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Author Topic: opinions please...."White Hunter, Black Heart"  (Read 5486 times)
DixieWhistler
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« on: March 03, 2004, 09:09:53 PM »

Alright, Clint rocks, I love his movies.  But, I was extremely dissapointed while watching "White Hunter Black Heart".....I could not stand the rich mans talk through out the whole movie.  Not just that, I thought the acting was horrible, story was horrible, everything was horrible.  That just suprises me because that dosent seem like Clints style.   Anyone else have the same feelings on the subject?  

feel free to tear into me if you think im wrong
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Doug
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2004, 09:16:54 PM »

Personally I find it an enjoyable, well constructed movie.  I liked it a lot the first time I saw it (though I was dubious for about the first twenty minutes), but I could see how it might take a couple viewings to appreciate it.  (Or not.  We all have different tastes.)  Probably Clint talks more in this movie than in any other of his, and I enjoyed that and I enjoyed his character.  And I like obsessed characters in movies and books, and he qualifies.  It a very rich movie, thematically, but it clearly falls short of greatness.  However, it is a very good movie.  That is my overall opinion of the movie.
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2004, 10:16:10 PM »

I like it a lot too, Doug.

It's a fictionalized account of the early production history of The African Queen, and Eastwood is playing a fictionalized version of John Huston. It's no wonder it "doesn't seem like Clint's style" ... it's not. But it's a very courageous film and a courageous performance. The ending is one of my favorites in all Eastwood's films.

Here's what Mystic River author Dennis Lehane had to say about the film in a recent interview (Esquire, UK edition, November 2003, p. 102):

Quote
White Hunter, Black Heart, for example, is not a great film, but there's so much greatness in it that it stands as a testament to an artist with an almost depraved indifference to his own star status. There's a moment—the final moment, actually—where the main character, a film director modelled on John Huston and played with crazed gusto by Eastwood, sits in his director's chair, haunted and broken in half by the results of his own machismo, his silly and short-sighted white man's code. It's a vision of hell as the human heart. And I'd argue that this final shot—Eastwood croaking the word "Action" as the film-within-a-film begins and the film itself fades to black—is as nakedly authentic as any movie star has allowed himself to be portrayed on the screen.

Lehane errs on one point. There isn't a fade to black after Eastwood's croaked "Action." There is an abrupt cut to a black screen, followed by the film's final shot: a long shot of the African countryside with elephants in the distance. This shot is then held "live" for the duration of the closing credits sequence.
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Christopher
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2004, 07:30:01 AM »

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Doug: I liked it a lot the first time I saw it (though I was dubious for about the first twenty minutes)
That was similar to the reaction I originally had. I wasn't quite sure what to make of Eastwood's performance at first, but at some point during the film, his performance just seems to take over and by the end I was in it. With each additional viewing of the movie, I like it more and more.

I love the ending too. I find it to be as tragic as about anything in Mystic River.
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Walt
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2004, 11:50:10 AM »

I was really excited when this came out because I was going to see it in Edinburgh with Clint in the same cinema .
It was the film festival and I had a ticket for the premiere. That's when I met my idol and could'nt believe my luck to be sitting four seats away from him at the premiere .
I must admit to not liking the film at this time . It was difficult to pay attention as i kept looking across at Clint .
When it came out on video I gave it a second chance and I really enjoyed it . Whilst not Clints usual fare it holds up well as a drama and " what if " character study . It also holds a special place in my heart for the reasons I've just explained .
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2004, 11:54:44 AM »

Interesting story, Walt. Yeah, I guess it would be hard to enjoy a movie when the main star's sitting a few seats away from you!  ;D
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vik
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2004, 12:57:50 PM »

 liked this film alot and always think if clint had a ego side this is it  - the opening scene is so surprising because its the english countryside it really threw me and him in jodphurs and all

wilson is really an obnoxious individual and clint eventually rips the ego from him - at the end this guy is half the man he was to himself only

all the others knew him already as a very difficult individual - so nothing knew there

it really is a process for wilson - a process of his own humiliation - it is similar to bird in a sort of destruction of a man

the plus side also is the great location the poster is one of my favourites and the elephant staring down at clint

i often wondered if clint has a fascination with flawed characters because he ain't himself or somewhere he has a niggling feeling that somewhere he is going to end up like these guys which of course he ain't  - but to portray wilson there has to be something in the persons character to be so convincing - maybe clint knows people like wilson

the other thing i often wondered is why he made it then i think i don't care cus it just throws another remarkable film at us

i bet this looks great on dvd - all that african scenery
« Last Edit: March 05, 2004, 01:08:43 PM by vik » Logged

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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2010, 01:58:25 PM »

It's a fictionalized account of the early production history of The African Queen, and Eastwood is playing a fictionalized version of John Huston. It's no wonder it "doesn't seem like Clint's style" ... it's not. But it's a very courageous film and a courageous performance. The ending is one of my favorites in all Eastwood's films.

I think if you're a fan of John Huston's films and The African Queen in particular, you'll enjoy this film more. When I watch White Hunter Black Heart, I don't think I'm watching Clint onscreen, I think it's John Huston. The documentaries I've seen of Huston and things I've read, Eastwood played him to a tee, even with the voice.

Watching the extras on the Casablanca DVD there's a doco on there about Bogie's career called Bacall on Bogart where The African Queen is mentioned and Katherine Hepburn was talking very briefly about going there and Huston was only interested in shooting an elephant than shooting the film. There's some behind the scenes footage and seeing Huston with the hat and coat on, you'd swear it was Clint in White Hunter Black Heart.
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2010, 03:38:29 PM »

Definitely not my favourite Eastwood-film but still good and entertaining all around.
I´ve not watched this one as many times as I`ve the other Eastwood films (Rookie included  ;) ) as the story itself doesn`t appeal to me even though I´ve seen John Houston`s African Queen and know the story behind the film.
One of the best things in the film is Eastwood`s acting.His Wilson`s different kind of character as what he usually played back then.
I would give 3/5 to White Hunter Black Heart.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 05:53:13 AM by Hemlock » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2010, 07:45:17 AM »

I particularly love this movie, it's one of my favs.

I have never watched any of John Huston movies and don't know much about his bio just that he is Anjelica Huston father...but if he was like that, he was good! O0

 I love Clint character...he is more "out there" than the roles he uses to play.

I like the whole movie but since Dixie mentioned, yeah, some dialogues scenes may sound a little boring but it's all very well balanced with the action, fun, amazing scenes like the boat ride John insists to take, the airplane flight, the monkey going all crazy at the dinner, his friendship with Kivu...
I'm sure if you watch the movie more times it will grow up on you :)
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 05:51:47 PM »

 I find "White Hunter, Black Heart" a very decent film. I can understand why some people may find this film a little peculiar due to Clint's huge amount of dialogue which he throws out in a certain manner throughout the film. DixieWhistler we all have a different view on many things so I don't think you are wrong, I am just not seeing this movie through your eyes. The film does grow on you after several viewings and if you have watched "The African Queen" you will get a better understanding of the story and not feel uncomfortable. Clint's part is unique, we all love Dirty Harry and the Man With No Name but we need to see other colourful characters such as John Wilson. The actors all did a decent job under the supervision of the great man himself,Mr Eastwood.The cast included many british actors such as Timothy Spall,(Peter Pettigrew in Harry Potter).It's great to see most of you enjoy this movie. The film was also shot on location in Zimbabwe and the UK. O0
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Perry
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2010, 03:05:01 PM »

I remember when it was released,  J.Hoberman of The Village Voice thought it was one of Eastwood's best pictures and one of the best of that year.

I like WHBH because its different and I never had a problem with Eastwood doing different roles like ' The Beguiled' which i think is one of his best movies, but considering from 1986- till 'Unforgiven' I stayed away from his movies, I think WHBH is miles above 'Heartbreak Ridge','The Dead Pool', 'Pink Cadillac' or 'The Rookie' which came out around that era. I could add 'City Heat' and 'Sudden Impact', but that's just my opinion.

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