Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 8. May 27, 1953
Bwana Devil . .
Bwana Devil . . .
It was the release of this film using natural vision which started the stampede toward 3-D. After read-ing the Tudor's splurge I was wondering whether or not to see this "new 3-D film in real colour,"—actually filmed by a major studio on location." However. I paid my 2/10, collected a pair of cardboard blinkers from the usherette and sat down in the middlebrow section and contemplated the empty seats in front of me. After seeing "Man in the Dark" I was not expecting much from this film and my expectations and forebodings were fulfilled.
The story tells of a young Englishman sent by his grandfather to work on a railway somewhere in Africa. Man-eating tigers terrerise the community and kill twenty-odd porters, which gives them the idea of leaving the place to escape from the "devils." Then the young man is told of the death of his grandfather, which thus leaves him free to leave the African wilds and return to England and so-called civilisation: but his typical British prestige and self-esteem is such that he is determined not to leave until the devils are killed. Barbara Britton—"a woman in a man's world"—is his wife. The rest of the film is taken up with the details of the Hon hunt, with experienced colonels and other types from Poona giving advice which provides some weak humour. The film ends with the usual potential paternal embrace.
This film gives the impression of having been very hurriedly made. It is not particularly realistic for the most part; a lion Jumps towards the screen but misses the orchestra pit by miles; a spear thrown at the audience la fascinating as it swings from side to side, but no one was hypnotised. Considerable blurring occurs, and at times (too often) the projectors are unequally illuminated, resulting in a very uncomfortable eyestrain and unreal effect. Entertainment value? About third-rate: but it is to be hoped that 3-D colour films will continue to aspire to perfection over the years: we have not had a sufficinet sampling of 3-D to have a criterion. We can only say: "It is the best so far": we cannot say that of "Bwana Devil."
Grading * *(*)