White Hunter, Black Heart Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the White Hunter, Black Heart script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Clint Eastwood movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of White Hunter, Black Heart. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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White Hunter, Black Heart Script




John Wilson.
A violent man given to violent action. Some ascribed his wild
and troubled life... ... to his personal mania
for self-destruction. These generalizations always seemed
inaccurate to me. That's why l had to write
all this about John. A brilliant, screw-you-all
type filmmaker... ... who continually violated
all the unwritten laws... ...of the motion picture business... ... yet had the magic, almost divine
ability to always land on his feet. Mr. Verrill?
Hello, l'm Miss Wilding. -How are you?
-Did you have a good flight? -Wonderful. Thank you.
-Mr. Wilson is expecting you. -How was Switzerland?
-Switzerland? Fine. Eggerton Gardens, please. Yes, ma'am. -I thought he was at Claridge's.
-He was. He's got a house now. One of his society friends
loaned it to him. You know what John is. I mean, Mr. Wilson. Hello, George. This is Mr. Verrill.
Is Mr. Wilson up yet? Oh, yes. He's been up hours.
Been riding. He's having his breakfast now. Come in. Mr. Verrill is here, Mr. Wilson. -Pete!
-Johnny! For God's sake! -How the hell are you?
-All right. Well, you're looking good, kid. -What have you been up to?
-Skiing and sitting in the sun. Isn't that swell? -I missed you, kid.
-I missed you too, John. -Same old Pete.
-Yeah. -Care for some coffee?
-I'm fine. -This is some joint you got.
-Isn't it? -Did you get a load of the living room?
-Did l ever! Isn't it the most hideous thing?
l'm crazy about it. Miss Wilding, you can get the hell
out of here. There's no work today. Well, what do you think of this outfit? Hey, that's some getup
you got there, Johnny. Of course it is. Now, what about you?
What about the book? I didn't get very much done on the book. Why? Or would you prefer
not to talk about it? I don't mind. I just couldn't get started. And then when l did,
l got hooked up with some dame. -Hell, isn't it?
-It sure is. And once it's over, you can't figure out
why it all seemed so damn important. There's nothing tougher
than trying to remember. . . . . .why you chased a dame
once you've had her. Yeah, l'll say. And l didn't get
much skiing done because of her. Well, that's a shame. I think l've got
the cure for that, though: Africa. You come down there with me
and you work on this script. -You really think that's gonna help me?
-Even if it doesn't, you've got to do it. There are times
when you can't wonder. . . . . .whether it's the right
or wrong thing to do. Not for guys like you and me, kid.
You just gotta pack up and go. I gotta get started on this book. If you didn't write it before,
you weren't ready. -You think so?
-I know so. Well, when do you plan on leaving? In a week or days. We'll work here,
then we'll get our shots and take off. -And who's gonna be in this picture?
-We have Phil Duncan and Kay Gibson. That's good. How long are you
planning on staying there? Oh, four or five months.
Long enough to make a picture. -And have ourselves a safari.
-Safari? Yeah, haven't you ever wanted
to shoot an elephant? -No, l don't think so, John.
-Well, a lion or a buffalo. This is a safari, kid. The real thing. -Who's gonna pay for all this?
-Don't worry. What's your financial situation? -It remains unchanged.
-So you're broke? Depends on what you call broke.
I owe a quarter million. -Quarter of a million?
-Closer to . -$ and you're not worried?
-I think about it now and then. -Do you see a way out?
-This picture. Now do you see why
l want to go to Africa? I've got nothing else to lose.
Even if a lion or a buffalo gets me. . . . . .my last minute on earth
will be a happy one. I'll just think of my creditors when they
find out l've been eaten alive. . . . . .and it'll all seem worthwhile. Okay, okay, John. How about a script? There's one around here somewhere.
We don't have a title yet. It's called African Trader
or African something. Miss Wilding? Where's a copy
of that goddamned script? I haven't seen it, John. Then find it. What kind of a secretary
are you? What do you do all day? I've been typing your letters
and answering the telephone. -Balls.
-I have. You were competent
when you first got here. Now you just hang around all day
spying for Paul Landers. It's not true. I don't spy for anybody.
Especially Mr. Landers. Find the script, then. We have a meeting with Landers
and his money men in an hour. Right. -Paul Landers is producing this?
-That's right. And you know why l agreed
to work with him again? No. Because it's the wrong thing to do. -I'm so glad to see you, Pete.
-It's good to see you, Paul. -You can save all our lives.
-How's that? -The monster. He's losing his mind.
-He's in fine shape. You've only been with him half a day.
You don't know what he's been like. He's almost killed the deal five times. The only reason it's still alive
is because of me. -He wants to go to Africa.
-Paul, how the hell are you? Johnny boy! Did you have a good day?
Get a lot done? Hell, no. But Pete and l
did have a nice chat. -What do you think of the script?
-I haven't read it yet. -I think it's awfully good.
-You do? Well, it's a shame you don't know
a damn thing about it. -You see?
-He's always been like that. No, he's worse. He's insane. In a well-ordered society,
he'd be in a straitjacket right now. Where the question of color
is concerned, it's an extra expense. As far as l'm concerned,
of questionable value. -I quite agree.
-Well, l don't. Color's worth a million dollars
at the box office. Well, that's not important. What l'm trying to find out from Basil. . . . . .is how much color
complicates our operation. Well, l'm afraid it does, John. The camera is much heavier.
There are many more lighting problems. I'm telling you, color is essential
to the success of this venture. I'm not concerned with the success
of the venture at this moment. I just don't want to get bogged down. -Bogged down?
-Bogged down? Yes, l know how easy it is to get bogged
down with a company on location. -Have you ever been bogged down?
-No. -Then why bring it up?
-I think it's a very valid point. Well, l don't. Well, of course you don't, Paul. Because while we're in Africa,
sweating and killing ourselves. . . . . .you'll be in Paris sending out memos. That's not true.
I'll be there in Africa with you. Like hell you will. If it was shot in a river in England,
and the second unit sent to Africa. . . . . .then the risk of using color
would be greatly minimized. -That would be with some other director.
-We have already discussed that. Oh, we have, have we? John, could l talk to you
in the bedroom for a moment? -What's this about another director?
-You know l wouldn't do that to you. You'd sell your mother
down the river to make a deal. What the hell is the matter with you?
Do you want to kill this project? No. No, l don't. Why bring up the possibility
of bogging down? You scared the bejesus out of them! Then saying you'd quit if the picture
wasn't made in Africa. Good God! If one frame of this picture
is shot in England, l will quit. But it won't be. But you discussed it behind my back,
you son of a bitch. I didn't mention it because there isn't
a chance it could be done that way. You'll guarantee that, l suppose? Yes, goddamn it. I guarantee it! Well, your guarantee doesn't mean
a damn thing to me. I'm not gonna make some fake,
crappy mess just to please you. So l don't care if this picture's shot
in black and white or sepia tone. . . . . .or we have to make
the whole damn thing in animation. Pete and l are going to Africa. -What's the effective range of this thing?
-About yards, sir. Not much more. That's plenty for your buff
and your elephant. They kill them at yards, kid. Well, even closer than that sometimes,
so they tell me. Of course, l've never been to Africa,
but this man has. Makes for invaluable reading. John Taylor.
Big Game and Big Game Rifles. -We'll need two of these.
-We'll take two of these rifles here. . . . . .and two of the smaller ones,
the Mannlichers . And that's to shoot for the pot,
so to speak. -And then one -gauge shotgun.
-Always a useful thing to have along, sir. And cartridges, of course. -How many rounds, sir?
-Two hundred. Two hundred per weapon. -Planning to be away quite a while, sir.
-Yes. And Sunrise Films
will send you the check. John! Be careful! Irene. For God's sake,
what are you doing here? You told me to meet you here. We had an appointment.
Drinks and dinner. -I dressed.
-Yes. Well, it plain slipped my mind.
Irene Saunders, this is Pete Verrill. Hello. I admired your last book enormously. I'm a writer too. John's promised to listen to an idea
l had for a film this evening. I do hope you'll join us. You can give me a few pointers.
One writer to another. It's about a dog. A puppy dog.
He's the hero, the star. Imagine, John, over the opening credits,
we'll see Horace. Wonderful, adorable dissolves
of Horace. In close-up. In long shot. Now, this is the part of the script
l'm not sure about. The censors might cut it.
It turns out that Horace is in heat. -Horace?
-It's a story of mistaken identity. You see, Horace has a twin. A bitch.
She's called Geraldine. Now, it's she that's in heat.
Isn't that a wonderful switch? We'll cut from the Hyde Park sequence
to an early-morning shot of the river. The river. Horace is alone now. We dolly with him
as he trots down a deserted street. -He turns into Grosvenor--
-What are you doing here? I have found a copy of the script. -I hope you like it as much as l do.
-I'm sure l will. Peter! Please. You must hear the ending. Horace is all alone. We'll dolly with him
as he trots down a deserted street. Now, from another angle. . . . . .Geraldine can be seen
coming down Brook Street. She passes Claridge's,
then she enters the square. Suddenly, they see each other. Horace and Geraldine. There isn't a human in sight. They race
toward each other! The music swells! Now, we hold the final picture
in an extreme long shot. . . . . .as they meet. . . . . .turn. . . . . .and go off together. They've only just begun to live. Well, that's the end. They find each other. Well, isn't that something?
lsn't that something? Do you really like it? Well, darling, it's swell. Come on, we'll talk some more. Pete. If there's half as much love
in this old gal as there is talk. . . . . .I may be dead in the morning. Hey, Johnny. -Morning.
-Morning. You look like you've been
run through the wringer. Just part of me. What's happening, kid?
What do you think of the script? Well, l'll tell you the truth. I like it. -I like it a lot.
-Good. It's original, it's exciting and it's moving.
I just have one little problem with it. The ending. -You don't like the ending?
-No, l didn't say l don't like the ending. I'm just not sure that it's the right one. Let me put it in Hollywood terms.
I think it's too downbeat. After everything
these two have gone through: They fought the river,
tropical storms, the Germans. . . . Just when you've set the audience up
for a wonderfully comic ending. . . . . .you blow the ship up
and kill everybody. Well, Pete, there's an old saying: "God makes a man before he kills him. " I've heard it, John. I've heard it.
But l don't think it applies in this case. You're beating the audience
over the head, John. People don't go to see pictures
to be lectured to. Tell me, Pete. Do you own
a percentage of this film? No. Then why are you so concerned
about the damn audience? Because we're in show business, John. Not me. And not you, either,
when we work together. You see, we're gods, Pete. Lousy little gods who control
the lives of the people we create. We sit up in some heavenly place
and decide whether they live or die. . . . . .on the merits of what happens to
them in reel one, two, three, et cetera. And then we decide
if they have the right to live. And that's how we arrive at our ending. Well, that's what you say, John.
But l say l'm a swell god. I say they should live. . . . . .because of everything
they've gone through together. This world doesn't necessarily have to be
a hopeless and rotten place, John. We're not all destined and doomed to die
of radium poisoning. Now, l might be completely wrong. . . . . .but that's what makes me
a swell god. -Makes you a flea on an elephant's ass.
-Oh, balls to your pessimism. You know something? You'll never be
a good screenwriter, and you know why? No, John. Why don't you tell me why? Because you let million popcorn
eaters pull you this way and that way. To write a movie, you must forget
anyone's ever going to see it. You're gonna make damn sure
nobody sees this one. Well, maybe l am. But l figure
there's two ways to live in this world. One is you can crawl and kiss ass
and write their happy endings. . . . . .sign their long-term contracts and
never take a chance on anything. . . . . .and never fly,
never leave Hollywood. Save all your goddamn money,
every cent of it. And then when you're a healthy-looking
you die of a stroke. . . . . .because whatever was wild in you has
eaten away the muscles of your heart. The other way is to let the chips
fall where they may. Refuse to sign their contracts and tell off
the guy who can cut your throat. . . . . .and flatter the little guy
who's hanging by a thread that you hold. John, maybe you shouldn't be
in the picture business. Well, maybe you're right, kid.
Maybe l shouldn't. Maybe l should've wandered the planet
gambling on oil wells. . . . . .or stolen diamonds
or pimped for maharajahs. Maybe you should've
but you know why you didn't? Because somewhere deep inside of you
is a small, tiny spark of hope. Hope, hell. I'll die broke in a downtown Los Angeles
flophouse. And l won't be bitter. I'll have contributed maybe five,
damn good pictures. They'll name a special Academy Award
for me. And you know something? All the wrong guys will get it.
And l'll be in hell, laughing my ass off. Romantic futility. -Your one true love.
-Nothing to be ashamed of, kid. No, no, no, l didn't say that. But l admit, you are right
about the ending, John. I think you should kill them all
and blow everything up! I knew you'd ultimately see it my way. Morning, boys. If it isn't the producer, right on cue. I have just come from a meeting. . . . . .and l think the financial deal
is finally set. -Good. When do l get my take?
-Oh, you'll get it. -I'm glad to see you've been working.
-No, we're not working. We're just warming up,
doing some mental calisthenics. Well, if you take my advice,
you'll start with the ending. Oh, yeah? Now, look, Paul. Don't you go
interfering with the script. And don't try to influence my writer,
either. You're an obscene man. You witnessed the cultural disintegration
of central Europe. . . . . .and you nevertheless persist
on following the same cheap. . . . . .disastrous course
that led to Hitler over Europe. . . . . .World War Il and the atomic bomb. Meaning the ending stays as it is. Except for one minor change. The
Germans kill you too. Over the end title. Do you have a coat
or something l could borrow? -Oh, lrene.
-Excuse me. I can't go out dressed like this. Irene, l'd like you to meet my partner.
Paul Landers, our producer. Irene has the most wonderful idea
for a film, Paul. Why don't you tell it to Paul
while Pete and l work? Start from the beginning, darling. It's about a dog. A puppy dog.
He's the hero, the star. The dog's name is Horace. Pete, l should've sent you back
to Switzerland! I love Paul. He's such a desperate man. -You coming to Africa with us, Peter?
-Yes, l am, Kay. Thank God. Did you hear that?
Peter's coming with us. At least we'll have one sane,
reasonable person along. Won't it be wonderful? l can't wait. I've never looked forward
to anything as much. I just hope John finds us
somewhere comfortable to stay. Not too comfortable.
I should like to rough it a little. I'm sure John will make sure
you get your wish. Probably get us off in some terrible hole
and watch us suffer. How's the script?
How's the script coming along? The script? Fine, Kay.
I think you'll like it. Kay. I would like to propose a toast. . . . . .on behalf of John and myself,
to our British partners! Hands across the sea! Cheers! -Cheers.
-Cheers. And l also would like to
propose a toast. . . . . .to my partner and our producer,
Paul Landers. Paul, l hope l don't have to kill you
before this picture's finished. To Kay. And to Phil and his lovely blushing bride. And to Pete, probably the best skier
in the Screenwriters Guild. . . . . .and the only man
l know who can keep up with me. The only man l know
who's capable of the dangerous life. . . . . .because now he's making a move
on the producer's girlfriend. And that's right, honey.
He's hung like a stud horse. Now, doesn't that make you long
for the Dark Continent? -Thank you, dear.
-Bye-bye. Feel the mystery of it, kid? -Hello, John. You have a good trip?
-A little bit long, l'd say. John, may l introduce
squadron leader Alec Laing. -And Ralph Lockhart, our unit manager.
-Hello. This is Pete Verrill.
Tom Harrison, our art director. -Squadron leader Laing.
-Mr. Laing. -And yours. . .?
-Lockhart. Ralph Lockhart. Of course you are. Well, gentlemen,
shall we get in out of the sun? You chaps must be about ready
for a bath and a drink. I'll take care of the luggage
and see you later at the hotel. Well, the drink part
certainly sounds good to me. Get out of the way! Stupid buggers! Get out of the way! They knock off about of them
a month along this road. It doesn't seem to make the slightest
bloody impression on them, though. Is that so? Will you get out of the bloody way? Hello, l'm Harry Longthorne, general
manager of the Lake Victoria Hotel. -Harry.
-I'll show you to your rooms. -Excuse me, Mr. Verrill, you play soccer?
-Yes, l do. Why? We're having the annual staff
soccer game. We're minus one white. -Would you be interested?
-Certainly. -We'll have practice the Saturday before.
-All right. Pete, this is Mrs. Margaret MacGregor. -Pleasure to meet you.
-And Mr. Marlowe. He's a licensed white hunter.
Pete's a crack shot, Marine-trained. Sit down, have a drink, kid. I'll have an iced tea, please. Oh, come on, don't embarrass me.
Give him a beer. I'll have a beer, please. We are interested in getting
a couple of elephants. An elephant is dangerous
because he's such a hearty bugger. To kill him, you have to hit him
in one of two places. Between the eyes or in the heart. Not right between the eyes.
Down about six inches. "There's been silence for hours now. She's sitting on the back, reading the
Bible. He's still working on the engine. Finally he says, 'Miss, l'm sorry
l got drunk. I apologize. What more can a man do
than say he's sorry?' She says, 'lt's not only your drinking
l'm upset about. You promised to go downriver.' He says, 'Miss, listen to me
and understand. There's death a dozen times over
down that river.' She says, 'You promised.'
He says, 'l'm taking the promise back!' Silence. She picks up the Bible, starts reading
again, completely ignoring him. He can't take the silence any longer.
He says, 'All right, miss. You win. . . . . .which l'm sure the crocodiles
will be happy to hear. Down the river we go.' " Well, what do you think, John? Not bad. But you're trying
to complicate it, Pete. Things are always good
if they're left simple. No, not always. Always. That's what creates truly
important art, is simplicity. John, there are no rules to art. There are hundreds of rules.
Hemingway understood that. That's why he always reduced life
to its simplest terms. Whether it's courage,
fear, impotence, death. People's lives just unfold, and things just
happen to them one thing after another. They were never bogged down
with that nonsense of subplot. . . . . .that we sweated over in the past. Stendhal understood that.
Flaubert. Tolstoy. Melville. Simplicity is what made them great. No, Pete. Don't complicate it.
You'll just be wasting your time. Wasting my time? I'm wasting my time trying to make the
script better? lsn't that why l'm here? And l think it's damn good. Well, l just wish the damn script
were finished. . . . . .so you and l could go on safari. Safari? l thought we were gonna finish
the film first and then go on safari. If we wait till the film is finished,
we'll never get to it. We'll finish the script,
then go on safari. . . . . .then we'll shoot the film
after we've shot our elephants. Damn lake flies. Good job they don't bite. Come on, whites! There's a spare man in the middle! -He tripped over my arm! Please.
-That was a fault. -That was a fault. Let's go!
-How can that be a penalty? -The local boys are good, aren't they?
-Yes. They went to England last year.
Of course, they didn't stand a chance. Why is that? They're clever with their feet. . . . . .but against a good British team,
they're too small. The old blocking and checking
throws them off. They don't go in for that sort
of thing at all, you see. Probably be lynched if they did. We're not like you Americans. Of course not. -Oh, well done.
-Hell of a man, that boy. Hell of a man. Where is the defense?! What? What?
Watch it! You all right? Shit! We found everything you wanted, John,
but it's bloody awful. It's no place for a man to live.
It's the thickest jungle you've ever seen. Looks pretty interesting, John. There's a black-water river and a few
huts. At nighttime there are mosquitoes. During the day it rains.
There are elephants, crocodiles, Pygmies. -Lots of big game, is there?
-Antelope, buffalo. We saw an elephant from the plane
with tusks right down to the ground. Could you lay a plane on
to take us there? No problem.
When you thinking of going? Pete? If l can manage to keep the script
simple, two or three days. Isn't this just swell. . . . . .dining with a beautiful lady
right in the middle of Africa? -Care for some more champagne?
-Yes, l would, rather. Waiter, could you bring us another bottle
of champagne when you get the chance? -Yes. Thank you, sir.
-Thank you. You know,
you spoil those boys dreadfully. Well, as good as they play soccer,
they should be spoiled. They'll be impossible now
for five or six days. I don't think so. I think they know the
difference between sport and real life. -So, Mrs. MacGregor--
-Margaret, please. Margaret.
Margaret, do you miss London? Yes, l do, rather. I don't miss London as much
as l miss the country. Especially the winter, you're out with
the hounds and they have the scent. . . -. . .crossing a good bit of country.
-Oh, l do agree. I'm not keen on London. I had to live there during the war
and l got awfully fed up with it. Well, l rather enjoyed it during the war.
The people behaved so magnificently. They didn't all behave well.
You probably never left the West End. Not true, not true.
I did a film about the London Blitz. I was all over town. Well, you can't have spent much time
in Soho, where l lived. -Why do you say that, dear?
-I thought the people there were horrid. There are an awful lot of Jews
in that neighborhood. -Mrs. MacGregor.
-Margaret. Margaret.
I must warn you, l'm a Jew. -You're not.
-I am. -No.
-Yes. -You're pulling my leg!
-No, l'm not pulling your leg, Margaret. I'm a Jew. I don't believe you. I know l shouldn't say this, but. . . . . .that was the one thing about which
l thought Hitler was absolutely right. Now, Margaret, the man has
just got through warning you. Because the Jews
in London were awful. They ran the black market.
And they didn't go into the army. And when they did,
they got themselves cushy jobs. Of course, there were upper-class Jews,
but l'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the kikes in Soho. -The foreigners.
-Margaret. Margaret. My grandparents were kikes.
My father and my mother were kikes. -And l'm a kike.
-That's right, dear. You're not going to tell me
that you're Jewish too? Absolutely not, that would be a lie,
and l wouldn't want to lie to you ever. But l would like to tell you
a little story, though. I love stories. You mustn't interrupt now, because
you're too beautiful to interrupt people. When l was in London
in the early ' s. . . . . .I was dining one evening at the Savoy
with a rather select group of people. . . . . .and sitting next to me was
a very beautiful lady, much like yourself. -Now you're pulling my leg.
-Now, just listen, dear. We were dining and the bombs were
falling, we were all talking about Hitler. . . . . .and comparing him with Napoleon,
and we were all being really brilliant. And then, suddenly,
this beautiful lady. . . . . .she spoke up and said that was the
thing she didn't mind about Hitler. . . . . .was the way he was treating
the Jews. Well, we all started arguing with her,
of course. Though, mind you, no one at the table
was Jewish. But she persisted. Are you listening, honey? Mustn't interrupt Daddy. That's right.
You're way too beautiful for that. Anyway, she went on to say that
that's how she felt about it. . . . . .that if she had her way, she would kill
them all, burn them in ovens, like Hitler. Well, we all sat there in silence. Then finally, l leaned over to her
and l said, "Madam, l have dined. . . . . .with some of the ugliest
goddamn bitches in my time. And l have dined with some of the
goddamndest ugly bitches in this world. But you, my dear,
are the ugliest bitch of them all. " Anyway, she got up to leave and she
tripped over a chair and fell on the floor. And we all just sat there.
No one raised a hand to help her. And finally when she picked herself up,
l said to her one more time: "You, my dear, are the ugliest goddamn
bitch l have ever dined with. " Well, you know what happened? The very next day, she reported me
to the American Embassy. And they brought me in for reprimand.
And then when they investigated it. . . . . .they found out that she was
a German agent. And they locked her up. Isn't that amazing? Why did you tell me that story? I don't know. It wasn't because l thought you
were a German agent, honey. But l was tempted tonight
to say the very same thing to you. I didn't want you to think
l had never said it before. You, madam, are the--
Well, you know the rest. -Care for some champagne, honey?
-No, thank you. Pete? Well, it's getting late.
I think l'd better go back to my room. -Pete and l will accompany you.
-There's no need! No bother at all. Good night, Margaret. Sorry, John. I know you wanted to get laid. That's all right, kid. You can't help it if you're a kike. He says, "Never mind the car keys.
Have you seen the car?" -You clumsy oaf!
-Dimwit! -Now look what you've done.
-I'm sorry, boss. I'm sorry. Come here. John, where you going? Pick up that glass, boy. Damn it, pick it up! John.
What are you up to? I just want to go talk
to Harry for a moment. What happened here, Harry? Well, the little black bastard spilled
a drink all over this gentleman. -On purpose?
-Who knows? Black bastards. Harry, l think you're a yellow, rotten,
sadistic son of a bitch. Now, Mr. Wilson. . . . . .I don't have to take that kind
of talk from anyone. That's right. You don't. How about going outside
and trying to kick me around? You're drunk, Mr. Wilson. I am, but that doesn't change
the fact that you're yellow, Harry. Bright yellow. I'm not supposed to fight
with the guests, Mr. Wilson. I'm not a guest tonight, you yellow
bastard. I happen to be an intruder. Let's go. What are you doing?
This doesn't make any sense. If Mrs. MacGregor had been a man. . . . . .wouldn't you have knocked him
on his ass? Yes, l would have.
But this is different. We fought the preliminary
for the kikes. Now we're gonna fight
the main event for the niggers. Go, Harry! Come on! -Think the other hand knows how?
-Go, Harry. You got him now. You got him on the run. Finish him! Finish him off, why don't you? Come on! Yellow bastard. Steady on, old man.
Fair's fair, eh? Please don't get up, Mr. Wilson. Aren't you gonna stop it? Come on. Where is he?
l'll kill the bastard. He's called it quits, John. -I told you he was yellow.
-I think you had better get a doctor. He's hurt that bad? And he almost killed you. You're full of crap. I was about ready
to finish him off when you grabbed me. All right. You're back
in your room now, John. -I am.
-Yeah, it's all over. How about that? I feel pretty good, really. It's like l always tell you, kid. You gotta fight when you think
it's the right thing to do. Otherwise, you feel like
your gut's full of pus. Even if you get the hell beat out of you.
If you fight, you feel okay about it. "Dear Pete: Of all the wild animals
in Africa, John Wilson is the wildest. I beg you to do everything you can" . . . . Everything you can
to bring him to his senses. Next time he picks a fight with an
employee of the hotel or the company. . . . . .you have my permission
to hit him from behind. Will arrive in Africa in days.
Paul. Good morning!
How are we? Good morning. -Can l do something for you?
-No. No, you can't, Ralph. But you can do something
for yourself. What's that? Stick to your own job
and stop spying on Wilson. Spying?
What the hell do you mean? You told Landers Wilson
provoked a fight, didn't you? That's bullshit. Someone should have
hit that bastard a long time ago, Ralph. You do realize you're backing
the wrong horse, don't you? Wilson is the boss, and there's not
a damn thing you can do about it. -Phone, Mr. Lockhart. London calling.
-Yes, all right. Just remember what l said. Have a pleasant day. I would have had him in no time
if you hadn't stopped me. No, l agree, John. He only
knocked you down times or so. I was just getting onto his style. Another
minutes, l would've killed him. -In any case, it was worth doing.
-It certainly was. I've arranged for you to fly
to a hunting camp on Lake Albert. You can pick up the Ruki River
there and scout it by boat. The camp's owned
by a man named Zibelinsky. -He's laid on a safari, if you have time.
-We'll have time. Mr. Wilson, Mr. Landers is
on the phone from London. Well, you tell him
you just missed me. -John, it might be important.
-You tell him that l've gone on a recce. Goodbye, you worthless son of a bitch. Goodbye, you pearl
of Central East Africa. Goodbye, you lake flies. Goodbye, you flat-chested,
bucktoothed women. Goodbye forever. Hello, anybody home? Hello.
You chaps looking for me? The name's Hodkins.
Your new airplane driver. -This is Mr. Wilson, Pete Verrill.
-Call me Hod. If you don't mind, we better get going. Don't want to start out late
for the Congo. Hod, l understand you have never
flown in the Congo before. I should be able to find the way.
But if l can't, well. . . . . .we'll just set down in one
of those big trees and spend the night. Only problem with that is, it's a little
difficult getting it up the next morning. As a famous pilot once said, "lt's all
worth it. Including the final crash. " Well, that's Pete's philosophy too,
isn't it? I'll get the luggage. So, this is. . . . This is really your first time
over the Congo, Hod? Yeah, quite. Yeah. I'll be seeing you! It's just like the airlines, eh? -Yes.
-I'll help you. -It's the spot.
-That's it. I think l'm getting the hang of this. You see this hill here? The hill. Right here!
The hill! Christ! Where's the stick? Shit! Jesus.
Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Thanks awfully, old boy. Pete. I'm gonna take myself a nap. Please don't wake me up unless you're
sure we're going to crash, because. . . . . .I wouldn't want
to miss something like that. No. Hey, all that fancy flying back there
didn't bother you at all, did it? No, not at all. It was your friend's idea.
I think he thought it was a good joke. A joke? What if the engines
would've stalled out? Well, l was a bit worried, but the old boy
seemed awfully keen on his rib. The old boy's a pain in the ass. A bloody valet with wings.
That's what a pilot is out here. Ranks right up there
with writers. -That's what you do, is it?
-Yeah, that's what l do. I was wondering what your part was. I've got some very bloody funny stories
l should tell you. A particularly good one was when
the squadron dog bit me in Khartoum. -Was his name Horace?
-Horace? No, why? Forget it. -You must be Mr. Wilson.
-That's right. Mr. Zibelinsky. Delighted. This is Pete Verrill
and Hodkins, our pilot. -Quite a place you have here.
-Thank you. Well, by George, here they are.
The hunters from Hollywood. -How did you get here?
-Came with a pilot who knew the way. Right this way, Mr. Wilson. I think l found a steamboat
for you, Mr. Wilson. You have?
When can l take a look at it? Day after tomorrow. I'm having her put in dry dock
to check her bottom. The Belgians want a bloody great
bond posted before we can use it. . . . . .but we'll talk them
out of that one. Where's Harrison this evening? Down on the other location,
near Ponthierville. Mr. Landers is still trying
to get in touch with you. I'm sure. We're going hunting in the morning.
Would you like to go with us, Ralph? Customs bloke's coming over
from Tatsumu to log all my stuff in. I say. . . . . .is he always like this just
before a production starts? Like what, Ralph? He acts as if he couldn't care less. He'll be fine, Ralph. . . . . .once he's killed an elephant. Good evening, gentlemen. John, this is my wife, Dorshka. -What a pleasure indeed, dear.
-Hello. You know Ralph Lockhart? -Yes, we met this afternoon.
-And this is Peter Verrill. -Hello.
-Hello. Welcome. -So you are a big-game enthusiast also?
-Well, more or less. Well, it's a pleasure to have you here.
It's a pleasure to have you all here. I hope you found
your quarters comfortable. This is simply paradise. Absolute paradise here. In fact, l'm seriously thinking
of staying here forever. Come on. Heave it! -Well, what do you think of her?
-She's beautiful. Perfect. Well, not quite. She's very old, you see? And according
to the skipper, not all that seaworthy. -Oh, she will be.
-Well, yes. For everything except
the white-water sequence. The skipper says
it would be far too dangerous. She'd fall apart if you attempted
to run the rapids with her. Actually, l called Mr. Landers
and told him about it. He suggested. . . .
Well, l should say, he insisted. . . . . .that you cut the sequence
out of the film. -He did?
-Right. Wrong. No, she looks sound to me. Of course, there's only one way
to find out, isn't there, Ralph? Do stop! Stop, please! Stop! Shit. Are you convinced, Ralph?
Or would you like to continue on? Oh, no! I'm convinced. So am l. Well, has anyone heard
from our chief hunter yet? He should be here soon.
I sent one of the boys over to fetch him. Good. -Our chief hunter.
-For God's sake, let's have him in. Explain to him what we want.
We want to go after some game. Buffalo, preferably an elephant. This man is wonderful.
What's his name? Kivu. He's called Kivu because he went
on a trip there once. I must say, Kivu is amazing.
He found elephant tracks that big. A whole herd. Only darkness prevented
us from going on. Tell him to sit down. He says he prefers to stand. Oh! Good evening, gentlemen. So did the Hollywood hunters
have any luck today? Tell Kivu to get a good night's rest. We'll be leaving at : in the morning.
We'll get our elephant then. I talked to Mr. Landers in London.
He's quite hysterical. He wants to talk to you tomorrow. I told him that we could drive you down
to the border and use that phone there. -You did, did you?
-You'll be on safari, l suppose. You're welcome to come along
with us if you'd like, Ralph. No Hollywood safaris for me. That word has crept
into the conversation. . . . . .quite a few times, hasn't it? -Which word is that, sir?
-Hollywood. I realize it's the name of a place, but the
way you say it has an added meaning. Like an insult. -Well, l didn't mean it like that.
-Don't contradict me, Ralph. I've heard it all before. In the Army, in New York. . . . . .in the theater.
Hell, l've heard it everywhere. People say Hollywood
when they want to insult you. Well, really Hollywood is just a place
where they make a profit. It's a factory town like Detroit
or Birmingham or Schaffhausen. Because the cheap element of the town
has been so overly advertised. . . . . .it becomes an insult to remind
a man he's from there. They're not talking about the people
who work there. . . . . .and that try to do
something worthwhile. They're talking about the whores
when they mention Hollywood. You know what that word means,
don't you, Ralph? -Sure.
-Sure. Whores have to sell the one thing that
shouldn't be for sale in the world. And that's love. Of course, there are other kinds of
whores than the floozies you frequent. There are whores who sell words
and ideas and melodies. I know what l'm talking about because
l've done a little hustling in my time. A hell of a lot more
than l'd like to admit to. And what l sold when l was whoring
l'll never get back. What l'm trying to say, it's the whores
who put Hollywood up as a big target. Sure. Hell, John, l didn't realize you
were such a hometown boy. -Well, l am, kid. I am when l'm in Africa.
-Yeah. No, l'm serious. It took Africa
to bring all this out in me. Africa and the smell
of my first wild elephant. It's a shame Kivu couldn't have heard
you say that, John. Oh, Kivu knows. Kivu knows
without being told. John, why don't you ask Kivu to go
back to Hollywood with you? Not a bad idea, kid. He could be
mighty useful around there. Yeah. Where are we going this morning, John? A place Kivu knows. And he says a lot
of elephant go there this time of year. I was wondering. How do
you two communicate? Oh, we get on. I asked him this morning
about going back to the States with me. Zib here actually
acted as my interpreter. -What did he say?
-Said he didn't know. Said he'd have to think about it.
That it was a very big decision. He says we're getting close. He says they're in there, but he thinks
it best if only two shooters go. -Pete, are you ready?
-No, you and Zib are plenty. -You're not coming?
-No, l'll wait here. Now, look, kid. I've never
given you much advice. I've never forced you to do anything.
But this time it's different. I think you should come.
I urge you as a friend. No, you just go on in there,
John. I'll wait here. If you don't come, you'll regret this
as long as you can remember. -I don't want to shoot an elephant.
-That's besides the point. If you don't come, it's because
you're scared. And you know it. All right, well, l guess l'll just have
to live with that. John. John, hold your fire. John, don't shoot! It's too dangerous. Hold your fire.
Come back slowly. Come on. This is him. This is the one
l'm looking for. It's not safe. There are too many cows
around. Come back slowly. Come on. Just come. Do as l tell you. Come on. I've never seen one before,
outside the circus or the zoo. They're so majestic. So indestructible.
They're part of the earth. They make us feel like perverse little
creatures from another planet. Without any dignity. Makes one believe in God. In the miracle of creation. Fantastic. They're part of a world
that no longer exists, Hod. Feeling of unconquerable time. You certainly have a way with words,
Pete. No wonder you're a writer. So, what happened, John?
Weren't you able to get close enough? We got close enough,
but l wouldn't let him shoot. Too many cows around the big fellow.
They'd have charged. That was the biggest tusker
in all of Africa. It would have been a risk
well worth taking. -You all right?
-I'm all right. John. Come on, let's face it.
This country's too tough for us. We're just characters from Vine Street,
not two heroes out of one of your films. Come on. Get up. You know, kid, we're gonna end up
together. When we're old, that is. Probably live in a cabin up in the Sierras
and pan for gold. Have a couple mules. Sit around the campfire at night.
Tell lies to each other. -Yeah.
-About all the things we've done. The wars we fought. Books you've
written, movies l've made. You know, l don't doubt that, John. You'll need two, possibly three cameras
on the fire sequence, John. If you could just initial these plans,
l can go ahead and start construction. It was a risk to all of us. A herd of cows can go rogue quickly
if they have their young with them. There have been rogue herds created in
Kenya and Tanganyika in such a way. And then they have to go out and
shoot every bloody one of them. All right. All right. Forget it.
We'll try again tomorrow. Tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon,
we leave. I have another safari. You have to get started
on the film, John. You can leave if you want. I'm staying. The company arrives in Entebbe
the day after tomorrow. I'm staying. -Jesus Christ! Will you be reasonable?
-I am being reasonable. I don't give a goddamn if the company
gets here tomorrow. . . . . .or got here three days ago. I'm staying till l get my elephant. You need someone with you.
You can't hunt alone. -Kivu will go with me.
-What about that fellow at the fishery? The one who used to be game warden
down on the Zambezi. Ogilvy? Yes. Yes, that's the man. Yes, they say
he killed over elephants in his day. -Well, let's get him up here.
-John, how long do you plan on staying? Well, that depends upon the elephants.
And on the guides. If Ogilvy turns out to be another old lady
like the rest of you, it may take months. But if he's half the man Kivu is,
it may take no time at all. What's the matter, kid?
Go ahead and spit it out. You're sitting around stewing like a
dame who's just been kicked out of bed. You're either crazy. . . . . .or the most egocentric, irresponsible
son of a bitch that l've ever met. You're about to blow this whole picture
out of your nose, John. And for what? To commit a crime. To kill one of the rarest,
most noble creatures. . . . . .that roams the face
of this crummy earth. In order for you to commit this crime,
you're willing to forget about all of us. . . . . .and let this whole goddamn
thing go down the drain. You're wrong, kid. It's not a crime to kill an elephant.
It's bigger than all that. It's a sin to kill an elephant. Do you understand? lt's a sin. It's the only sin that you can buy
a license and go out and commit. That's why l want to do it before
l do anything else in this world. Do you understand me?
Of course you don't. How could you?
l don't understand myself. Well, if you don't need me, then l'll
take the plane to London tomorrow. You do that. I've never been one to interfere with
anything a friend of mine wants to do. -How do you do? lt's nice to meet you.
-Welcome. My wife. -Hello. How do you do?
-Good morning, welcome. -Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.
-How do you do? -Well, hello.
-Welcome. Welcome. Miss Gibson. Right here. Pete! Pete! Where's John? Why isn't he here? I'm going back to London
on the next flight, Paul. What happened? Where's John?
Where's the script? -I sent you the script. Didn't you get it?
-I got half of it. -There's only one copy?
-No. John has the original. If he hasn't lost it,
which he probably has. -How are you, Pete?
-Hi. -Where's the ogre?
-He's out scouting locations. I hope you boys have
improved the script. What Kay means is,
is her part gonna get bigger? Not at all. I don't mind if you do
the talking and l don't say a word. As long as l get to play
a real human being. Beautiful, Kay. Come with me.
Come this way. To the side. Mr. Duncan! Can we have one of you
with your new bride? How do you want it, boys?
Passionate or domestic? Can we have a kiss? Thank you very much. Think. Think what will happen to the
morale of the company if you go back. They'll think something terrible is wrong.
I can't start a picture that way. Paul, don't you understand? Something
terrible is wrong! The man has the fever. It's just like any passion.
It's irresponsible and it's destructive! I understand how you feel, but we've
a picture to make. You've got to stay. Help me get him back. If he's not back
in three days, we'll all be ruined. Apologize to him. Go on, apologize to him. No. I won't apologize to him, Paul,
but l'll tell you what l will do. I'll get that script from him. Because
you hired me to write a script. And it's the best writing l've ever done. And l'll be goddamned
if l'll let that bastard destroy it! -Hello, chaps.
-Where's John? -Well, believe it or not, he's gone.
-Gone where? He's visiting Kivu's village up
in Semuliki. It's the truth. Ogilvy and Kivu convinced him
that's the best place to find a big tusker. -So off they went.
-Shit. -And how far is that from here?
-About six miles. Most of it through swamp. -There's been a change in plans.
-What's that? The boss has decided to start
shooting the film there. Made up his mind yesterday when we
cleared the trucks through customs. He seems to think Kivu's village
is much more authentic. The company can stay
at the hunting camp. Have a pleasant day. There it is, there.
That must be the village there. I don't believe it. I just don't believe it. What about the village we built
at Masindi? lt cost a fortune. Lockhart says John plans to use
that for the big fire. He'll move back there once
he's finished in the Congo. I'm not going to let him do it! l'm not
going to send people to a place like that. I'll call off the picture first! You've already invested
over pounds, Paul. I'll pay it back if it takes
the rest of my life. Why don't you just tell everybody
that it'll be rough. -But it'll make for a distinguished film.
-No, we can't do that. -Why not?
-Because we can't! Either we call it off
or we play along with Wilson. We can be honorable or crooked.
There's no middle road. Well, l don't agree with you. I've always found that it's better
just to tell the truth. If l had always told the truth, Pete,
l would now be a cake of soap. -Does this look familiar to you, Pete?
-Yes, Paul, we're getting close. It's awfully primitive.
Where's the hotel? -Well, here it is. Home away from home.
-Well, l think this is quite lovely. Holy shit. Oh, do come in, chaps. Do come in. I've been looking forward
to seeing you again. May l present Madam Dorshka
and Mr. Zibelinsky, our hosts. Well, this is glorious. This is marvelous. And this is Count Ogilvy,
my new white hunter. Hello, John. -So wonderful to be here.
-Excuse my friend. -How do you do? Very glad to see you.
-Hello, John. -Hello, John.
-Pleasure to see you all. -How you doing?
-Cheers. Well, have some champagne,
everyone, and let's get with it. -Cheers, John.
-With the evening. I trust you all enjoyed
our borscht à la Russe? -Excellent. Absolutely first class.
-Spiffing. And now we have
the pièce de résistance. It's a freshly killed reedbuck
from Semuliki plain. The female of the species, just to prove
that God does not let man off the hook. So l told Anatole that he should not let
Paulette ever do that again. John, can we stop playing games? Playing games, dear fellow?
l don't quite understand. Well, we have to get started tomorrow. Red has to go out to the location.
You have to check the costumes. I'm willing to do anything
you suggest, dear boy. That is, within reason, of course. Well, first of all can you drop that phony
English accent? And for God's sakes. . . . . .abandon your role
of the great white hunter. . . . . .and become a movie director again. Listen, you Balkan rug peddler. . . . . .my role of the great hunter,
as you put it, is my own business. It has nothing to do with you.
It's a sacred subject. Much like the sex life of my mother. It's something you'll refrain from talking
about or even thinking about. It's way too difficult a subject
for your small little brain to grasp. It's a passion that's beyond you. I'd have to explain to you the sound
of the wind and the smell of the woods. I'd have to create you
all over again. . . . . .and stamp out those years you spent
on the dirty pavement in cramped shoes. I'm not interested in your hunting. It doesn't mean a thing to me except
when it interferes with the picture. How is it interfering
with the picture? When? I haven't even gotten the last section
of the script yet! Oh, dear. Well, l'll correct
that immediately. Kivu! You've finished your rewrites, have you? He polished it, Pete,
and gave it a little balls. It has to be typed.
Copies have to be made. The ape! Somebody get hold
of the goddamned ape! Frontal brain shot!
And for God's sake, don't miss! Oh, God. This makes
it all so worthwhile. -Oh, isn't this wonderful?
-My God, what a performance. -They really love him, don't they?
-They sure do. Or, if you've got time
this afternoon, we could-- John, scene . Pete, l'm surprised to see you here,
last night. I thought you'd be in Paris. . . . . .devoting yourself to literature and all
those things you know nothing about. Yeah? Well, l thought you'd have
your big tusker by now. Stick around, kid. Stick around. When do we start? Shit. No shooting today, folks. Where you going, John? John! I'm going hunting. We can't shoot
the sequence in the rain. -Well, how long will the rain last?
-Oh, it could last for days. It's the beginning of the rainy season. Why didn't somebody tell us
about a rainy season? I did! l told Mr. Wilson. He just said, well, the days he couldn't
shoot the film, he could shoot elephant. At this rate, l'll be in debt
the rest of my life. -Come here, you little devil!
-Now, l feel this. . . . . .this change is appropriate, but John
seems to think it's a bit complicated. Why complicated? That's a good question, Kay. And if l
could sit John down someday, l'd ask. No luck? No elephants? We saw plenty of them. We just didn't
see the big tusker. The one l want. We'll get one. These rains won't
stop for another week yet. You think so? Shit. It's going to be a clear day.
We can finally start the picture. I'm sending the company
to Kivu's village. John, we've been sitting
here for five days. We're already a week behind.
We haven't even got one shot. All right. -All right! Let's make a movie!
-I'll believe that when l see it. Boss! Boss! Boss! He never looks at the script, does he? Nope. He's afraid he'll lose
his artistic spontaneity. What are you two grousing about?
What's wrong, Paul? I'm on the spot. I'm ready to make
magic. Make you rich. -What the hell's the matter with you?
-Nothing. Wait. John. Kivu sent him.
He's onto a big herd. -Is that right?
-About three miles from here. What are we waiting on? John, the sky is clear. You've got plenty of unloading to do.
Plenty of work. I'll be right back. How do l know you'll come back? Send your boy Pete
if you don't trust me. Go with him. Make sure he doesn't
forget we're starting a picture. -He doesn't need me.
-That's right. And it may be risky. You're onto a big one? What's he saying? We'll leave the boy here. John. Please, let's go back.
They're waiting for us. Well, let them wait. Bad country, this. Walk right up to
a big tusker before you'd ever see him. -What's he saying?
-He says they're just beyond these trees. It's a big one, all right. But there
are cows and young ones with him. -What do we do?
-It's no good. I don't like it. -What does Kivu say?
-I don't care what he says. I've killed more than of them.
And l'll tell you, this is not the day. How many chances does a man get? That's never a reason
to do something wrong. Would you ask Kivu what he thinks? -He says he's willing to try.
-Of course he's willing. He's got guts. Jesus Christ, John! Give it up. -It's his word against mine, Mr. Wilson.
-I'm asking, will you come along? Come on, Kivu. No! What are they saying, Ogilvy?
What are the drums saying? They're telling everybody what
happened, that's all. The bad news. -It always starts with the same words.
-What are they? White hunter. Black heart. White hunter. Black heart. You were right, Pete.
The ending is all wrong. John, we're ready. All right, quiet please, everyone.
Ready, Miss Gibson? Ready, Mr. Wilson? Roll them! Speed. -Mark it.
-Scene one, take one. Action.
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