Ghost and the Darkness

Ghost and the Darkness

4.6 12
Director: Stephen Hopkins

Cast: Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Tom Wilkinson

     
 

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A man bringing modern transportation to the ancient jungles of Africa discovers one of man's oldest enemies lays in wait for him in this period adventure drama. John Beaumont (Tom Wilkinson) is the owner of a British railroad firm who is building a rail line through Uganda. A bridge is needed so that the tracks may cross a large river, and engineer John Henry… See more details below

Overview

A man bringing modern transportation to the ancient jungles of Africa discovers one of man's oldest enemies lays in wait for him in this period adventure drama. John Beaumont (Tom Wilkinson) is the owner of a British railroad firm who is building a rail line through Uganda. A bridge is needed so that the tracks may cross a large river, and engineer John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) is summoned to the African nation to supervise construction. While Beaumont has placed Patterson under a strict deadline, the bridge designer is certain that with his guidance, the local laborers will be able to complete the job in time. However, when several workers are killed in an attack by a lion, Patterson is forced to deal with the animal; while he bags a lion who invades the work site one evening, it soon becomes obvious that there's more than one predator in the nearby jungle. The lion attacks continue, eventually claiming the lives of 130 men, and Patterson and Beaumont finally agree to call in Charles Remmington (Michael Douglas), an expert hunter who understands the nature of the man-eaters and knows how to lure them into his trap. The Ghost and the Darkness is based on a true story, which was previously brought to the screen in 1953, in Arch Oboler's pioneering 3-D adventure Bwana Devil.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
This action film from writer William Goldman and director Stephen Hopkins grafts a true story onto the structure and character types of Jaws (1976) to create a derivative but admittedly spellbinding and effectively spooky film. The central bogeymen are a pair of lions instead of a shark, the locals are railroad laborers instead of vacationers, and the setting is Africa instead of an island beach community, but savvy viewers will get the gist of what the filmmakers are up to pretty quickly. In the place of the naïve sheriff we get a naïve architect (Val Kilmer), and in place of a seasoned sport fisherman we get a seasoned hunter (a grizzled Michael Douglas having fun in a role his father would have been comfortable inhabiting a few decades earlier). Point for point, Hopkins and Goldman ape the earlier classic, and the stunning revelation is that it works remarkably well, resulting in a taut, suspenseful film with an outcome never in doubt but leaving the viewer chilled, thrilled, and satisfied.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929311019
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:10:00
Sales rank:
5,963

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Douglas Charles Remington
Val Kilmer Col. John Henry Patterson
Tom Wilkinson John Beaumont
John Kani Samuel
Om Puri Abdullah
Bernard Hill Dr. Hawthorne
Brian McCardie Angus Starling
Henry Cele Mahina
Emily Mortimer Helena Patterson

Technical Credits
Stephen Hopkins Director
Michael Douglas Executive Producer
Jose Luis Escolar Asst. Director
Michael Games Production Manager
William Goldman Screenwriter
Jerry Goldsmith Songwriter
Grant Hill Co-producer
A. Kitman Ho Producer
Gale Anne Hurd Producer
Simon Kaye Sound/Sound Designer
Steve Mirkovich Editor
Ellen Mirojnick Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul B. Radin Producer
Steven E. Reuther Executive Producer
Robert Brown Editor
Mary Selway Casting
Sarah Trevis Casting
Stuart Wurtzel Production Designer
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Ghost and the Darkness
1. Train to Mombassa [6:08]
2. Welcome to Tsavo [6:39]
3. The Nights Are Safe Again [4:34]
4. "I, Too, Have Killed a Lion." [4:46]
5. No Reason for Fear [7:39]
6. The Ghost and the Darkness [5:52]
7. The Contraption [8:56]
8. The Devis Has Come [6:09]
9. A Time for Bravery [4:47]
10. The Thicket [7:43]
11. They're Only Lions [10:47]
12. The Lair [9:30]
13. Human Bait [7:45]
14. Sort It Out [8:00]
15. The Lion Killer [10:27]

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