Hatari! ★★★★

Quentin Tarantino always calls Rio Bravo a "hang out" movie, but there's way more hanging out in this film and barely a narrative motivation to hold onto (yes they have to complete the safari, but everyone seems pretty relaxed about this). In doing so, some scenes are kind of padding for the 2.5+ hour running time (a gag with ostriches, a not particularly offensive but still in bad taste tribal sequence with Dallas). Even if it does feel like a collection of tangential scenes (like Pockets's rocket-monkey catcher), I'm pretty okay with this. The man's professional world is the great equalizer, so it doesn't matter if your Irish, Mexican, Italian, Germany, French, or American—all that matters is how good you are at your job. Of course, if you're a woman, you better know your place amongst these boys who barely understand romance at all or what a woman wants ("How you like to kiss?" Oh my oh my). Wayne and Dallas are natural companions once he takes on father to the other men and she takes on mother to both Buttons and the elephants.

Film basically also works as a greatest hits collection of scenes from a number of other Hawks movies: gun duel in Red River, piano scene in Only Angels Have Wings, cheetah from Bringing Up Baby, interrupted kiss from Rio Bravo. The comedy is my kind of dumb, and there are some obvious gags, but I can't help but laugh at Buttons feigning an injury to get close to Brandy or the elephants coming in during the final scene. The hunting scenes—which were apparently all shot before Leigh Brackett wrote the script—are genuinely exciting and quite visceral (there are some shots where Hawks gets the camera nice and low to the ground while next to the speeding car that feel like the Death Star run in Star Wars). And speaking of Lucas, I know this song has been around for years, but can't help but think Spielberg knowingly took "Show Me The Way To Go Home" in Jaws from the binge drinking scene here. In many ways, feels like the most Hawksian of his movies for me, at least within the scenes.

Peter liked this review