Combustible Celluloid
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With: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Fahey, George Dzundza, Alun Armstrong, Marisa Berenson
Written by: Peter Viertel, Burt Kennedy, James Bridges, based on the book by Peter Viertel
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 112
Date: 05/15/1990

White Hunter, Black Heart (1990)

4 Stars (out of 4)

African King

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After some time and consideration, White Hunter, Black Heart (1990) emerges as one of Eastwood's finest achievements. Based on the book by Peter Viertel, who contributed to the screenplay along with the legendary Western writer/director Burt Kennedy, the film follows the fictional exploits of director John Wilson (Eastwood) -- a loose interpretation of John Huston -- as he flits off to Africa to shoot The African Queen in the early 1950s. But rather than making movies, he and his young screenwriter (Jeff Fahey) run off into the jungle to bag an elephant. Eastwood's saucy performance echoes the real Huston, but also veers off into its own bizarre territory. Directed by Eastwood, it's a truly stunning film, a fascinating exploration of manhood and Hollywood, but the finest moment has to be that heart-stopping final shot.

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