode (Richard Carlson) into the heart of the Undiscovered territory of Africa. There are countless encounters with animals and natives as they only mention the idea of the diamond mines a few times.

I did not like either Quartermain or Elizabeth and found it a chore to follow them across this journey. The African landscapes and imagery was a standout feature for the movie, but that was about it for me.

We won’t even go into the racial undertones of the movie.

I’ve always liked the character of Allan Quartermain so this was a real disappointment. When I had picked this out for the list, I was excited to see a classic from 1950. Sadly, classic does not fit the bill for me.

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