'Hatari' means 'danger' in Swahili. Hatari! is an excellent 1962 movie, directed by Howard Hawks, about a team of men in Eastern Africa who trap wild animals for zoos and circuses.

The cast includes John Wayne as the leader of the team, comedian Red Buttons as 'Pockets', John's manager and comic relief in the film (he has a great plan to capture monkeys: let's build a giant rocket that will trap them in a net!), and Elsa Martinelli as 'Dallas' D'Allesandro, a wildlife photographer and John Wayne's love interest.

Hatari! is two and a half hours long, but never gets boring. Every once in a while, there's a fast-paced animal capture scene (these are quite impressive, with the team riding on trucks along zeals of zebras and crashes of rhinos). The film was shot in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania (then Tanganyika).

One of the more memorable scenes includes baby elephants and Henry Mancini's famous 'Baby Elephant Walk'.

Despite being made in the 60's, there's a distinctive old Hollywood feel to the movie, and in a good way. This movie is definitely underrated and should be up there with the Duke's best westerns.


Directed by Howard Hawks
Written by Harry Kurnitz and Leigh Brackett
Produced by Howard Hawks and Paul Helmick
Original music by Henry Mancini and Hoagy Carmichael

Runtime: 157 minutes