Where No Vultures Fly
Where No Vultures Fly is a 1951 British film directed by Harry Watt and starring Anthony Steel and Dinah Sheridan. It was released under the title Ivory Hunter in the United States. The film was inspired by the work of the conservationist Mervyn Cowie. The film's opening credits state that "the characters in this film are imaginary, but the story is based on the recent struggle of Mervyn Cowie to form the National Parks of Kenya." The title Where No Vultures Fly denotes areas where there are no dead animals.
|Where No Vultures Fly|
|Directed by||Harry Watt|
|Produced by||Michael Balcon|
|Written by||W. P. Lipscomb|
|Based on||story by Harry Watt|
|Music by||Alan Rawsthorne|
|Edited by||Jack Harris|
African Film Productions
|Distributed by||General Film Distributors (UK)|
|5 November 1951 (Royal Command Film Performance) 6 November 1951 (UK)|
The film is set in East Africa. It is about a game warden called Bob Payton (Anthony Steel). He is horrified by the destruction of wild animals by ivory hunters. He establishes a wildlife sanctuary. He is attacked by wild animals and must contend with a villainous ivory poacher (Harold Warrender).
|Anthony Steel||Bob Payton|
|Dinah Sheridan||Mary Payton|
|William Simons||Tim Payton|
Where No Vultures Fly was one of a series of "expeditionary films" Harry Watt made, like The Overlanders, where he would find the story from visiting a location. "These expeditionary films are really journalistic jobs", he wrote later. "You get sent out to a country by the studio, stay as long as you can without being fired and a story generally crops up."
Watt got the idea of the film after a chance remark from a game warden in Tanganyika. He was shooting zebras and when Watt wondered if it was necessary, the warden remarked that Watt "talk like Mervyn Cowie". This prompted the director to track down Cowie in Nairobi, who inspired the story.
W. P. Lipscomb wrote the script based on Harry Watt's original idea. Ralph Smart worked on it. According to Leslie Norman "the script was turned down generally, so I went in and added a bit which made them accept it."
Anthony Steel contracted malaria during filming on location in Africa.
In 1957, the film and its sequel were listed among the seventeen most popular films the Rank organisation ever released in the US.
- Ivory Hunter (1951), New York Times, 1952-08-19.
- The New Pictures, Time, 1952-08-25.
- Where No Vultures Fly, British Film Institute.
- John Allan May. The (4 April 1952). "Come What May: In Lightest Africa ...". Christian Science Monitor. p. 13.
- "BFI Screenonline: Where No Vultures Fly (1951)". www.screenonline.org.uk.
- "Film circus goes on safari". The News. Adelaide. 16 February 1952. p. 6. Retrieved 13 January 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- Brian McFarlane, An Autobiography of British Cinema, Metheun 1997 p440
- J. A. BROWN (13 April 1952). "A REPORT ON FILM PRODUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA: Exports Bolster Dark Continent's Small But Hopeful Industry". New York Times. p. X5.
- Our Financial Staff (14 July 1953). "U.S. CONCERN SELLS ODEON SHARES: South African Buyer". The Manchester Guardian. Manchester (UK). p. 2.
- "Stars glitter for Royalty". The Australian Women's Weekly. 28 November 1951. p. 33. Retrieved 7 May 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Surprise choice for command screening". The Mail. Adelaide. 27 October 1951. p. 7 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 13 January 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- "COMMAND FILM GLAMOUR NIGHT". The Mercury. Hobart, Tasmania. 7 November 1951. p. 12. Retrieved 13 January 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
- "COMEDIAN TOPS FILM POLL". The Sunday Herald. Sydney. 28 December 1952. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
- Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.
- STEPHEN WATTS (24 March 1957). "BRITAIN'S MOVIE SCENE: AN AMERICAN FILM EVOLVES IN THE ORIENT". New York Times. p. 123.