90 Days of Oscar Nominees #71 – Trader Horn (1931)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 71st review of the 90 chosen Films…

“Aye, you needn’t think there isn’t beauty to be found in Africa – beauty and terror.” – Aloysius ‘Trader’ Horn

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 Feb 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Two adventurer trading in deep Africa come across a young white girl and try to get her back to civilization.

My Take on it – This is actually the final Oscar Nominated Best Picture film in my quest to watch them all.

Unfortunately, I still have four outstanding titles (3 that are lost and 1 that I couldn’t find), so for now, I will have to do with just 537 titles instead of the full 541.

This is an interesting choice for a Best Picture nomination because I feel that this film was chosen as a Best Picture nominee not due to its story, but rather due to the visuals it includes.

The idea that a camera crew was able to get some amazing footage of the wildlife in Central Africa at a time when it was mostly untouched by Western hands is amazing.

We get to see so many great shots of the animals doing what they do best; being themselves in their natural habitat and that in and of itself is breathtaking in many instances.

The problem here is that the story itself is quite mediocre and choppy and doesn’t really give us much to follow which is quite unfortunate.

This film only managed to get one nomination and that was for Best Picture which also says a lot about what one should expect here.

Bottom Line – The story itself isn’t very memorable yet the visuals of a location shoot in Africa at that time is breathtaking to watch.  The amount of wildlife filmed in their natural element is great to see.  The rest of the story tho feels very average but I can actually understand how such an undertaking at that time could garner a nomination for Best Picture despite it being it’s lone nomination.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Director W.S. Van Dyke and many of the crew contracted malaria and were treated with quinine. Two fatal mishaps occurred during the African filming: a native crewman fell into the river and was eaten by a crocodile, and a native boy was killed by a charging rhino (which was captured on film and is in the movie). Other misfortunes also plagued the production, including flash floods, sunstroke, swarming locusts, and tse-tse fly and ant attacks. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

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One thought on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #71 – Trader Horn (1931)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1931 |

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