Rebel Without a Cause: The Cinema of Gérard Blain


Howard HawksUSA157 minutes1962PGColourEnglish

Jun 16
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Gérard Blain had his first and only Hollywood outing as part of the international cast of director Howard Hawks' African-set adventure, and the experience only further soured him on mainstream filmmaking, as Hawks' seemingly lackadaisical attitude on set contrasted so strongly with the rigour and precision that Blain admired in filmmakers like Bresson, Dreyer and Ozu. John Wayne heads the ensemble as the leader of a colourful group of adventurers in East Africa engaged in trapping big game for zoos; Blain plays a sharpshooting young Frenchman who joins the team midway through the season, and is promptly nicknamed "Chips" by the Duke (one of several vintage Hawksian monikers that are trotted out here, with others including "Pockets" and "Dallas"). "The hunting sequences [are] surely the most beautiful and exhilarating ever filmed…. In Hatari! one finds serenity and harmony[,] the perfect Hawksian society[, where] all the tensions between the attraction to the primitive-instinctive and the need for conscious control and mastery that we have found so often in Hawks' work are resolved" (Robin Wood).

Print courtesy of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.