In Tanzania very, little is known about the film, Hatari, which is about sixty years since its production.
In deed few people know about it or have even watched it! But sources say that the film, done in 1962, is still shown in several European countries and is one of the reasons attracting tourists to Tanzania.
They want to visit the home of the film and see where it was actually done.
When we visited The Hatari Lodge in Momela (Ngarananyuki-Arusha) the staff of the hotel said when tourists coming from German and other European countries visit their hotel the first thing, they would like to know about is where Hardy Kruger lived and where the film was acted.
The good thing about the film was its multi-national cast; USA, German, Italy, France, Tanzania.
Nationals from these countries would come to Arusha to see where the film was produced.
Hatari was produced in 1962 with the legendary actors the American John Wayner and German’s Hardy Kruger taking lead roles.
The film action is about professional live animal catchers who have to fulfill their quota(order) of animals needed for zoos in Europe.
The catching involves chasing the animals and using ropes to catch them by inserting loops through their heads and tying their legs.
This was Hatari! Dangerous, for the catching was aiming at big games like rhinos, buffalos and giraffes.
In the film we see a Bruce Cabot, the Indian, injured by a rhino at the very start of the action.
One of the African supernumerary crews we interviewed, Mzee Kisetu Mbise, said there were no stunts done! All was real and very dangerous, and people died in the process.
Mr Safdar Taibali Bajwa was about eight when the Hatari was being film. He was at the Indian School in Arusha.
He says when they heard of the news of the filming and animals, elephants and leopards walking the Arusha streets, they would not remain in classes in the more.
He would not remember where he was standing, younger as he was, but “I saw these elephants, and they were running from street to street they passed by here,” showing a wall behind his office, a photographic office to be exact at the clock tower.
Mzee Safdar walked our team through various houses and places where the animals were passing. A lot of people were there, but he could remember.
Main Actors of the Hatari Film
- (Sean Mercer) John Wayne (I) (1907-1979): John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in lowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Marrison, a pharmacist. He had English and Scots-Irish ancestry. Born: Marison Robert Morrison May 26,1907 in Winterset, lowa, USA. Died: June 11,1979 (age 72) in Los Angeles California, USA.
- (Kurt Muller) Hardy Kruger (1) (1928): At thirteen years, German-born and raised Hardy Kruger became a member of the “Hitler Jugend” (Hitler Youth), as did all 13-year old boys in Germany then. The purpose of the organization was to prepare the boys for military services. At age 15, Hardy made his film debut in a German picture (Young Eagles – (1944)). Born: Franz Eberhard August Kruger April 12,1928 in Wedding, Berlin, Germany.
- (Pockets) Red Buttons (1919 – 2006): Born: Aaron Chwatt, February 5,1919 in New York City, New York, USA: July 13,2006(aged 87) in Century City, California, USA.
- Little Wolf: Bruce Cabot (1904-1972): Born: Etienne Pelissier Jacques de Bajuc, April 20,1904 in Carisbad, New Mexico, USA. Died: May 3,1972(age 68) in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California USA.
- Anderson Eduard Franz (1902-1983: Born Eduard Franz Schimidt October 31,1902 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Died: February 10, 1983(age 80) in Los Angeles, Calofornia, USA.
- Howard Hawks (1896-1977): Born, Howard Winchester Hawks May 30,1896 in Goshen, Indian, USA. Died: December 26,1977(age 81) in Palm Springs, California, USA. He was the producer and director of the Hatari film.
- Chips Chalmony Gerard Blain (23 October 1930-17 December 2000) was a French actor and film director.