King Solomon's Mines (1937)
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as Allan Quatermain
as Cmdr. John Good
as Sir Henry Curtis
as Kathy O'Brien
Critic Reviews for King Solomon's Mines
Dated [but] still of interest production values and special effects are impressive for the period makes good use of authentic African locations and performers.
Fascinating to compare this with more famous remake.
Fairly engaging adventure yarn with good songs.
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Audience Reviews for King Solomon's Mines
It's hard to know what was crappier..the movie or the book that doesn't resemble it but isn't any bit better. A complete waste of time.
Dated [but] still of interest... production values and special effects are impressive for the period... makes good use of authentic African locations and performers.
This early version of the H. Rider Haggard adventure story doesn't hold a candle to the 1950 film with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr. Anna Lee as Irish lass (with a terrible accent) Kathy O'Brien, is far too happy and perky in comparison to the seriousness of the story -- rescuing her father who has gone out alone into the African wilderness to search for a fabled diamond mine. By contrast, Cedrick Hardwicke is humorless and formal, and I never get the impression that he is the "Great White Hunter" he is supposed to be. Another part of the production that doesn't work for me is Paul Robeson. Not to take away from his wonderful voice, but his singing in this film completely stops the film (he does four songs), and the music is more minstrel than tribal, and totally inappropriate for the type of film. For an adventure film, this thing is pretty dull, although it does pick up in the last 20 minutes or so. Some of the scenes -- the long trek through the desert, for instance -- appear to be done on a soundstage. I know this is standard for a film of this vintage, but it's not always this obvious. I was expecting to see the players cast shadows on the matte background. The only agreeable thing I could find in this film was Roland Young. He is the comic relief, and delivers the best lines, all seemingly off-the-cuff statements on the various predicaments the group gets into. I'm a big fan of the 1950 film, and I know I will continue to be. This is one example of a very few where the remake outshines the original.
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