Out of Africa


A Universal Pictures release. Produced and directed by Sydney Pollack. Stars Meryl Streep, Robert Redford. Executive producer, Kim Jorgensen. Screenplay, Kurt Luedtke, based on writings by Isak Dinesen, Judith Thurman and Errol Trzebinski. Reviewed at Universal Studios, L.A., Dec. 6, 1985.

Karen – Meryl Streep
Denys – Robert Redford
Bror – Klaus Maria Brandauer
Berkeley – Michael Kitchen
Farah – Malick Bowens
Kamante – Joseph Thiaka
Kinanjui – Stephen Kinyanjui
Delamere – Michael Gough
Felicity – Suzanna Hamilton
Lady Belfield – Rachel Kempson
Lord Belfield – Graham Crowden

At two-and-a-half hours, “Out of Africa” certainly makes a leisurely start into its story. Just short of boredom, however, the picture picks up pace and becomes a sensitive, enveloping romantic tragedy. Nonetheless it’s a long way to go for a downbeat ending, which may hurt broad appeal.

Getting top billing over Robert Redford, Meryl Streep surely earns it with another engaging performance. Still, the film rarely really comes to life except when Redford is around, which unfortunately is not often in the first hour.

Ably produced and directed by Sydney Pollack, “Africa” is the story of Isak Dinesen, who wrote of her ex-periences in Kenya. Though Dinesen (real name: Karen Blixen) remembered it lovingly, hers was not a happy experience.

Camera (Rank color), David Watkin; editors, Fredric Steinkamp, William Steinkamp, Pembroke Herring, Sheldon Kahn; sound, Peter Handford; coproducer, Terence Clegg; production design, Stephen Grimes; costumes, Milena Canonero; assistant director, David Tomblin; associate producers, Judith Thurman, Anna Cataldi; music, John Barry; casting, Mary Selway. (MPAA Rating: PG.) Running time: 150 MINS.

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