Untamed

Dubbed by many as an African version of GONE WITH THE WIND, this epic adventure-romance opens in the Irish countryside. Power is a South African Boer leader who has come to County Limerick to buy horses. There he's attracted to Hayward, but any chance of romance is killed when Power quickly returns to South Africa to help fight in the Dutch Free State movement....read more

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Dubbed by many as an African version of GONE WITH THE WIND, this epic adventure-romance opens in the Irish countryside. Power is a South African Boer leader who has come to County Limerick to buy horses. There he's attracted to Hayward, but any chance of romance is killed when Power

quickly returns to South Africa to help fight in the Dutch Free State movement. Hayward eventually marries Justin, though she continues to harbor feelings for Power. When the potato famine sweeps Ireland, the now-pregnant Hayward insists the couple emigrate to South Africa. They take along

Moorehead, a servant. Hayward ends up having her baby on board the ship. Arriving in Capetown, the small party is greeted by Emerson, who happily goes out of her way to help them. They join up with a wagon train heading into the African interior, and Hayward captures the attentions of Egan, leader

of the outriders. Egan's mistress Moreno grows jealous and begins to hate Hayward. Without warning, Zulu natives stage a raid on the wagon train but Power and his men unexpectedly come to the rescue. Justin is killed in the fighting, and Power's interest in Hayward is renewed. Egan, who turns out

to be a longtime friend of Power, makes his own intentions perfectly clear. The homesteaders finally reach the Hoffen Valley under Power's watchful eye, and there they celebrate the end of the journey. Hayward makes a pass at Power, which incurs Egan's wrath. He attacks Power with his bullwhip,

but Power is able to defend himself in the vicious brawl that follows. After beating Egan, Power settles in with Hayward, though this soon comes to an end. He cannot turn his back on the Dutch cause and finally leaves, unaware that Hayward is pregnant with his child. Angered, Hayward makes Egan

the foreman for her homestead. Egan continues to pursue Hayward, though she resists his advances. A violent storm destroys her home and Egan is badly injured. Hayward gives birth a second time, then cons local natives out of gold and raw diamonds. She returns to Capetown with these valuable

minerals, and there achieves financial independence. Once more she runs into Power, and the romance continues. Power learns about the baby and demands to know why he was never told about the birth. This leads to a bitter argument between the two, and again Power leaves. Hayward runs into some

money problems, so she goes to the diamond fields in hopes of gaining more capital. There she is captured by bandits led by Egan, who have taken over the area. Power rides in with his men and kills his rival in an ambush. After bringing the Zulus under control, Power's dream of a Dutch Free State

has finally come to fruition. Now he is ready to settle down with Hayward, and they return to the Hoffen Valley to begin their life together.

The studio advertised this as being "Africolossal," though it's really not much more than an entertaining romance blown up with CinemaScope. Power and Hayward, as the South African Rhett and Scarlett, play well off one another, though clearly their talents deserved better material. The script is

packed with contrivances and unbelievable coincidences. On the other hand, the Zulu action sequences have some real excitement, and the scenery is lusciously photographed with effective use of CinemaScope. Rather than film on location, Zanuck sent a 40-member crew to Africa to shoot footage later

used in Hollywood studios on a rear-screen projector. Locations were also re-created on set, and the results were indistinguishable from real life. At one point, some 3,000 Zulu natives were needed on an African location in the Natal province. Using both planes and oxcarts, the needed extras were

brought in and the production team had a small town constructed for them. This hamlet was dubbed "Zanuck-ville" in honor of famed producer Darryl F. Zanuck. Reportedly, director King cared little for the novel the film was based on and considered the first version of the script to be just as bad

as the source material. Casting of the leads was incomplete when the production began, and King toyed with the idea of having Robert Mitchum play Paul Van Riebeck. He did some shooting using a double for Mitchum silhouetted against the sun, but Zanuck, upon seeing this footage, wired King: "Don't

get too close on your double. I haven't signed the contract yet." Eventually Power was cast, fulfilling the last required picture in his 19-year contract with the studio. Victor Mature was intended as his rival, though the role eventually went to Egan. As was usually the case, Hayward also beat

out a number of contenders for her part, including Eleanor Parker, Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, and Jane Wyman. This was the fourth time she was to work with King and the second film in which she costarred with Power--RAWHIDE (1951) was the first. For some reason, the studio held UNTAMED's world

premiere in Miami, Florida. Hayward was presented with a key to the city, and the festivities were faithfully recorded by the newsreel cameras of Fox-Movietone News.

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