Review: ‘King Solomon’s Mines’

With all the dramatic moments of H. Rider Haggard's adventure yarn, and production values reaching high and spectacular standards, here is a slab of genuine adventure decked in finely done, realistic African settings [exteriors directed by Geoffrey Barkas, photographed by Cyril J. Knowles] and led off by grand acting from Cedric Hardwicke and Paul Robeson, whose rich voice is not neglected.

With all the dramatic moments of H. Rider Haggard’s adventure yarn, and production values reaching high and spectacular standards, here is a slab of genuine adventure decked in finely done, realistic African settings [exteriors directed by Geoffrey Barkas, photographed by Cyril J. Knowles] and led off by grand acting from Cedric Hardwicke and Paul Robeson, whose rich voice is not neglected.

Entire action is laid in the African interior, and shifts from the veldt and the desert to a native kraal, where the tale is enlivened by spectacular sequences of native war councils, with a pitched battle between two tribes magnificently and thrillingly staged.

Climax carries the action into the long-lost mines, where untold diamond wealth is hoarded, closing with a terrifying eruption of a volcano.

Robeson is a fine, impressive figure as the native carrier proved to be a king, and puts on a proud dignity that his frequent lapses into rolling song cannot bring down. Hardwicke is excellent as a tough white hunter, and Roland Young puts in his lively vein of comedy to excellent effect. John Loder and Anna Lee are less effective on the romantic side.

King Solomon's Mines

UK

Production

Gaumont-British. Director Robert Stevenson; Producer Geoffrey Barkas; Screenplay Michael Hogan, Roland Pertwee, [A.R. Rawlinson, Charles Bennett, Ralph Spence]; Camera Glen MacWilliams; Editor Michael Gordon; Music Mischa Spoliansky; Art Director Alfred Junge

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1937. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Paul Robeson Cedric Hardwicke Roland Young Anna Lee John Loder Arthur Sinclair
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