Trader Horn (1973) - full transcript

During the First World War a Hunter and trader in Africa joins forces with a couple looking for a source of platinum try to survive while fleeing British soldiers, dealing with German slavers and troops, natives and cannibals.

Easy. Don't shoot him.

- Hey.
- I said, don't shoot.

You got your one for the day.

'Put your rifle down.'

They're all around us.

'What're we gonna do?'

Are you crazy?
Didn't you hear me?

What's the matter with you two?

I told you not to shoot!

What're they doing, Horn?

They're trying to help him up.

Batu, come on.

The wilder one over here.

Batu, get outta here!

Colonel Sinclair is in there.

He wants you to guide his men
up country.

Yeah, I heard he was coming.

Horn has arrived, sir.

Thank you, Medford.

Horn, I, uh, wish to
speak with you.

Apague, I'm real sorry
about Batori.

I couldn't do a thing to save him.

- Hey, Banda.
- Oh, thank you.

Hey, what have you got there?

Horn, I am speaking to you.

Want some palm wine, colonel?

Help you join the festivities.

Thanks, Banda.

Well, God save the king
and all that, colonel.

You sir, are a blasted traitor.

Is that a fact?

Well, the fact is
that you have committed a crime.

You went into German West Africa

and trading with the enemy

under wartime conditions
is a crime.

The British is
short of supplies too, colonel.

I could trade with you if you like.

Oh, yes, for a profit.


Horn, I'll make a bargain with you.

'You guard my detachments upriver'

'through Kaluana country to'

'General Von Leto's headquarters
on Lake Tanganyika.'

- Right.
- And I'll drop the charges.

Not interested.

You are a bloody fool, Horn.

Horn, the Germans are
up to something very important.

Arming the natives,
using their labor.

And unless we smash them

they're going to
spread through Africa

and control it.
Do you understand?

What are you talking about?
The war's in Europe, not here.

Horn, unless you accept my bargain

I'm going to confiscate
your boat and your goods

and put you out of business.

I want to tell you something.

I don't give a damn about your army

I don't give a damn about your war

and I don't give a damn about you.

Now that's it
anyway you want to stack!

- Medford.
- 'Sir.'

- Place this man under arrest.
- You gotta be joking.

I'm going to ship you back
on the first boat to England.

And you're going to stand
trial, Mr. Horn.

What are you gonna be doing?

You and your silly little
bloody army

are gonna be a thrashing around
in the jungle

and paddling down the river
until your hat floats away.

- Medford!
- Sergeant!

Well, I what you got there, Apague?

Ah, excuse me, colonel.
Just-just a second.

She's mean and fast, Horn.

Got ya.

Colonel, you know
they bet me a new wife

if I can ride that zebra.
You wanna gamble?

If I can't ride him
you get the wife.

What the hell
are you talking about, Horn?

I'll show you.

Okay, let him go!

Medford, get the men after him,
now. Now!

You're a good man, Apague.

Come on. Get outta there.

Yeah, what's happening?

The colonel is one mad soldier.

He's sending troops in
all directions to bring you in.

You just watch him.

When he's gone
come upriver and tell me.

Give me a shove.

See ya.


You know,
that's a pretty good throw.

- Thank you.
- You're welcome.

Emil DuMond
way out here in the bush.

- Hello, Horn.
- I wouldn't have believed it.

- How are you?
- I was looking for you.

You know, suddenly everybody
in the world is looking for me.

'Okay, Emil,
I know you're not out here'

'for your Christian charity.'

Why'd you come looking for me?

'We're friends.
Friends help friends.'

'Okay, what else?'

'Come to my home,
rest awhile.'

'Then we'll talk.'

'Oh, yeah?'

Beautiful, huh?

Okay. I give up.
Who is she?

Nicole Mercer, a friend.

'She's more than a friend.'

'Nicole just came from Paris.'

'Her first trip to Africa.'

That's beautiful.

Nicole, this man knows more
about Africa than the Africans.

Horn is a legend.

What does a legend do, Mr. Horn?

I-I wouldn't know.

I never known you to be modest.

Okay, modest legends.. in ivory
and things like that.


What will you do now
since the Brits

have branded you a traitor?

They're still calling me
a traitor, are they?

Well, you're a British subject

'and your country is
at war with the Germans.'

Me or my country is Africa

and I'm not interested in their war

and I told them so.

And by the way, you didn't bring
me here to talk about the war.

What do you want, Emil?


Mr. Horn,
what do you think of this?

'I think it's lovely.'

'Ever seen anything like it?'

No, I don't think I have.

'Take a good look.'

Some kind of a snake god.

Probably Uganda or Mogamba.

- And the metal?
- I don't know.

- Silver?
- That's what I thought.

Nicole told me it's platinum.

Platinum? In Africa?

In Europe, Mr. Horn.

'Platinum is worth a fortune.'

- Well, shall we?
- Mm.

Emil, where'd you find that?


I got in some trade goods
from somewhere above the falls.

Above the falls?

That's half a African continent.

- Is it?
- I know this, Horn..

If it's there to be found

you're the man
who can guide us to it.

There is a fortune for all of us.

Thank you.

Emil, the only thing I wanna do

is to get the hell out
of British West Africa.

Then this is an opportunity.

You guide us upriver
beyond the falls

and if we find a source of platinum

you get out of British Africa
rich man.

Mnm-mnm, listen,
maybe I could do it alone

but with a full safari
and dragging a woman along..

You won't have to drag me,
Mr. Horn.

- I can walk.
- It's worth the risk, Horn.

It's a fantastic challenge.

Emil, maybe to you, not to me.

Darling, there's no point
in pressing.

'Mr. Horn obviously
isn't interested.'

We'll miss you.
Excuse me, it's late.

I have to prepare a boat
tomorrow morning.

You will want to start early too.


Goodnight, Horn.

'Goodnight, Emil.'

- Mr. Horn.
- Mm-hmm.

I don't think you understand
what this trip means to Emil.

It's his dream.

Ms. Mercer, I think Emil
is a very good trader..

...but he's always stayed here
and let the deals come to him.

He's never gone out in
the jungles to make his trade.

I'm not talking about trade

I'm talking about a dream.


I think it takes a different
kind of a person

'to fulfill
that kind of a dream.'

What exactly are you trying to say?

'Emil isn't man enough?'

I think here in the comfort
of his own home

he's a hell of a man

but out there in the jungle
it's different.

It's no place to try and prove
himself to you.

Emil doesn't need to prove
himself to me, or to anyone.

Goodnight, Mr. Horn.

Goodnight, Ms. Mercer.

I don't like him much.

Horn is so damn sure of himself.

He's arrogant.

That too.

He may come around.
You never know.

Don't worry.

Good morning.

Oh, good morning.

Yes, well

I guess I'd better apologize.

I was a little bit rude last night.

Yes. A bit.

Said what I thought.

That's in your favor.

Thank you.

Well, I guess you'll want to say
goodbye to Emil.

- Okay.
- He's down by the boat.

Emil thinks you might
change your mind.

Does he?
What do you think?

I would doubt it.

But I don't know you
as well as he does.

'He's actually gonna do it,
isn't he?'


Well, goodbye, Mr. Horn.

Goodbye, Ms. Mercer.

Well, I came to say goodbye.

Just a moment.

Hope you know what you're doing.

Sure, I know what I'm doing.

Well, you better
open your pressure valve.


I said, you'd better
open your pressure valve.

'Look at your gauge,
you're gonna blow your boat up.'



Get out of the way.

Your engine's jammed!

The story of my life.

Come with us, Horn.

The British are after you.

They have taken everything
you worked so hard to build.

I'm offering you
a chance to get away.


- I forfeit for you.
- You and your platinum.

Look, there's no guarantee,
we'll find it.

There's no guarantee,
we'll even get there.

Will you stop looking me like that?

Alright. I'll help you
fix this rust bucket.

That's it! That's all!

Hey, Emil.

She's looking good.

Stand back, Emil.

Here goes.

We leave before dawn.

Do you know where you off to?

'Yeah, well,
I got a rough idea.'


Stay here. Stay inside.

What's the matter, Apague?

It's Colonel Sinclair
and his soldiers.

- They're coming upriver.
- How far back?

Close. They're coming
for you and his boat.

My boat? Why?

This is British West Africa.
They know you've helped Horn.

That's it.
Now you're in it, too.

And now?

Now we get the hell outta here.

We have to leave right now.

'What-what happened?'

They know we helped Horn.

- Is Horn coming with us?
- Yes, he is.

- Apague?
- Yeah.

'How the hell did
the British know where I was?'

Drums. Someone from here.

- Emil.
- What?

Apague says someone from here
told the British where I was.

- One of my men?
- I mean, one of your man.

It's impossible.

Load it up. Hurry up.

- Medford.
- Sir?

Do you see anything?

No, sir.

'Get in the boat! Move it!'

Alright, Malugi, when I say
let go, let go fast.

Apague, standby that F-line.

Okay, Emil, you ready?

Shove her in.

What the hell is the matter?

It's jammed.

What are you talking about jammed?


Get back.

Get off the boat.

We'll have to make it
to the backcountry

and get some wagons,
try to make it to the lagoon.

Is it possible?

Well, buddy, well better be.

Get everything off the boat.
Come on.

Okay, listen,
I'm gonna keep 'em busy.

Reckon you're in charge, okay?

Keep moving.

Aim over there. Over there!

Move. Go! Go!

Oh, God! Emil!

Apague! Help me!

Get somebody else.
Get somebody else!

- Medford.
- Sir.

Take some men into the jungle
after Horn, quickly.

The rest of you men follow me.

At the double.

This way!

There! Move on.

'Steady, men. Steady!'

Shoot those crocs over there.

Help him out.



Alright. Alright.

What the hell happened to him?

The British.

Aw, geez.
I'm awful sorry, Emil.

Well, that's it, then.

You'll have to go back.

I'm not turning back.

Well, what do you expect us
to do? Carry you?


What'd he say?

He called you an arrogant
English bastard.

I didn't think you'd come back.

Bring a stretcher.
We'll get the hell out of here.


Well, we can't go now.

We don't really have
much choice, do we?


What in God's name happened here?

We were following Horn, sir,
and we b...



You will collect the men,
and take them back to the boat.

Collect the gear,
and we'll follow Mr. Horn.

'I intend to ship him back
on the first boat to England.'

- Do you understand me?
- Yes, sir.

Then, do it. Now.

Form up!

Double quick!

How do you feel?

- What is that?
- Native herbs.

They'll stop the wounds
from festering.

- Just leave it there.
- Please, let me do that.

It's done.

Okay, get him moving.

'We got to push on.'

Push on? Now?

Yes, now.
It's 10 miles to Lagunza.

We got to get the wagon.

Well, what about Emil?

Why don't you just finish
your sewing?

I will.

And thanks for your jacket!

What're you looking at, Apague?

Get 'em moving!

Okay, Apague. It's alright.

Get 'em moving.
Load everything you can.

As fast as you can.

Listen, he just said
there was a German patrol

through here yesterday afternoon.

So that's it.
We'll move out at first light.

- Get him ready.
- You're mad.

- He needs rest.
- We all need rest.

- Get him ready.
- 'We're not moving.'

We're not moving him out!

I told you what'd happen
if we brought a woman along.

I said we're going. Now we go!

Don't yell your orders at me,
Mr. Horn.

One more word out you
and I'll send you back.

- Do you understand that?
- You can't afford to.

With Emil in the condition he's in

you need all the help you can get.

What're you laughing at?

You sound like a happily
married couple.

Get 'em moving, Apague!

Feeling any better?

Much better.

What're you so stubborn about?

Why don't you ride in the wagon?

If you walk, I walk.

Suit yourself.

We got a along way to go.

'Your friends, Horn.'

Yeah. One of those helped me
escape from the British.

- 'Whoa!'
- Whoa!

'Hold it! Hold it!'

'Watch it over that drain.'

Watch it!
Watch it over the..

- Apague!
- Emil!

All together now.

Get you backs in, will you?
Come on.

- 'Yeah! Move!'
- 'Move it!'

Don't, don't, don't.
Don't shoot. Don't shoot.

Don't shoot.


I could've killed him.


They only attack if they're hungry.

How do you know they're not hungry?

Huh? Look over there.

They just had dinner.

What did he say, Medford?

Three white people up country, sir.

It has to be Horn.

- Horn!
- Hold it.

Colonel Sinclair
and the soldiers, three hours.

Damn it.

He's travelling faster
than I thought.

What're we going to do?

Let's try and lose him
through the swamp.

Tell 'em, Apague.

Yes, Mr. Horn.

I hear you.

We're headed down here
towards the Kaluanas.

They're a pretty tough bunch.

What're they singing?

Oh, it's nothing.
Just one of their tribal songs.

But what's it about?

It's a love song.

They think you and Horn are lovers.

Well, that's nonsense.

Tell them to turn off the lights.

German bastards!

They're not the only ones.

Do you know what the Belgians
did in the Congo

with the French?

Or even His Majesty's
glorious British government?

'What do they want them for?'

It's a labor gang.


There's some work going on
around here somewhere.

If only we could do something.

What do you suggest?

Where's the wagon going?

We've gone as far as
we can go with the wagon.

Got to go on without it.

You want to go back?


I didn't think so.

- Ah!
- It's alright. It's alright.

Alright. Alright. Alright.

It's alright.

Come on.


Cut 'em down.

We're gonna bury 'em.

Look at that.

Are you sure you know these people?

Hm? Oh, yeah.
The best of friends.

The Zabambaris.

Well, What're they doing?

Looking at you mostly.

- 'Heh. Me? Why?'
- 'They're cannibals.'

Horn, we're being followed.

I know. I know.

He says they're cannibals.

He was telling me they took
20 of his young men

for a labor gang.

They fought, but they had no guns.

What about the platinum?

He said he didn't know what it was.

- But he recognized the design.
- Where?

- On the body of a dead Ugandi.
- Dead?



Pull! Pull!

Get her.

Grab a hold of her.



Keep pulling.

Get on over.

Pull there.

- Get 'em off!
- Hold still.

Hold still. Hold still.

'Hold still.'

'That's the girl.'

'Easy, now. That's it, girl.'

'That's the girl.'

'That's the girl.'


Easy. Easy. Easy.

Easy. It's alright.
Come on.

That's a good girl.


Came to see how you are.

- You alright?
- Much better, thanks.

Feels good to be clean.

I'll bet.

Hurts on my back.

I bought something that might help.




Making our little safari
pretty fancy.

Yes, not very practical
for the jungle.

It was... part of my trousseau.


Why don't you go back?

- You mean, give up?
- I mean, give up.

You've had enough of all this.

Talk to Emil.

He can't be that much of a fool.

You know what this means to him.

He's determined
to go through with it.

What if I turn back?


Please don't.

Why do you stay with him?

He needs me.

I need his needing me.

I'm afraid..

...I need you too.



It was a leopard.

'It.. It was like a big animal.'

It's okay, I know, it's gone now.


Send them to bed.


Stop right there.

Don't be an ass, Emil.

- She belongs to me.
- Does she?


She was scared out of her wits
and I got there first

that's all.

I'm not above killing you.

But I'll try to remember that.

You don't take me seriously,
do you?

I take you more
seriously than you think.

That's a hell of a big bushfire.

It's a stampede. Come, on.

You, come back here!

- Are you alright?
- Yes.

Apague, let's clean it up
and get out of here.

Okay, salvage what you can,
let's get out of here.

- Medford.
- Sir?

'Are you certain
this is the right route?'

Check the map, please.

Straight on, sir.

'Alright, men, straight ahead.'

'Come on, move.'


Keep moving, Apague.


Keep it moving.

What happened?


A little more to the right.

Well done, up there.

the rest of you move forward.

Come on, mates.
It's not too hard.

I'm glad you cut my hair.

You what?

I said, I'm glad you cut my hair

I like it.

Oh, I'm glad too.
It looks lovely.


I said it looks lovely.

What is it?

It's still Emil.

I know.

But he doesn't own me.


- Who's that?
- Huh? He's a Watusi.

- He's seven feet tall.
- 'Uh-huh.'

'They reach manhood when they
kill their first lion.'

One man, one spear and one lion.

Wonder if he knows anything
about the platinum.

- Gurandi.
- Gurandi?

Says he's following
some white soldiers

they raided his people.


Yeah, he wants
the help of our guns.

He wants to join up with us.

What about the platinum?

Well, he called it
"Gurandi," metal of death.

He wouldn't say anything more.

But you should have seen
the look in his eyes, you know.


What happened?

The bloody bearers have gone.
They ran away.

Wonder what they took with them.

- Oh.
- Oh.

Maybe we can get some

magic help from Kaluanas.

Can the Kaluanas be trusted?

Not according to him, they can't.

Check and see what
supplies we've got left.

Come on.

Hello, Horn.

It's good to see a white face.

Yeah, I'm sure it is, Rossa.

Let me present Nicole Mercer.

How do you do?

- 'This is Emil DuMond.'
- My pleasure.

Alfredo Caro Rossa.

'Forgive my appearance.'

All we want
are a few supplies, Rossa.

But of course.

You look like you're tired,
you've come a long way.

Won't you come in?

Haven't had the pleasure
of the company

of a white woman in many years.

What are you here for, my friends?

'Ivory? Diamonds?'

'Or a just a safari?'

Just a safari.

Oh, we're looking for the source
of a native ornament.

'It came down river
maybe six months ago.'

With some trade goods.

A medallion, it was a snake design.

Snake design?

Hmm, sorry, I don't have a scotch

or a French champagne

to offer you.

Where is this medallion?

Perhaps if I see it,
I can be of some help to you.

I'll get it.

Doesn't look good, Horn.

- You must be careful.
- I know it.

Give me the medallion.

- Are you sure you wouldn't?
- No, thank you.

Is there anything else
I can do for you?

No. No, thank you.

We think there is a native mine.

Platinum, maybe.

Don't tell him another word.

I just saw what
you did to your partner.

He's up to his neck in an anthill.

Well, the natives took
a certain dislike to us.

I am a survivor.

I had to give him to them
as a peace offering.

Yeah, well, I think
you got plans for us.

Emil, look out that window.

'You're gonna lead us out here.'

I have no control over them.
They hate me.

What are we going to do?

He's gonna lead us out of here

or I'll blow his fat guts out.

Emil, open the door.

Nicole get behind me.

Apague, pick up the gear.

Well, don't just stand
there, talk to 'em.

Keep talking to 'em.

- Nicole.
- Keep your gun on him.

I.. I'm sorry.
I can't keep up.

Come on, you've got to try,
come on.

Come on, you've got to try.





I'm sorry, Horn.

It's my fault.

Come on.

Shh. Halt.

It's no good.
We've gotta find another way.

'That's it.
We'll go like the apes.'

Grab this, Umbopa.

'Okay, now get the girl.'


Water. Water, he said water.

'My hat.'


Look at that.

'It's the same marking
that's on the medallion.'

He's their king.

I think we're home.



'Now I know why they call
it the metal of death.'


'Watusi use it for ornaments'

Germans are using it for the war.

Well, Kafa wants
all the Germans killed.

Well, there's two machine guns
up top there

about 50 Hun.

That means the slaves
outnumber them.

We didn't come here
to fight the Germans.

There is no reason for us
to get involved.


We're in this up to our necks.

What are you talking about?

I'm gonna take that mine
from the Germans.

I'm gonna blow it sky high.


'We have come
to get the platinum.'

He says as long
as that mine is open

the Watusis are slaves
and he's right.

You didn't want to get involved

with the British
against the Germans.

You said it's not your war.

Why change now?

Because it is my war now

this is Africa
and these are my people.

You must be crazy.

I won't help you.

I won't have anything
to do with it.

Alright, we'll just have to do
it without you.





...machine gun.

We've got to help him.

Not me.

I came for the platinum.

I won't let him close the mine.

But the mine can be reopened

when the war is over.

Then it will help the Africans.

Not make slaves of them.

What happened to us?

I don't know you anymore.

How could you?

I've only just begun
to know myself.

'That's got to be where they
store the dynamite.'



Alarm! Alarm!


It's Horn!

- Don't!
- I can't!

I can't leave him there to die!

- Don't! Stay here!
- He's hurt!

Horn, you're the worst bullheaded

son of a bitch I've ever met.

Come on, now.

Come on!

It's alright, I'm lucky.

It's gone right through the side.

Something is wrong,
it should have blown.

They've cut that fuse.

You can't! You can't!


We've gotta do something.
They're slaughtering them.


If this mine is to blow up

I'm going to do it myself.

This is my mine.

- Emil!
- Emil?


Emil, get back now!

'Get back!'


- Don't!
- Emil! Emil!

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Do you see what I see?

Fancy meetin' you, colonel.

I heard what you did on the drums.

I suppose you think you
deserve the Victoria Cross?


- Arrest that man!
- For what, Colonel Sinclair?

Mr. Horn is a traitor.

He refused to lead us
to the Germans.

What are you talking about,
colonel? I've led you to em'.

They're over the hill,
they're all taken care of.

If you think that this
is the end of it, Mr. Horn

you're sadly mistaken.

'I'll deal with you
when we get back.'

He's followed you

for over half a continent
of Africa.

I'm wondering how he's
going to get back?

I'm gonna have to show him the way.

- Right.
- Right.