Harry Black (film)

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Harry Black
Directed by Hugo Fregonese
Written by Sydney Boehm
Based onnovel by David Walker
Produced by John Brabourne
Starring Barbara Rush
Stewart Granger
I. S. Johar
Anthony Steel
Martin Stephens
Frank Olegario
Cinematography John Wilcox
Edited by Reginald Beck
Music by Clifton Parker
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • 1958 (1958)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Box office451,824 admissions (France) [1]

Harry Black (later titled Harry Black and the Tiger) is a 1958 British film adaptation of the novel Harry Black by David Walker, released by 20th Century Fox.

Contents

The film stars Stewart Granger, Barbara Rush, Anthony Steel, and I. S. Johar in a BAFTA nominated role. It was shot in India.

Plot

Professional hunter Harry Black is in India. He wants to bag a tiger that is threatening a nearby village. As he proceeds on his journey, he encounters numerous people, including the young, and maybe too smart, Desmond Tanner and his wife Chris, who was Harry's past love.

Cast

Novel

First edition HarryBlack.jpg
First edition

The book was published in 1956. It was by David Walker, who had been an officer in the British army and an aide to John Buchan. Walker had emigrated to Canada. [2] [3]

The New York Times called it "a most intelligent novel". [4] An obituary of Walker said " the symbolism and allegorical overtones helped raise it to the level of a kind of jungle Moby Dick ." [5]

Production

Film rights were purchased by 20th Century Fox in March 1956. [6]

In July 1957 John Brabourne was assigned to produce, in part because he was son-in-law of Lord Mountbatten, former viceroy of India, and thus had many contacts in that country. [7]

In August Fox announced Stewart Granger and Anthony Steel would star. [8] At this stage of his career Granger was making movies primarily to finance the ranch he owned with then-wife Jean Simmons. [9]

In September it was announced Sydney Boehm was writing the script. Boehm was promoted to producer at Fox but did not produce Harry Black. [10]

Also in September Fox announced Hugo Frugonese would direct as the first of a three-picture contract with the studio. [11]

Stewart Granger and Anthony Steel signed to play the lead roles. Brabourne cast IS Johar after hearing the actor speak at the London Indian Film Festival. [12]

Filming began in India on 2 January 1958. [13] Filming was completed by March. Don Sharp was in charge of second unit directing. [14]

Reception

The Los Angeles Times called it a "most uncommonly intelligent and excellent film." [15] The New York Times called it "slow, unconvincing and pretty dull." [16]

Filmink said "The movie was a fine chance for Steel to reinvent himself, but he is unable to suggest the inner demons of his character. (As adventure tale, it is too slow, but is redeemed by location footage.)" [17]

Kinematograph Weekly listed it as being "in the money" at the British box office in 1958. [18]

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References

  1. Box office information for Stewart Granger films in France at Box Office Story
  2. "NEW NOVELS" Shrapnel, Norman. The Manchester Guardian 7 Feb 1956: 4.
  3. "Another Britisher Bids for American Literary Favor" Hansen, Harry. Chicago Daily Tribune 11 Mar 1956: g5.
  4. "Tiger in the Pass" PAYNE, ROBERT. New York Times 4 Mar 1956: BR3.
  5. "A rambling look backward LEAN, WIND, LEAN" French, William. The Globe and Mail 22 Dec 1984: E.21.
  6. By THOMAS M PRYOR Special to The New York Times. (1956, Mar 29). "2 FICTION WORKS ACQUIRED BY FOX" New York Times
  7. By THOMAS M PRYOR Special to The New York Times. (1957, Jul 09). "YOUNG FILM TEAM IN WARNERS PACT" New York Times
  8. "Anthony Steel Films Announced; Two Stars Set for Science Pacts" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 23 Aug 1957: B7.
  9. "Grangers Staking All on Life as Ranchers: Ranching Suits the Grangers" Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 8 June 1958: E1.
  10. "FOX WILL REMAKE 'BLOOD AND SAND'" The New York Times 2 Sep 1957: 10.
  11. "CURTIS TO CO-STAR WITH WIFE IN FILM" The New York Times 13 Sep 1957: 15.
  12. "BY WAY OF REPORT: Local Film -- Of 'Noah' Mr. Johar of India" By HOWARD THOMPSON. New York Times (21 Sep 1958: X9.
  13. Special to The New York Times. (1957, Aug 27). "SINATRA TO MAKE MOVIE WITH KANIN" New York Times
  14. Sharp, Don (2 November 1993). "Don Sharp Side 3" (Interview). Interviewed by Teddy Darvas and Alan Lawson. London: History Project. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  15. "'Harry Black' Proves to Be Real Sleeper" Stinson, Charles. Los Angeles Times 25 Sep 1958: C10.
  16. "In Indian Jungle" Thompson, Howard. New York Times 19 Sep 1958: 24.
  17. Vagg, Stephen (23 September 2020). "The Emasculation of Anthony Steel: A Cold Streak Saga". Filmink.
  18. Billings, Josh (18 December 1958). "Others in the Money". Kinematograph Weekly. p. 7.