Greatest Film Scenes
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King Solomon's Mines (1950)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

King Solomon's Mines (1950)

In directors Compton Bennett's and Andrew Marton's and MGM's big-budget, melodramatic Technicolored 'safari' romantic-adventure film into uncharted territory - a third version of H. Rider Haggard's 1885 "novel of love and intrigue in the perilous jungles of the Dark Continent" - "Actually Filmed in the Savage Heart of Equatorial Africa!":

[Note: There were two earlier versions: King Solomon's Mines (1919), and director Robert Stevenson's King Solomon's Mines (1937, UK) starring Cedric Hardwicke, followed by two other lesser versions: director J. Lee Thompson's King Solomon's Mines (1985) (with Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone), and a two-part TV movie/mini-series: King Solomon's Mines (2004) (with Patrick Swayze and Alison Doody)]:

  • the trailer promised: "Sacred Dance of the Giant Watussi! Mad Charge of the Rogue Elephants! Flight Across the Burning Sands! Mystery of the Deserted Village! Grotesque Caverns of the King's Mines! Battle Canoes of the Fighting Masai! Actual Death Fight of the Pagan Kings! The Spectacular Wild Animal Stampede!"
  • the disturbing opening scene of the sport-hunting slaughter of a wild African elephant (and the death of an African native porter), by a safari led by disenchanted adventurer-hunter-guide Allan Quartermain (Stewart Granger)
  • the late 1800s mission of the arrogant Quartermain who was hired (for a large upfront payment of 5,000 pounds) by prim, determined, red-haired and possibly-widowed Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) and her brother Captain John Goode (Richard Carlson) to search for Elizabeth's husband who disappeared in the African wilds while he was searching for the fabled 'King Solomon's Mines' diamond treasure
  • the wisdom of Allan Quartermain as he walked along a jungle path: ("They're no souls in the jungle, sad little justice and no ethics. In the end you begin to accept it all. You watch things hunting and being hunted, reproducing, killing and dying, it's all endless and pointless, except in the end one small pattern emerges from it all, the only certainty: one is born, one lives for a time and then one dies, that's all")
  • the sudden dangers - Elizabeth's tent being attacked at night by a spotted leopard (because she left her tent flaps open), her encounters with snakes, and her crossing of swampy water and finding herself stepping on top of a deadly crocodile
  • the stampede of zebras and giraffes and other wild animals across the plains set off by a bush fire
  • the realistic footage of the Watussi dance of African natives
  • the first shocking discovery of evidence of Elizabeth's explorer husband who had been searching for the legendary, dazzling diamond mines - and then the finding of the jewels near her husband's skeletal bones in a mountain cave (the multi-colored dazzling diamond treasure was briefly glimpsed, although left behind when the group became trapped by a large boulder cave-in caused by an evil native king’s advisor Gagool (Sekaryongo), and the explorers were forced to escape through a watery passage)
  • the 'duel to the death' between tall mysterious native, dethroned Umbopa (Siriaque) (with a snake tattoo on his stomach) and the evil King Twala (Baziga), to decide who would rule as the rightful King of the Watussi tribe, ending with a spear thrown by Umbopa into Twala's chest to kill him
  • the romance that developed between prim but passionate Elizabeth and cynical Allan, who walked off arm in arm at film's end

Safari - Killing of Elephant

(l to r): Elizabeth, John, and Allan Quartermain

Romance Between Allan and Elizabeth

Stepping on a Deadly Crocodile

Watussi African Natives

The Mine's Multi-Colored Treasure


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