Harry Black 1958

Harry Black was made on location in India and was a very good production that should have fared much better at the Box Office.

Lord Brabourne, after he left the forces, went into Film Production and this film was his first venture in his own right.

After demob, he had gone to work for film producer Herbert Wilcox and met a newly demobbed third assistant director, Richard Goodwin. They were to set up their own company, and the first film Lord Brabourne produced was Harry Black and the Tiger, starring Stewart Granger.

Stewart Granger with Barbara Rush
Anthony Steel
I S Johar

A tiger is on the prowl in a remote corner of India and the government have contracted white hunter Stewart Granger for the job of killing it.

The job gets personal with Stewart Granger when he discovers the that tiger is in the vicinity of a tea plantation run by Anthony Steel and his wife Barbara Rush who’s always had a thing for Granger – which complicates things.

There are some flashback sequences telling how the three main players have arrived to the point they are now. Steel did not go through with his part of an escape plan during World War II and as a result Granger lost a leg. Both men are in love with Barbara Rush, but Granger bowed out and now fate has conspired to cast them together again.

Anthony Steel proved to be weak and cowardly during the war, but now Granger questions his own fitness for the job especially after getting mauled by the tiger but he has become obsessed with killing the beast

Stewart Granger looks the part, very much as he did in such a big hit in King Solomon’s Mines.

Later on he did a film called The Last Safari in the Sixties and it was not a success – Stewart Granger said years later that he was in one of the best films ever made in Africa which was ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ and the worst made in Africa which was ‘The Last Safari’. Victor Mature was in a very good one in Africa called ‘Safari’ in the early sixties.

In this film look for I.S. Johar and Kamala Devi as Stewart Granger’s guide and his Indian nurse when he is recovering from his encounter with the tiger. I S Johar also appeared with Kenneth More in ‘North West Frontier’ in 1959
and very good he was.
Director: Hugo Fregonese Writers: Sydney Boehm, David Walker (novel)   Stars: Stewart Granger, Barbara Rush, Anthony Steel, I.S. Johar, Martin Stephens, Frank Olegario, Kamala Devi
BAFTA Awards 1959
Best British Actor
I.S. Johar
The book was published in 1956. The New York Times called it “a most intelligent novel”. Film rights were purchased by 20th Century Fox. Lord Bradbourne was assigned to produce, in part because he was son-in-law of Lord Mountbatten, former viceroy of India, and thus had many contacts in the country.
I. S. Johar, the well-known producer, writer and director of Indian independent films, made his American acting debut in this picture.
Stewart Granger and Barbara Rush

Barbara Rush had not long divorced her first husband Jeffrey Hunter when she journeyed to London and then to India for this film.

In February 1958 she set off to Mysore, India, for the filming of Harry Black. She stopped over in Bombay and was the guest of honour of a film magnate there who presented her with 17 saris, a different one to wear each night – and then in May 1958 she met Indian Prime Minister Mr Nehru

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5 Responses to “Harry Black 1958”

  1. David Rayner says:

    A really good film titled HARRY BLACK in Great Britain and HARRY BLACK AND THE TIGER in America. Nine years old Martin Stephens had a good part in it as Anthony Steel’s young son who gets lost in the jungle. SAFARI starring Victor Mature was of course released in 1956, not in the sixties.

    • Movieman says:

      David, You are right of course, the Victor Mature film ‘Safari’ was a 1956 release – I should have known that – my Dad’s favourite actor and one of mine too. I do recall that ‘Harry Black’ was the title here – so I have held the same title for this article. Another young boy that Anthony Steel was with earlier in the fifties was William Simons in ‘Where No Vultures Fly’ and a later one too. Later he played Alf Ventress in Heartbeat for many years as we all know. Neil

  2. Robert says:

    No nit picking David

  3. David Rayner says:

    I heard a few stories about Victor Mature that may or may not be true. In 1956, when he was in East Africa filming “Safari”, in one scene he had to wade through a river infested with crocodiles and expressed his concern to the white hunter attached to the film unit. “Now don’t worry, Vic”, said the white hunter, “the crocs can’t stand loud noises. I’ll fire two shots from my rifle and by the time you go in, they’ll all be half a mile down stream”. “Fine”, said Victor, “but what if one of them’s deaf?”

    • Movieman says:

      Brilliant story, David. Thanks. I always recall another story about Victor when filming ‘Androcles and the Lion’ when he and a fellow actor still in Roman Costume decided to go to the local Gold Club for a drink during a break in filming. When they were challenged about membership or some other technicality Victor retorted ‘ What’s the matter, don’t you serve men in uniform?’ I am reminded of Richard Burton who worked closely with Victor Mature in ‘The Robe’ and Richard was very impressed with Victor’s convincing acting on one of the scenes they played together in that film – they became very good friends. Richard Burton said of him – ‘Wonderful Man’

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