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Trader Horn (1973)

Rod Taylor plays Trader Horn, the "great white hunter," in this film based on a 1931 film of the same name.

In promoting the film, Taylor proposed that the public was ready for an old-fashioned, red-blooded type of movie and hero:

The anti-hero image was stretched as far as it could go. I think people now want to see a good guy win out over the bad guys through intelligence, courage and strength -- the traditional makeup of hero types.

-- Trader Horn pressbook, 1973

In "Trader Horn," Taylor plays the hero who uses his knowledge of the jungle to lead a small safari safely through countless perils: They're trapped between English and German soldiers and get involved in a war between two native tribes. They contend with swampland, desert and jungle as well as rampaging rhinos, elephants and lions (in obviously stock footage).

However, there was at least one real beast, used in a stunt that Taylor insisted on doing himself. He convinced director Reza Badiyi to let him ride a wild zebra for a scene in which Trader Horn dupes a British officer and makes a getaway. The pressbook for "Trader Horn" notes, "Not only did Taylor ride it successfully, but after several takes the zebra was tame!"

In the movie, Horn gets away from the British only to become embroiled in further intrigue. He's reacquainted with friend Emil DuMond (Jean Sorel), who is hatching a plan to journey to a distant mine to retrieve a wealth of platinum there. Of course, he needs Trader Horn to help him.

Horn and his trusted native partner, Apaque (Ed Bernard), wind up leading Emil, his fiance (Anne Heywood), and a band of natives on the trek into deepest Africa.

As a remake of one of the earliest "talkies," this update of "Trader Horn" still has an old-fashioned, Saturday TV-matinee feel.

 

 

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LINKS

IMDb // TCM

Pressbook items (PDF)

 

 

         
   

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