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King Solomon's Mines

(1950 c 103')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from H. Rider Haggard’s novel, an Englishman, who is experienced in Africa, guides a woman into unknown territory to look for her lost husband.

         In East Africa in 1897 Allan Quatermain (Stewart Granger) guides elephant hunters, and a native friend of his is killed by an elephant. John Goode (Richard Carlson) tells Allan that he wants to find Henry Curtis and shows him a map to Solomon’s mines. Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) offers Allan £5,000 to take her to find her husband. He agrees, and they argue about her motives.

         Elizabeth rides in a wagon and feels sick. Allan loosens her clothes and tells her to change. They see lions, crocodiles, and a rhinoceros. Beth has bad dreams. The next day Allan points out various creatures. Natives watch them as they pass. In a village Allan trades salt for a boat.

         John gives Beth water and advises her to turn back. At night Beth shoots at a leopard, and Allan argues with her. The next day they see zebras stampeding. Beth cuts her hair, and Allan says he likes it. A tall African named Umbopa asks to join them. Allan has to persuade the bearers to go on, but in the morning most of them are gone.

They go on and reach a village. Van Brun (Hugo Haas) welcomes them and says he saw Curtis five years ago. Allan makes Van Brun lead them out of the village. Van Brun grabs a rifle and shoots Khiva (Kimursi), but Allan shoots Van Brun.

         Allan helps Beth climb a tree to hide. When they wake, he kisses her. Allan kills a cobra. They cross a desert by walking at night and sleeping during the day. They make it to a water hole and then climb mountains. They find a rifle with a message engraved on it from Curtis. John realizes that Beth did not love Curtis and asks if she has done enough penance. They learn that Umbopa is a king who came home from exile.

         In the village Allan sees large diamonds on King Twala (Baziga) and the witch doctor. An African pulls out a weapon, and John shoots him. They are led to a cave and see a treasure of gems. Beth sees a skeleton and screams. They are trapped by a cave-in. Allan finds a way out in a stream. Umbopa finds them.

         They attend a ritual and single combat for the throne. Umbopa kills King Twala with a spear. In the final scene Umbopa says goodbye to Allan, Beth, and John, and they leave with many bearers.

         This version adds a chaste romance while showing many African animals but leaves out much about the African tribe in Haggard’s adventure story. The drama plays upon the sexual tension while the wife tries to be loyal to the husband she does not love.

Copyright © 2007 by Sanderson Beck

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