This week’s mystery movie was the 1959 MGM film Watusi, with George Montgomery, Taina Elg, David Farrar, Rex Ingram, Dan Seymour, Robert Goodwin, Anthony M. Davis, Paul Thompson and Harold Dyrenforth.
Screenplay by James Clavell. Based on King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard.
Technicolor. Photography by Harold E. Wellman. Color consultant Charles K. Hagedon.
Art direction by William A. Horning and Malcolm Brown. Edited by William B. Gulick. Set decorations by Henry Grace and Otto Siegel. Special effects by Lee LeBlanc.
Assistant director William Shanks.
Associate producer Donald Zimbalist.
Recording by Franklin Milton. Hairstyles by Sydney Guilaroff. Makeup by William Tuttle. Swahili consultant Thomas Yangha.
Produced by Al Zimbalist.
Directed by Kurt Neumann.
More on the history of the film is available from the AFI catalog.
Watusi is available on DVD from Critics’ Choice Videos.
I picked Watusi to see if I could confirm Robert Goodwin (Jim-Jim in Watusi) as last week’s unidentified mystery fellow in Sudden Fear. He looks like a match. Otherwise, the film is mostly a retread of the 1950 King Solomon’s Mines, using quite a bit of footage from the earlier film.
Paging Bosley Crowther!
Alas, we have an alphabet soup critic (the previously unknown HHT) filling in (July 2, 1959):
A certain neighborhood movie theater in town — never mind which one — employs a woman prophet in the box office. Yesterday, an early morning phone call confirmed that a new double bill program was about to blanket Manhattan “One of ’ems The Mysterians, a science-fiction thing,” chirped the helpful voice on the other end of the wire. “The other one’s (a pause) Whatsit. Yeah, Whatsit,” she insisted, thereby improving on Watusi, which is no improvement on King Solomon’s Mines.
With a perfectly good ear of golden corn like the 1950 version ripe for re-release, it’s a mystery why Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has thrown together this rambling little remake of the H. Rider Haggard novel, which has George Montgomery, Taina Elg and David Farrar stalking through the tall grass.
For Monday, we have a mystery guest.
Update: This is Charles Swain.
Update: This is Rex Ingram.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mystery guest and a mysterious snake.
Update: This is Robert Goodwin. Our mysterious snake is, as yet, unidentified.
Brain Trust roll call: Beach Gal (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest) and Sylvia E. (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest).
Benito: You’re on the right track!
For “Aha Thursday,” we have a mystery chap.
Update: This is David Farrar.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Sylvia E. (Wednesday’s mystery fellow), Benito (mystery movie, mysterious leading lady) and Beach Gal (Wednesday’s mystery fellow).
For Friday, we have this mystery woman. And Back of the Head Guy.
Update: This is Taina Elg, with George Montgomery as Back of the Head Guy.
And here’s our leading man, a bit worse for wear from spelunking.
Update: This is George Montgomery.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Tuesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Jenny M. (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery fellow), Beach Gal (Monday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guest), Sylvia E. (Thursday’s mystery guest),
Incredibleinman (Close!) McDee (Close!) Barb E. (Close!)