King Solomon's Mines

Essay by mcjules12University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2004

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"King Solomon's Mines" is intended to be based around the epic journey of Allan Quatermain and his partners into the harsh conditions of stretching desert and steep mountains in search of adventure and riches. But it takes a double sided role by playing out most of the typical stereotypes of native Africans and the white man's supremacy. Ultimately it is Quartermain and his group of adventurers that come out on top although their faithful servant and wise mentor, Umbopa is rewarded in his own way when he becomes the king of the natives. In between all of the death defying feats that Quartermain and company so gracefully overcome, the stereotypical African shines through in more than one form.

It is important to note the everlasting danger that is apparent from beginning to end of this movie. Early on, the audience gets a good sense of how dangerous the uninhabited world of Africa can be; that danger is just around the corner for our protagonists.

For example, it is made quite clear that the desert is no place for the white men when they are thirsting to death and hit by a sudden sandstorm. Now that is danger. Here, the movie is trying to convey the message that Africa is a wild and dangerous place; one that is much too dangerous for white men. In Zooluology, Peter Davis points out that this is a common theme in African films. He says of another African film that "the very frailty of the little white group implies that any attack upon it most be dastardly." And "King Solomon's Mines" conveys this same picture. is everywhere for these thrill-seekers. Yet even as we fear that our adventurers have come to the end of their journey Umbopa, their ever faithful...