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Hannibal Brooks

A pleasant, tame tale [from a screen story by Michael Winner and Tom Wright] about a British prisoner (Oliver Reed), assigned to nursemaid an elephant in a Munich Zoo. From here, it is a short jump into attempted escapes, with the elephant in tow, across some mountain passes (a la Hannibal, hence the title) into Switzerland.

A pleasant, tame tale [from a screen story by Michael Winner and Tom Wright] about a British prisoner (Oliver Reed), assigned to nursemaid an elephant in a Munich Zoo. From here, it is a short jump into attempted escapes, with the elephant in tow, across some mountain passes (a la Hannibal, hence the title) into Switzerland.

The humorous vein which was evidently intended to be topmost throughout the film gets sidetracked by the excursion into action and there isn’t a laugh in the second half of the film.

The British actor, playing a kindly, animal-loving and, for most of the film, pacifistic soldier carries the entire film on his admittedly broad shoulders but can’t overcome the confused writing, or the even greater burden of a poor performance by costar Michael J. Pollard. The latter is simply dreadful as a cocky Yank prisoner.

Filmed almost entirely on location in Bavaria, the beautiful countryside is caught perfectly by Robert Paynter’s color camera.

Hannibal Brooks

UK

  • Production: Scimitar. Dir Michael Winner; Producer Michael Winner; Screenplay Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais; Camera Robert Paynter; Editor Peter Austen-Hunt, Lionel Selwyn; Music Francis Lai Art Dir John Stoll
  • Crew: (Color) Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 101 MIN.
  • With: Oliver Reed Michael J. Pollard Karin Baal Wolfgang Preiss Helmut Lohner James Donald
  • Music By: