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German title Hatari!
Original title Hatari!
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1962
length 157 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Howard Hawks
script Leigh Brackett
production Howard Hawks for
Paramount Pictures
music Henry Mancini
camera Russell Harlan
cut Stuart Gilmore

Hatari! is an American feature film by Howard Hawks from the year 1962 with John Wayne , Elsa Martinelli and Hardy Kruger in the lead roles. The film, shot in the outdoor shots in what was then Tanganyika (now Tanzania ), is a romantic adventure comedy in the savannah of East Africa about life and work on a big game sanctuary. The Swahili word "Hatari" from the title means "danger" in German.


The fishing team at a big game station in Tanganyika catches wild animals for zoos around the world. The head of the team is the Irishman Sean Mercer, as well as: the German racing driver Kurt Müller; the Brooklyn taxi driver "Pockets" ; the hunter "Little Wolf", also called the Indian ; the lasso thrower Luis, a Mexican bullfighter, and Brandy, the approximately 20-year-old daughter of the previous owner, who died before the time of the action while catching a black rhinoceros . Brandy has been running the station since then. Men from the Arusha tribe living near the station , with whom there is a friendly relationship, are used as helpers .

At the beginning of the film, “Little Wolf” is seriously injured by a rhinoceros and has to be taken to the hospital in Arusha several hours away . There the French Charles spontaneously applied for the vacant position, which angered Kurt so much that he knocked Charles down without warning. But then it turns out that Charles has the same rare blood group as "Little Wolf" and can save his life by donating blood .

When they arrive at the fishing station late at night, heavily tipsy, they meet the photographer A. M. D'Alessandro, who speaks with a heavy Italian accent and, for the sake of simplicity, lets herself be called "Dallas". She was commissioned by Basel Zoo to do a photo report about the fishing work, but the station had expected a male photographer. Sean is initially strictly against letting an inexperienced woman ride on the already understaffed team, but Dallas enjoys life on the station so quickly that the others in the team no longer object to her staying. Eventually Sean falls in love with her, but shows this mainly through particularly repellent behavior. After a disappointment, he is convinced that women have nothing to do with his work in Africa and regards brandy as an exception.

Charles appears a few days after the episode in the hospital at the trapping station, proves to be a good shooter in a comparison shooting with Kurt and is hired as "chips". Little Wolf also returns from the hospital shortly afterwards. Chips and Kurt become good friends, even though they vie for brandy, until it turns out that she loves the naive and peculiar inventor Pockets.

Against Sean's concerns, Dallas takes an orphaned elephant calf under her care, whose mother had to be shot by the responsible ranger . Over time, two more young elephants join them, who they also devotedly care for at their own expense. The Arusha respect her and give her the name Mama Tembo , mother of the elephants. She also quickly found a warm relationship with the other animals on the station, including the tame cheetah Sonya, and clearly feels at home in the often dirty animal care work. Sean is very impressed by this, but he does not manage to give room to deeper feelings for Dallas. The two only come closer for a few brief moments.

Throughout the film, zebras , giraffes , gazelles , buffalo , wildebeest , leopards , monkeys and finally a rhinoceros are caught using sometimes unconventional methods . There are a few more incidents: Kurt is attacked by a crocodile while wading through a river , and the jeep with Kurt and Chips overturns after a tire blown.

When the end of the fishing season was celebrated three months later and the team was disbanded for the time being, Dallas, humiliated by Sean's stubborn reluctance, stayed away from society and secretly left for Arusha that night. With the help of the three young elephants who are missing their foster mother, the men track them down in the city. At the end of the film, Dallas and Sean get married, with the scenes depicted taking up the beginning.

The eponymous word "Hatari!" Appears literally only once in the film, as an alarm call: Pockets has decided to use a rocket to pull a large safety net over an entire tree in order to catch monkeys. During a test, the rocket penetrates the roof of his workshop and sets it on fire.


The Hollywood classic was shot from November 1960 to the beginning of 1961, after which the interior shots followed in the Paramount Studios until around March 1961. In the summer of 1961, the film was ready for distribution. However, it was only released a year later and was surprisingly successful. The scenes at the trapping station were filmed by Margarete Trappe on the Momella farm in what was then Tanganyika , which is part of today's Tanzania . The Momella Game Lodge belonged to Rolf Trappe and Jim Mallory. Hardy Krüger later became a co-owner of the farm. The city scenes were filmed in Arusha .

Henry Mancini's film music , especially the themes of the Baby Elephant Walk and the Ostrich Dance , became known beyond the film. In one scene of the film, Dallas plays the song Swanee River - Old Folks at Home by Stephen Foster on the piano .

The film's hunting scenes are considered extremely authentic. Howard Hawks repeatedly emphasized that no stuntmen were used for the filming. The actors and extras would have caught the animals themselves with lassos . The zoo keeper Jan Oelofse served as a consultant . With converted Chevrolet -Lkws and Willys -Jeeps was over the open savannas at Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro made Crater hunt for wild animals, which were then sold to zoos. The cheetah Sonya, for example, found a new home at the Los Angeles Zoo .

Hatari celebrated its world premiere ! on June 19, 1962 in the United States . In the Federal Republic of Germany the film was released in theaters on December 21, 1962, and the German television first broadcast on May 6, 1973 at 9:10 p.m. in the first program of the ARD .


The German dubbed version was created in 1962 in the studios of Berliner Synchron GmbH in Berlin . The dialogue book was written by Fritz A. Koeniger , while Dietmar Behnke was responsible for the dialogue.

role actor Voice actor
Sean Mercer John Wayne Arnold Marquis
Anna Maria D'Alessandro Elsa Martinelli Agi Prandhoff
Kurt Mueller Hardy Kruger Hardy Kruger
"Pockets" Red buttons Herbert Stass
Brandy de la Court Michèle Girardon Claudia Brodzinska
Little wolf Bruce Cabot Fritz Tillmann
Charles Maurey Gérard Blain Jörg Cossardt
Luis Francisco Garcia López Valentin de Vargas Lothar Blumhagen
Dr. Sanderson, hospital doctor Eduard Franz Curt Ackermann


Hatari! lives from the camera work in the middle of the animal world of Africa and gets by without major special effects, instead pokes each character more or less discreetly.

“An excellent entertainment film that easily finds the balance between tension and comedy, fast-paced action and relaxed calm. Without any inclination towards cheap sensation, Hawks combines the conventional but sympathetic game plot with many original, but also gripping scenes of almost documentary intensity: the hunting scenes are captured impressively and intensely in bold camera positions. "

“Howard Hawks staged a successful mixture of action and humor and created an adventure classic that comes up with excellent hunting scenes and landscape shots. The subject of male rivalries is also typical for Hawks, although these have to take a back seat to professionalism. All in all, this is a wonderful animal-catching adventure spectacle: superbly photographed and nicely played. Simply the best entertainment! "

"Virtuously photographed hunting sequences and the atmosphere of danger that can be experienced suffer from the stretching of the game scenes."

- Adolf Heinzlmeier , Berndt Schulz : Lexicon "Films on TV"


At the 1963 Academy Awards , Russell Harlan received for Hatari! a nomination in the Best Camera category .


  • Henry Mancini , Johnny Mercer , Hoagy Carmichael : Hatari. Original motion picture soundtrack . On: Hatari & High Time. Mancini Soundtracks Collection . BMG, s. l. 2001, sound carrier no. 74321 822392 - stereophonic original recording of the film music under the direction of Henry Mancini

See also


  • Mark Ricci, Joe Hembus (Ed.): John Wayne and his films (OT: The Films of John Wayne ). Citadel Movie Books. Goldmann, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-442-10202-2

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Filmdienst.de, and Spiegel.de, .
  2. Hatari! at the synchronized file
  3. Hatari! In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  4. Hatari! at prisma-online.de; Retrieved November 14, 2010
  5. ^ Adolf Heinzlmeier, Berndt Schulz: Lexicon Films on TV (extended new edition). Rasch and Röhring, Hamburg 1990, ISBN 3-89136-392-3 , p. 342