The Roots of Heaven (1958) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Roots of Heaven (1958)

The Roots of Heaven





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this film, Trevor Howard plays an idealist who has gone into Africa in hopes of saving the elephants from extinction. At first regarded as a crank, Howard demonstrates his seriousness and dedication. As Howard's crusade gains momentum, several opportunists go along with him.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Patrick Leigh-Fermor, Romain Gary
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox


Errol Flynn
as Forsythe
Eddie Albert
as Abe Fields
Orson Welles
as Cy Sedgewick
Paul Lukas
as SaintDenis
Andre Luguet
as Governor
Edric Connor
as Waitari
Oliver Hussenot
as The Baron
Pierre Dudan
as Maj. Scholscher
Marc Doelnitz
as De Vries
Dan Jackson
as Madjumba
Habib Benglia
as Korotoro
Assane Fall
as Inguele
Francis De Wolff
as Father Fargue
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Roots of Heaven

Critic Reviews for The Roots of Heaven

All Critics (1)

...a different kind of African wildlife adventure: the heroes are early eco-warriors, animals rights activists who take on both private elephant poachers and government indifference...

Full Review… | February 19, 2012
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Audience Reviews for The Roots of Heaven


A man is never alone when he fights for a good cause.

In the heart of Africa, at a lonely bar, an idealist speaks about his feelings regarding saving the elephants and their precious species being the root of heaven. He convinces several patrons to join him on a crusade to save the animals. In the middle of his acts, he is joined by political and international media trying to get in on the action. They will encounter poachers and restless natives on this adventure to preserve one of the most famous endangered species in Africa.

"It is not when men take off their uniforms that they are at their worse. It is when they put them on."

John Huston, director of The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, The Man Who Would be King, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Captain Blood, Prizzi's Honor, Key Largo, Beat the Devil, and The Asphalt Jungle, delivers Roots of Heaven. The storyline for this picture is fairly straightforward and fairly predictable for this genre. The acting is better than average and includes Errol Flynn, Juliette Greco, Trevor Howard, Orson Welles, and Herbert Lom.

"This is my friend, Toto."

I was very excited to see this movie when I discovered it was directed by John Huston and starred Errol Flynn and Orson Welles. Unfortunately, this is a fairly cliché "save the elephants" movie that doesn't have the creativity and drama I was hoping for. Overall, this movie is very average and I would recommend skipping it.

"You can never teach a man anything by killing him."

Grade: C

Kevin Robbins

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