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Trader Horn & movies made in Africa


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I remember hearing something like "Trader Horn" was the first feature film made on location in Africa. But I know that can't be right. It must have been the first feature film shot on location in Africa (or even just sub-Saharan Africa) by a Hollywood studio. Surely European (and maybe US) filmakers had made some forays into northern Africa. Furthermore, was there NO ONE in South Africa making feature films before 1931? Could someone please straighten out this mess? Thanks.

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Some text file notes cite the US mag Filmfax as source for a 1916 Allan Quatermain and a 1918 King Solomon's Mines having been made in South Africa. The same producer also made a 1916 version of She, perhaps also filmed in Africa? KSM was said to be extant in a South African archive, but neither of the others is known to have survived.


Though there was filming in SA for some years (at least back to the 60s), mostly by outside producers, the real boom in production didn't come till the 80s, for various financial and political reasons, and a great many pix were made there at that time. This continued into the 90s but seems to have slowed down since then. For other political considerations, the majority of the films made in SA in those days attempted to disguise their origins as much as possible!


Given the size of the French colonial hold on Africa, you'd expect to see some pictures from there with an African setting, but I don't know of any, myself. Looks like North African footage in at least one Josephine Baker film, though it's from the 1930s, well after Horn.. Hard to believe nobody from Paris went to Morocco or Algeria in the 20s for location work.


There should have been some documentaries as early as the 1920s. Well, remember from the Merian Cooper docu that's playing on TCM currently, he and Schoedsack made a picture in Abyssinia in the 1920s. It doesn't get much space, and just a few feet of clips -- I don't know if it survives in toto -- but that can't be the only one. IIRC, ]The Four Feathers (1929) was shot partly on location in Egypt. There are probably "safari" movies pre-dating Horn, which passed for documentaries. Some of the b/w animal and landscape footage used as stock in later, lowbudget jungle pix could well date from silent days!

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Thanks for the info. Allan Quatermain is in the imdb. KSM (1918) is not, but I found info about it at: http://www.violetbooks.com/cinema-haggard.html; this site says that AQ survives in only a few still photos in a S. African film archive. The site also describes a French movie made in north Africa in 1920 called L'Atlantida.

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