Bwana Devil

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"The world's FIRST FEATURE LENGTH motion picture in Natural Vision 3 Dimension"
  • NR
  • 1952
  • 1 hr 19 min
  • 4.5  (416)

Bwana Devil is an exhilarating yet suspenseful adventure movie set in a remote African location. Directed by Arch Oboler, this 1952 film stars Robert Stack, Barbara Britton, and Nigel Bruce. The movie is based on the true story of a pair of man-eating lions that terrorized a railroad construction crew working in Kenya in 1898. The film is set in the rugged wilderness of Africa, where British railroad engineers are trying to build a railway through the dense forests and treacherous terrain. The work is dangerous and difficult, but they are determined to finish the project. However, their efforts are hampered by the appearance of two ferocious lions that begin attacking and killing the workers.

Stack plays Bob Hayward, a dedicated engineer leading the project who is determined to find a way to protect his crew from the danger posed by the man-eating lions. Britton plays Hayward's wife, Linda, who has traveled with him to Africa and becomes increasingly concerned for her husband's safety. Nigel Bruce is Doctor Angus Keith, a big-game hunter who has been hired to track and kill the lions before they can kill any more workers.

The movie is well-executed and uses a variety of techniques to immerse the audience in the African wilderness. Shots of the construction crew working hard in the midst of the jungle, native tribesmen working on the railroad, and a variety of exotic animals help create a sense of the harsh and unforgiving environment in which the story takes place. In addition, the use of 3-D technology - a novelty at the time - adds an extra layer of excitement and engagement for viewers.

Despite its emphasis on spectacle, Bwana Devil also manages to provide genuine suspense and tension as the story unfolds. The main conflict of the movie is between the engineers (led by Stack's character) and the giant lions, who threaten not only the workers' lives but also the entire enterprise. As the attacks become more frequent and brutal, the tension ramps up, and the viewer is left wondering what will happen next.

Stack and Bruce deliver particularly strong performances, with Stack embodying the determined yet realistic hero figure and Bruce portraying the experienced hunter with a sardonic wit. Britton's character is less fleshed out but provides a suitable counterpoint to Stack's character, often expressing concern for his safety and offering emotional support.

Bwana Devil is an important film in the history of cinema, as it was the first feature film to be projected in 3-D. Its use of this technology was a novelty at the time and helped to draw audiences to the movie theaters. Additionally, the movie was filmed on location in Africa, adding to its authenticity and providing the backdrop for some breathtaking panoramic views.

While the film's plot may seem straightforward on the surface, its historical significance and impressive execution make it a must-see for fans of classic cinema. Bwana Devil offers a thrilling and engrossing look at one of Africa's most spectacular but dangerous locations, and the story of the man-eating lions that turned it into a deadly battleground.

Bwana Devil
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 19 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.5  (416)