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Filmmakers have been shooting feature films in KwaZulu-Natal since the early decades of the 20th century, the majority of them South African productions others overseas features: British, German, American and, more recently, Bollywood productions. This is an attempt at listing them all - and to identify whereabouts in the province they were filmed.
Not all the films mentioned were shot here in their entirety; sometimes just a few sequences were filmed, and in one or two cases maybe they were not shot here at all. For example, several of the films here were made for the straight-to-video market and little can be found on their locations or even plot.
The initial filmography was created with assistance from Trevor Moses, researcher, National Film, Video and Sound Archives, Pretoria and the Witness's Bollywood expert Devan Naidoo. Additions to it came from several readers and thanks is due in that regard to Bill Bizley, Wendy Grantham, Marge Heron, Pamela Oldfield, Susan Volans, Norman Werner and Carol Withers. Thanks to their advice and suggestions the list has been brought as up to date as possible.
Especial acknowledgement must be made to Thorsten Wedekind who is currently writing and researching a comprehensive reference book covering, in detail, every film shot in South Africa for film and television, from 1910 to 2010. He generously made his research available and it is reflected in this listing.
This "complete" listing contains feature films and feature documentaries as well as made-for-television films and series. While location areas have been identified, in some cases this hasn't been possible. Can you fill in the gaps? If you can, or if you can correct any mistakes and omissions contact Stephen Coan on 033 355 1111 or via e-mail email@example.com
The countries involved with international productions or co-productions have been indicated. All other productions are South African. The dates given are those of the film's initial year of release. These sometimes vary from source to source and from country to country. Hopefully most of the release dates given here are reliable.
* IMDB indicates Internet Movie Data Base, www.imdb.com
A ZULU’S DEVOTION (dir Joseph Albrecht, 1916). A farmer and his family take care of an injured Zulu, who repays their kindness by becoming a devoted servant who rescues their daughter when she is kidnapped by villainous (white) cattle thieves. Cast: Dick Cruickshanks, Goba and Caroline Cook.
DE VOORTREKKERS (dir Harold Shaw, 1916). Story of the Great Trek culminating in the battle of Blood River. Cast: Dick Cruickshanks, Caroline Frances Cook, Edna Flugrath and Zulu actor Goba as King Dingane kaSenzanghakona.
ZULU TOWN COMEDIES (dir: Dick Cruickshanks, 1917). Cast: Unknown. Various locations in Natal.
THE SYMBOL OF SACRIFICE (dir Dick Cruickshanks, 1918). Drama set during Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Natal Witness editor F. Horace Rose is one of the credited writers. Cast: Mabel May, Jack Montgomery.
BOND AND WORD (dir Dick Cruickshanks). Written by Natal Witness editor F. Horace Rose and produced by Dick Cruickshanks with Edward Donnelly in the lead. Described as "An original detective drama in 4 acts".
THE VOICE OF THE WATERS (dir Joseph Albrecht, 1918). According to film historian Thelma Gutsche "this drama was set among the scenery surrounding the Howick Falls ... Most of the action took place in a room overlooking the falls, the scenes being so set that the falls themselves were constantly seen through a window." Written by Natal Witness editor F. Horace Rose. Cast: Mabel May, Edward Vincent, Martha Rowson.
Above: Two scenes from The Voice of the Waters (1918) featuring Howick Falls in the background. The actors are probably Mabel May and Edward Vincent.
Photos: The National Film, Video and Sound Archives
The water fight scene at Howick Falls from the film The Voice of the Waters.
KING SOLOMON’S MINES (dir H. Lisle Lucoque, 1918). Faithful adaptation of the classic novel by H. Rider Haggard, even to the inter-racial romance ignored by all subsequent versions. Cast: Ray Brown, Albert Lawrence, H.J. Hamlyn.
Above: Filming a battle scene from King Solomon's Mines (1937) at Otto's Bluff.
Photo: Coan Collection
ALLAN QUATERMAIN (dir H. Lisle Lucoque, 1919). Adaptation of H. Rider Haggard's sequel to King Solomon's Mines. Cast: George Taylor, Edward Vincent, Mabel May, Umpikayaboni.
THE MAN WHO WAS AFRAID (dir Joseph Albrecht, 1920). Thriller with a plotline that moves from England to Durban. Cast: M.A. Wetherell, Dick Cruickshanks, Cecil Fillis.
THE BLUE LAGOON (dir Weston Bowden, 1923). First film version of the novel by Henry De Vere Stacpoole and the only one with African locations. Filmed on the KZN coast and East Africa. Cast: Molly Adair, Val Chard, Doreen Wonfar, Arthur Pusey.
SILIVA THE ZULU (dir Attilio Gatti, Italy, 1927). Dramatised ethnographic documentary made by an Italian team that included the famous anthropologist Lidio Cipriani. Eshowe area.
CHEZ LES BUVEURS DE SANG (dir Baron Gourgaud, France, 1932). French feature-length documentary about Africa filmed in Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa, with Natal being its most prominent location.
KING SOLOMON'S MINES (dir Robert Stevenson, UK, 1937). First sound version of the H. Rider Haggard classic. However none of its stars travelled beyond the London studios where their scenes were shot. Stand-ins were used on location in KwaZulu-Natal where footage was shot in the Drakenserg and at Otto's Bluff just outside Pietermaritzburg. Cast: Paul Robeson Cedric Hardwicke, Roland Young, John Loder, Anna Lee.
THEY BUILT A NATION/DIE BOU VAN ’N NASIE (dir Joseph Albrecht, 1938). The story of white settlement in southern Africa. Scenes involving the Voortrekkers and the Zulus were shot on the farm Saxony near Otto's Bluff.
CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY (dir Zoltan Korda, UK, 1951). Adaptation of Alan Paton's novel. Ixopo area. Cast: Canada Lee, Charles Carson, Sidney Poitier.
Above: The Reverend Stephen Kumalo (Canada Lee) returning home. A scene from Cry, the Beloved Country (1951) shot near Ixopo.
Photo: Alan Paton Centre and Struggle Archives.
THE ADVENTURERS (dir David MacDonald, UK, 1951). Three years after the Anglo-Boer War an ex-Boer commando plus some shady accomplices goes in search of a stash of diamonds. Much of this film was shot in the Amphitheatre area of the Drakensberg on the same location as the later Zulu. Cast: Jack Hawkins, Peter Hammond, Dennis Price, Siobhan McKenna.
UNTAMED (dir Henry King, USA, 1952). An attempt at an African Gone with the Wind incorporating the Great Trek, based on the novel by Helga Moray. Much of the location material was shot around Cato Ridge and Inchanga. Cast: Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward and Richard Egan, none of whom came to this country.
NOR THE MOON BY NIGHT aka ELEPHANT GUN (dir Ken Annakin, UK, 1958). British woman marries African game warden and finds life in the bush a revelation -- not always pleasant. Based on the novel by Joy Packer. Shot in the Amphitheatre area of the Drakensberg on the same location as the later Zulu; also in the Valley of a Thousand Hills where prominent use was made of “Ben’s Den”, a well-known tourist destination of the time. Cast: Belinda Lee, Michael Craig and Patrick McGoohan, Lionel Ngakane, Joan Brickhill.
BITTER SPEARS (dir Attilio Gatti, Italy, 1962?). A sound remake of Siliva the Zulu. H.C. Lugg was technical adviser and the film featured the famous sangoma Zizwezonke "Khekheke" Mthwetwa. Eshowe area.
Above: The famous sangoma Zizwezonke "Khekhekhe" Mthethwa, star of Bitter Spears.
HANS EN DIE ROOINEK/SIDNEY AND THE BOER (dir Jamie Uys, 1961). Afrikaans-speaker and English-speaker undertake to walk across South Africa. Durban and other locations in KwaZulu-Natal. Cast: Bob Courtney, Jamie Uys, Wynona Cheyney.
SAMMY GOING SOUTH (dir Alexander McKendrick, 1963). Orphan boy hitchhikes from Port Said in Egypt to Durban where his aunt lives. But were the final scenes shot in Durban? Stars Fergus McClelland, Edward G. Robinson, Constance Cummings and Harry G. Corbett. According to David Rayner, from Stoke-on-Trent, UK, "the Durban street scenes towards the end of the film may have been stock footage, but the Fairview Hotel, supposedly in Durban, was actually in Jinja, Uganda. I don't think the film unit actually went to Durban, the film being shot in north and east Africa." You can see the hotel here
DEATH DRUMS ALONG THE RIVER (dir. Lawrence Huntington, UK/Germany/SA, 1963). Adaptation of Edgar Wallace's Sanders of the River starring Richard Todd with Simon Sabela appearing as Bosambo, the role performed by Paul Robeson in the 1935 version. Filmed in and around Durban, Durban North, including Virginia Airport, and Zululand. Some scenes may have been shot at Lake St Lucia. Other cast members: Marianne Koch, Vivi Bach, Bill Brewer.
RHINO! (dir: Ivan Tors, USA, 1963). Adventure film about saving the white rhino from extinction. Shot in the Umfolozi Game Reserve. Cast: Harry Guardino, Shirley Eaton, Robert Culp.
WHEN STRANGERS MEET/DOG EAT DOG/EINER FRISST DEN ANDEREN (dir: Ray Nazarro, Gustav Gavrin, Albert Zugsmith, Germany/Italy/USA/Lichtenstein/SA, 1963). Potboiler granted cult status due to presence of Jayne Mansfield. Filmed mostly in Yugoslavia. KZN locations stood in for some of the sequences on the Greek island where the story ends. Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Jayne Mansfield, Isa Miranda.
COAST OF SKELETONS (dir Robert Lynn, UK/Germany/SA, 1964). Sequel to Death Drums Along the River with Richard Todd having another outing as Sanders. Shot on the same Durban and KwaZulu locations as its predecessor, plus Durban’s Japanese Gardens, Durban harbour, Virginia Airport and some underwater scenes at the old Durban Aquarium. Cast: Dale Robertson, Marianne Koch, Elga Andersen, Derek Nimmo, Gordon Mulholland.
ZULU (dir Cy Endfield, UK, 1964). Recreation of the battle of Rorke's Drift in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Drakensberg, Amphitheatre area in the Royal Natal National Park. Cast: Stanley Baker, Michael Caine, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsen. Mangosuthu Buthelezi appears as King Cetshwayo kaMpande.
Above: The Amphitheatre provided a dramatic (if innaccurate) backdrop for the film Zulu, a recreation of the battle of Rorke's Drift fought during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.
DINGAKA (dir Jamie Uys, 1965). Culture-clash drama that sees a rural African come to the big city seeking revenge for the murder of his daughter. Cast: Ken Gampu, Stanley Baker, Juliet Prowse, Siegfried Mynhardt.
TOKOLOSHE (dir Peter Prowse, 1966). Young boy leaves his rural village -- where his life is in danger -- for the big city and is taken in by a kindly blind man. Mangosuthu Buthelezi plays a Zulu chief. Most, if not all of the film was shot in Johannesburg and Soweto but one shot shows the Drakensberg and the scenes featuring Buthelezi may have been filmed in KZN. Cast: Sidney James, Saul Pelle.
ENDLESS SUMMER (dir Bruce Brown, USA, 1966). Surfing documentary feature. Filmed in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, California, Ghana and South Africa (Durban). Cast: Mike Hynson, Robert August.
THE KRUGER MILLIONS (dir Ivan Hall, 1967). Drama around the fabled missing millions of Paul Kruger. Cast: Ge Korsten, Brenda Bell, Karel Trichardt, Bob Courtney, James White.
MAJUBA (dir David Millin, 1968). The deciding battle of the First Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881). Based on Stuart Cloete's novel Hill of Doves. Cast: Anthony James, Kerry Jordan, Patrick Mynhardt, Anna Neethling-Pohl.
THE MERCENARIES aka DARK OF THE SUN (dir Jack Cardiff, UK, 1968). Mercenaries in the Congo. Based on the novel Dark of the Sun by Wilbur Smith. The IDMB says African location material was shot in Jamaica. Cast: Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Kenneth More.
BANANA BEACH (dir David Millin, 1970). Musical action comedy that utilized the KZN South Coast as a location. Cast: Pip Friedman, Gabriel Bayman, Al Debbo, Ian Yule.
DIE DRIE VAN DER MERWES (dir Dirk de Villiers 1970). Comedy, largely filmed on Durban’s beachfront. Cast: Franz Marx, Maryann Johnston, Leonora Veenemans.
FREEFORM (dir Rod Sumpter, UK, 1970). Surfing documentary feature. Durban joins Jeffrey’s Bay as one the South African locations.
A NEW LIFE (dir: Dirk de Villiers, 1970). Musical with guest appearance from the Drakensberg Boys Choir complete with the mountains. Cast: Ge Korsten, Maryann Johnston, Leonora Veenemans.
VICKI (dir Ivan Hall, 1970). Romeo and Juliet-style love story includes Margate and Durban among its locations. Cast: Sandra Britz, Johan Esterhuizen, Leonie Ross.
BLUE WATER, WHITE DEATH (dir Peter Gimbel, Australia, 1971). Feature documentary about sharks. Some of the film’s most memorable and striking footage was shot in Durban’s ocean.
OCEANS (dir Rod Sumpter, UK, 1971). Follow-up to Freeform (see above), again making use of Durban’s waves.
LIEFDE VIR LELIK (dir Keith van der Watt, 1971). Story of a boy and his dog. Durban and the Drakensberg. Cast: Cobus Rossouw, Pieter (no surname), Harry Makela.
LIEFDE VIR LELIK (dir Keith van der Watt, Italy, 1971). Story of a boy and his dog. Durban and the Drakensberg. Cast: Cobus Rossouw, Pieter (no surname), Harry Makela.
FINAL CRY OF THE SAVANNAH/ULTIME GRIDE DELLA SAVANA: LA GRANDE CACCIA (dir Antonio Climati and Mario Morra, 1975). Mondo-style exploitation shocker. A scene of a man being fatally mauled by a lion was allegedly filmed in one of Natal’s game reserves though other sources say the footage was shot in Namibia.
DIE VOORTREKKERS (dir David Millin, 1973). Story of the Great Trek. Cast: Patrick Mynhardt, Anna Neethling-Pohl, Carel Trichardt.
DANS VAN DIE VLAMINK (dir Ivan Hall, 1974). Adventure. Locations include a game reserve near Ladysmith. Cast: Rod Alexander, Gaby Getz, John Boulter.
THE DOVE (dir Charles Jarrott, USA, 1974). True story of Robin Lee Graham's solo five-year yacht journey around the globe. Durban is one of the stop-off points. Cast: Joseph Bottoms, Deborah Raffin. South African actors Anthony Fridjhon and Dale Cutts appeared in the Durban scenes.
PENS EN POOTJIES (dir Dirk de Villiers and Joe Stewardson, 1974). Family entertainment. Locations include Durban (mostly the harbour). Cast: Al Debbo, Don Leonard, Marie du Toit, Joe Stewardson, Janice Honeyman, the 4 Jacks and a Jill. Famous seventies’ stripper, Glenda Kemp has a cameo.
THOSE NAUGHTY ANGELS (dir Neil Hetherington, 1974). Vehicle for the Drakensberg Boys Choir. Shot in and around the Drakensberg, Johannesburg and Israel. Cast: Peter J. Elliott, Winnie Ayliffe and the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir.
LELIK IS MY OFFER (dir Joe Stewardson, 1975). Sequel to Liefde Vir Lelik (1972). Filmed in Ixopo, Durban’s Entabeni Hospital and Durban beachfront, with a further sequence on the Lesotho border. Cast: Cobus Rossouw, Pieter, Harry Makela.
DIE REBEL (dir Daan Retief, 1975). Thriller. Durban’s beachfront. Cast: Will Roberts, Tani de Lange, Wilna Snyman, Wena Naude.
U’DELIWE (dir Simon Sabela, 1975). Sabela became the first black South African director with this film, based on a Radio Bantu soap opera. Filmed in Durban and Johannesburg. Cast: Simon Sabela, Cynthia Shange, Sydney Chama, Joe Mafela.
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (dir Peter Hunt, UK, 1976). Adventure set during World War in which an unlikely group set about destroying a German battleship off Zanzibar. Port St. Johns, Eastern Cape and KZN South Coast. Based on the novel by Wilbur Smith. Cast: Lee Marvin, Roger Moore, Barbara Parkins, Ian Holm.
HANK, HENNERY EN VRIEND (dir Bertrand Retief, 1976). Adventure. KZN South Coast, Wild Coast and the Golden Gate National Park. Cast: Rod Alexander, Lieb Bester, Ray ka Msengana, Sybil Coetzee
TUBULAR SWELLS (dir Dick Hoole and Jack McCoy, Australia, 1976). Surfing feature documentary. Durban.
e'LOLLIPOP aka FOREVER YOUNG, FOREVER FREE (dir Ashley Lazarus, 1976). A tale of friendship between two children, one black, one white. Cast: Muntu Ndebele, Norman Knox, Jose Ferrer, Simon Sabela and Ken Gampu. Underberg, Sani Pass and Lesotho.
INYAKANYAKA (dir Simon Sabela, 1977). Comedy about three comic-book factory employees sent on a road-trip from Johannseburg to Durban. Cast: Ndaba Mhlongo, Joe Mafela, Simon Sabela.
THE DINGLEYS (dir Bill Faure, 1977). SABC sitcom set almost completely in a bookshop in Pietermaritzburg though, apart from some stock footage showing Pietermaritzburg exteriors, it was filmed in the Johannesburg SABC studios. Cast: John Hussey, Vera Blacker, Sybel Coetzee, Eckard Rabe.
BILLY BOY (dir Tim Spring, SA/USA, 1978). Family boxing saga with American ex-champion heavyweight boxer Bobick in the title role. Some scenes shot in Durban harbour. Cast: Duane Bobick, Kim Braden, Tullio Moneta, Molly Seftel.
ISIVUMELWANO (dir Simon Sabela, 1978). Durban-filmed domestic melodrama, based on a popular radio serial. Cast: Cynthia Shange, Congress Majola, Patty Patience.
MANY CLASSIC MOMENTS (dir Gary Capo, USA, 1978 ). Surfing documentary feature. One of the locations is Durban location and Shaun Thomson features.
ZULU DAWN (dir Douglas Hickox, UK/Holland/USA, 1978) Prequel to Zulu features the battle of Isandlwana where a British force was annihilated by a Zulu army in 1879. Babanango area and locations in and around Pietermaritzburg including Baynesfield, Sans Souci in Pentridge, the Maritzburg Oval in Alexandra Park and the Natal lion Park and Zoological Gardens, Ashburton. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Peter O'Toole, Simon Ward, Denholm Elliott.
Above: Extras waiting to go into action in the Baynesfield area during the filming of Zulu Dawn (1978).
GRENSBASIS 13 (dir Elmo de Witt, 1979). Action film set during South Africa’s border war conflict. KZN South Coast and Durban. Cast: Danie Joubert, Karin Kritzinger, Karin Scholtz, Willie Esterhuizen.
BIRDS OF PARADISE (dir Tim Spring, Rex Garner, 1981). Film version of the long-running stage hit farce, primarily filmed in Shelley Beach on the KZN South Coast. Cast: Henry Darrow, Marti Caine, Rex Garner.
CHILDREN’S ISLAND (dir Nathaniel Gutman,1982). British children stranded on island after shipwreck. Made for TV children's drama shot on KZN South Coast. Cast: Timothy Stark, Stefan Gates J.D. Roth George Montgomery, Richard Haines.
RIDING HIGH (1982) No plot or cast details. Natal Midlands.
WINCHESTER (1982) No plot or cast details. KZN North Coast and Durban.
IM DSCHUNGEL IST DER TEUFEL LOS/CRAZY JUNGLE ADVENTURE (dir Harald Reinl, Germany, 1982). Comedy adventure. Cast: Jim Mitchum (son of Robert Mitchum) and Zoli Marki. Locations included the Natal Lion Park and Zoological Gardens, Ashburton.
RIDING HIGH (dir David Lister, 1982). Youth drama /adventure serial, centring on a horse-loving young girl who finds success on a Natal midlands horse-riding farm, riding her favourite horse to racing victory. Cast: Joanna Rowlands, Matthias Friese, Diane Britz, Paul Ditchfield, Elizabeth Meyer.
DEADLY PASSION (dir Larry Larson, 1984). Erotic thriller that marked the entry of Anant Singh into the industry. Shot in Johannesburg and Durban (both representing Los Angeles), with beach scenes at the latter (mainly Umhlanga Rocks) standing in for the Caribbean. Cast: Brent Huff, Ingrid Boulting, Harrison Coburn, John Berks.
EENDAG VIR ALTYD/EDGE OF INNOCENCE (dir Chris du Toit, 1984). Romantic thriller. Durban and Johannesburg; Durban actors Don Ridgway and David Bateson appeared in small roles. Cast: Alwyn van der Merwe, Brumilda van Rensburg, Gavin van den Berg, Patrick Mynhardt.
WINCHESTER (dir Chris du Toit, 1984). Family saga (cashing in on the popularity of Dallas and Dynasty) set against the background of a wealthy sugar farm plantation on the North Coast, with veteran actress Lorna Cowell as the steel-willed aging family matriarch. Though shown in 1984 it was shot in 1982. KZN North Coast and Durban. Cast: Sean Taylor, Zoli Marki, Hamilton McLeod plus Durbanites Maureen Adair, Don Ridgway and Roger Service.
DADA EN DIE FLOWER (dir Jan Scholtz, 1984). Romantic drama. Cast: Cobus Rossouw, Sandra Kotze, Christo Niehaus, Natanya van Heerden, Jan Scholtz.
SHAKA ZULU (dir William Faure, 1985). Made for TV mini-series about King Shaka kaSenzanghakhona. KZN North Coast and Zululand. Cast Henry Cele, Edward Fox, Robert Powell, Trevor Howard, Kenneth Griffith.
‘N WERELD SONDER GRENSE (dir Frans Nel, 1986). Drama about the effects of the border war on South African conscripts. Durban locations include the beachfront and nightclubs in Point Road. Several Natal Technikon drama students at the time (including the late Lindelani Buthelezi) have bit parts in the film. Cast: Scot Scott, Brumilda van Rensburg.
JOHN ROSS – AN AFRICAN ADVENTURE (dir David Lister, 1986). Largely fictionalised version of the story of the early life of John Ross, the real life Charles Rawden Maclean. KZN North Coast and Richards Bay. Cast: Ken Gampu, Michael McGovern, Ron Smerczak, Darryl Robertson.
MY AFRICAN ADVENTURE aka GOING BANANAS (dir Boaz Davidson, USA, 1987). Comedy starring Dom DeLuise, Jimmie Walker, Herbert Lom, Graham Armitage, Fats Dibeco and Peter Elliott.
ALIEN FROM LA (dir: Albert Pyun, USA, 1987). Extremely loose adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth with Durban doubling as Los Angeles. Cast: Kathy Ireland, William R. Moses, Richard Haines, Janie Du Plessis.
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (dir Rusty Lemorande, Albert Pyun, USA, 1987). Sequel to Alien From LA, with more Durban (read California) beach scenes. Cast: Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Nicolas Cowper, Kathy Ireland, Janie Du Plessis.
ALIEN FROM LA (dir: Albert Pyun, USA, 1987). Extremely loose adaptation of Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth with Durban doubling as Los Angeles. Cast: Kathy Ireland, William R. Moses, Richard Haines, Janet Du Plessis.
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (dir Rusty Lemorande, Albert Pyun, USA, 1987). Sequel to Alien From LA, with more Durban (read California) beach scenes. Cast: Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Nicolas Cowper, Kathy Ireland, Janet Du Plessis.
THE TANGENT AFFAIR (dir Neil Hetherington, 1987). Adventure thriller. Umhlanga Rocks. Cast: James Ryan, Anneline Kriel, Peter J. Elliott.
AMERICAN NINJA 3: BLOOD HUNT (dir Cedric Sundstrom, USA, 1988). Much of the film was shot in Durban, with the Indian Market posing as the Caribbean though most of the footage ended up on the cutting room floor. Cast: David Bradley, Steve James, Marjoe Gortner.
OPTIONS (dir Camilo Vila, 1988). Light-hearted adventure, with an American businessman encountering and falling for a princess in darkest Africa. KZN North Coast and Wild Coast. Cast: Matt Salinger, Joanna Pacula, John Kani, Tobie Cronje, Eric Roberts.
RHINO (dir Ronnie Isaacs, 1988). Rhino poaching, filmed in Zululand game reserves. Cast: Deon Stewardson, Adrienne Pearce, Maurice Mtshali.
PLATOON LEADER (dir Aaron Norris, USA, 1988). Platoon rip-off set in Vietnam. Durban area. Durbanites Peter Gardner and Themi Venturas appear in small roles. Cast: Michael Dudikoff.
RIVER OF DEATH (dir Steve Carver, USA, 1988). Alistair MacLean adventure thriller based on Alistair Maclean book, with the KZN South Coast and Wild Coast standing in for the South American jungle and the Amazon River. Cast: Michael Dudikoff, Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence, Herbert Lom, Ian Yule, Gordon Mulholland.
HEADHUNTER (dir Francis Schaeffer, USA, 1988). Voodoo horror film set in Miami. Durban may have been used as a location. Cast: Wayne Crawford, Kay Lenz, Steve Kanaly.
MY AFRICAN AFFAIR (dir Timothy Bond, 1988). No plot or cast details.
AGENT ORANGE (dir Robert Davies, 1989). Environmental thriller with Durban and surrounding areas standing in for a generic 'Africa'. Cast: Philip Brown, Michelle Bestbier, Jill Fenson, Nicholas Ellenbogen.
BABY BROWN (dir Joey Ford, 1989). Thriller. Cast: Zoli Marki, Kryska Witkowska, Jeff Fannell.
BARRETT (dir Tonie van der Merwe, 1989). Western with largely Durban-based cast in a western. Shot on a farm near Mooi River. Cast: Mark Mulder, Janine Denison, Peter J. Elliott, Bela Mariani, Peter Gardner.
CHAMELEON aka THIEVES OF FORTUNE (dir Michael MacCarthy, USA/SA, 1989). Adventure. Cast: Michael Nouri, Shawn Weatherly, Lee Van Cleef, Craig Gardner, Russel Savadier.
THE ENDANGERED (dir Mark Engels, Barbara Hammer, 1989). Wildlife adventure. Cast: Mark Mulder, Gordon Mulholand, Musetta van der Merwe, Graham Clarke, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube.
RED ELEPHANTS (dir Wolf Dietrich, Germany/SA, 1989). There were some Zululand locations for this TV mini-series with a wildlife poaching theme. Cast: Wolf Roth, Sydney Chama, Sylvia Janisch, Joe Stewardson.
FATAL MISSION (dir Anthony Bond, 1990). Mercenary action adventure. Graham Clarke, Kari Rose, Ken Gampu, Roger Service, Michael Gritten, Greg Humphreys, Barry Meehan, Michael Swinton, Peter Gardner in other roles.
LAMBARENE (dir Gray Hofmeyr, 1990). Biopic focussing on the latter part of Albert Schweizer’s life, filmed inland from Umhlanga Rocks; Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Susan Strasberg. Henry Cele, Stuart Parker, Bella Mariani and Brenda Radloff were some of the Durban-based actors that appeared. .
AMERICAN KICKBOXER (dir Frans Nel, 1990). Action movie. Salt Rock and the beach in front of the Salt Rock Hotel stood in for Los Angeles. Cast: John Barrett, Terry Norton, Ted Leplat, Brad Morris, Gavin Hood and Durban stalwart Caroline Smart.
CRIME LORDS (dir Wayne Crawford, 1990). "Two cops battle the most vicious crime syndicate in the world" according to the video cover. Cast: Wayne Crawford, Martin Hewitt and Susan Byun. Durban.
MY DAUGHTER'S KEEPER/AU PAIR (dir Heinrich Dahms, 1991). American writer living in England comes to South Africa with his family when his journalist wife is sent here on assignment. He subsequently has affair with the children's nanny who later later kidnaps them in an act of revenge. Old Model Boys' School in Pietermaritzburg. The city also doubled as London. Cast: Nicholas Guest, Ana Padrão and Jocelyn Broderick.
THE GIFT (dir John Rogers, 1990). Little-seen drama set in 1850 Zululand. Shot mainly in Kwa Mashu, with other locations in Durban, the Drakensberg and the Karoo. Cast: Helen Mirren, Paddy Lyster, Ian Roberts, Simon Sabela, Alfred Nokwe Helen Mirren has a cameo.
ORKNEY SNORK NIE – DIS LEKKER BY DIE SEE (dir Willie Esterhuizen, 1993). The popular TV sitcom family goes on holiday to Margate in their first movie. Cast: Zack du Plessis, Annette Engelbrecht, Frank Opperman.
CYBORG COP (dir Sam Firstenberg, 1993). Martial arts expert meets killer robots. Cast: David Bradley, John Rhys-Davies and Ron Smerzcak. Durban and North Coast.
SPANISH ROSE aka POINT OF IMPACT (dir Bob Misiorowski, USA, 1993) American-set action thriller, with locations including Durban, Umhlanga Rocks and the Durban docks. Cast: Michael Paré, Barbara Carrera, Michael Ironside, Ian Yule and Michael McGovern.
THE MAKING OF THE MAHATMA (dir Shyam Benegal, India/SA 1996). Early life of Mahatma Gandhi. Scripted by Fatima Meer. Cast: Rajit Kapoor, Pallavi Joshi, Paul Slabolepszy.
Above: Richard Harris on location during the filming of the second film version of Cry, the Beloved Country (1995).
Photo: Nash Narrandes
CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY (dir Darrell Roodt, 1995). Second film version of Alan Paton's novel. Hilton and Drakensberg, Cathedral Peak area. Cast: Richard Harris, James Earl Jones.
DERBY (dir Bob Clark, USA, 1995). Story of girl and her horse. The Boston countryside is recreated in Durban and Mooi River. Durban’s Stuart Parker, Brenda Radloff and John Simpson had bit parts. Cast: David Charvet, Joanne Vannicola, Len Cariou, Darren McGavin.
DANGEROUS GROUND (dir Darrell Roodt, 1996). Politics and drugs action thriller, with locations shared between Johannesburg and the KZN South Coast, near Port Edward. Cast: Ice Cube, Elizabeth Hurley, Sechaba Morojele, Ving Rhames.
WHITE SQUALL (dir Ridley Scott, USA, 1996). Fact-based sea drama. Some scenes were shot in the sea off Durban. Cast: Jeff Bridges, Scott Wolf, Ryan Phillippe, Balthazar Getty, John Savage.
OPERATION DELTA FORCE 2: MAYDAY (dir Yossi Wein, USA, 1997). Action. Durban harbour (doubling as Russia) was one of the locations. Cast: Michael McGrady, J. Kenneth Campbell, Dale Dye, Simon Jones.
TARZAN AND THE LOST CITY (dir Carl Schenkel, USA, 1998). Most recent celluloid adventure for the ape-man with locations near Port Edward. Cast: Casper Van Dien, Jane March, Winston Ntshona, Ian Roberts.
A REASONABLE MAN (dir Gavin Hood, SA/France, 1999). Culture-clash drama with lawyer defending teenager from rural KwaZulu-Natal who has killed a baby believing it was an evil spirit. Weenen area. First film from the director of the Oscar-winning Tsotsi.
INNOCENT WRATH (dir Ryan Davy, 1998). Drama. Underberg and the Drakensberg. Cast: Thorsten Wedekind, Sandra Ferreira and Thomaley van Niekerk.
SHARK ATTACK (dir Bob Misiorowski, USA, 1999). Jaws rip-off. Cast: Cordell McQueen, Chris Olley, Jacob Makgoba, Casper Van Dien and Paul Ditchfield.
I DREAMED OF AFRICA (dir Hugh Hudson, USA, 2000). Italian Kuki Gallman overcomes family tragedy and comes to Africa. Based on her autobiography. Hluhluwe area. Cast: Kim Basinger, Vincent Perez and Daniel Craig.
THE LONG RUN (dir Jean Stewart, 2000). Failed coach trains woman runner for the Comrades Marathon. The climax was shot along the Comrades' route. Cast: Armin Mueller-Stahl and Nthati Moshesh.
BEHIND THE BADGE (dir Bromley Cawood/Ken Kaplan/Ramadan Suleman/Brian Tilley, 1982). Made for TV series. Durban. Cast: David Dennis, Jerry Mofokeng, Moshidi Motshegwa, Pamela Nomvete, Dan Robbertse, Ian Roberts.
THE YOUNG BLACK STALLION (dir Simon Wincer, USA, 2002). Story of girl and her horse filmed as an IMAX presentation; prequel to The Black Stallion (USA, 1979). Namibia and the Drakensberg provided setting for this tale, which was 1946 North Africa. Cast: Richard Romanus, Biana Tamimi, Gerard Rudolf.
RACING STRIPES (dir Francois DuChau, 2004). Zebra thinks he's a racehorse. Scottsville Racecourse and Nottingham Road area. Cast: Bruce Greenwood, Hayden Panettiere, M. Emmet Walsh.
Above: The poster for Racing Stripes (2004). The film about a zebra with aspirations to be race winner was poster.
MAN TO MAN (dir Regis Warnier, France,SA/UK, 2005). Anthropologists searching for the missing link capture two pygmies. Underberg area. Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas.
STANDER (dir Bronwen Hughes, SA/Canada, 2003). Story of South African bank robber Andre Stander. Durban. Cast: Thomas Jane, Dexter Fletcher, Ashley Taylor, Debora Kara Unger.
COMING TO SOUTH AFRICA (dir Paul Louwrens, Nigeria/SA, 2004). First Nigerian (Nollywood) drama to be filmed here. Set and shot in Durban. Cast: Hakeem Kae Kazim, Jude Hands, Ramsey Nouah.
TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (dir David Attwood, UK, 2004). Large-scale BBC historical mini-series based on William Golding's trilogy centering on the sea voyage from England to Australia of English settlers. Shot at Richards Bay, where a big set containing a life-size replica of the ship was also built. Cast: Sam Neill, Charles Dance, Jared Harris.
HUMAN CARGO (dir Brad Turner, Canada, 2004). TV mini-series dealing with refugees, set in both Canada and central Africa. Cast: Kate Nelligan, Nthati Moshesh, Leslie Hope. Some of it was filmed in Port St Johns and along the KZN North Coast.
YESTERDAY (dir Darrell Roodt, 2004). HIV-positive mother battles to stay alive until her child can go to school. Nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film. Drakensberg area, near Bergville. Cast: Leleti Khumalo.
COMING TO SOUTH AFRICA 2 (dir Paul Louwrens, Nigeria, SA, 2005). Sequel to above, also shot in Durban. Cast: Hakeem Kae Kazim, Jude Hands, Ramsey Nouah.
KAROL (dir Giacomo Battiato, Italy, 2005. Biopic of the Pope John Paul II, partly shot in South Africa, with Durban standing in for the sequences in Uganda. Cast: Michele Placido, Leslie Hope, Jeanne Moreau.
KOCKEN (dir Mats Arehn, Sweden, 2005). Shipboard drama set the 1960’s. Durban. Cast: Kell Bergqvist, Henrik Lundstrom, Peter Vitanen.
LUCKY (dir: Avie Luthra, 2005). Revolving around an HIV-positive black girl who bonds with an Indian neighbour, this Durban-set and filmed short film has won awards all over the world. Cast: Joy Mwandla, Muthal Naidoo.
3 NEEDLES (dir Thom Fitzgerald, Canada/SA, 2005). Three AIDS-themed stories variously set (and shot) in Canada, China and Africa; the latter segment and was filmed in Port St Johns and along the KZN North Coast. Cast: Chloe Sevigny, Olympia Dukakis, Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Ian Roberts.
BLOOD DIAMOND (dir Edward Zwick, USA, 2006). Conscientising adventure set around the subject of blood diamonds and their role in the Sierra Leone civil war. KZN North Coast. Cast: Leonard di Caprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connolly and Arnold Vosloo.
ELEPHANT TALES (dir Mario Andreacchio, France/Italy, 2006). Animal adventure. Filmed in the Drakensberg and near Pietermaritzburg. Cast:Shot in and around Durban, Patrick Bry, Xavier Clement.
FAITH LIKE POTATOES (dir Regardt van den Bergh, 2006). Religious-themed biopic. Greytown and Kings Park Stadium, Durban. Cast: Frank Rautenbach, Jeanne Wilhelm, Hamilton Dlamini.
KRAKATOA: THE LAST DAYS (dir Sam Miller, 2006). Television dramatisation of the famous volcanic eruption, with Durban and the KZN South Coast substituting for the original Indonesian locations. Cast: Rupert Penry-Jones, Olivia Williams, Robert Hobbs.
RUNNING RIOT (dir Koos Roets, 2006). Comedy centred around the Comrades Marathon shot along the Comrades route. Cast: Bill Flynn and Paul Slabolepszy.
OIL ON WATER (dir Peter Matthews, 2007). Drama about "the effects of schizophrenia on those who suffer from it, and on those who love and live with them". KZN north coast. Cast: St. John Alexander, Bianca Lishansky and Vanessa Marawa.
DIAMONDS (dir Andy Wilson, UK/Canada, 2007). TV mini-series with similar subject matter to Blood Diamond. Various KwaZulu-Natal locations. Cast: James Purefoy, Judy Davis, Derek Jacobi, Marius Weyers.
10 000 BC (dir Roland Emmerich, USA, 2008). Prehistoric epic that follows a young mammoth hunter's journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe. Much preproduction was done in the Underberg area but then the unit moved to more suitable locations in New Zealand.
DHOOM 2 (dir Sanjay Gadhvi, India, 2006). Cop thriller. Durban. Cast: Abishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.
PRIMEVAL (dir: Michael Katleman, USA, 2006). Horror film involving man-eating crocodile set against the Burundi genocide. Cape Town doubled as New York and KZN as Burundi. Spioenkop Nature Reserve and Shongweni Dam and Nature Reserve were the main locations, with others in the vicinity of Winterton, Ladysmith, Bergville, Hillcrest, Assegai and the Valley of a 1000 Hills. Cast: Dominic Purcell, Orlando Jones, Brooke Langton, Jurgen Prochnow, Gideon Emery.
BAY OF PLENTY (2007). Baywatch clone. Made for TV series with multiple directors. Durban. Cast: Sihle Xaba, Thomas Gumede, Bongeka Mpongwana, Siyabonga Shibe, Waseem Shaikh.
RACE (dir Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla and Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla, India, 2008). Thriller with horse-racing background. Durban. Cast: Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif, Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna, Sameera Reddy.
SURVIVING EVIL (dir Terence Daw, USA, 2008). Horror film set in the Philippines, actually Durban. Cast: Billy Zane, Natalie Mendoza, Christina Cole, Colin Moss.
TUNNEL RATS (dir Uwe Boll, UK/Australia, 2008). Vietnam action film shot around Durban. Cast: Michael Pare, Nate Parker, Rocky Marquette.
MY BLACK LITTLE HEART (dir Claire Angelique, Denmark/Germany/SA 2008) A largely non-professional cast recreate the underground drug culture of Durban. 'Durban has never looked more beautiful or more ugly' according to a synopsis.
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH (dir John Kani, 2008) Film adaptation of Kani’s play examining the relationship between political exiles and those who remained in South Africa during the apartheid era. Cast: John Kani, Rosie Motene.
MR BONES 2 (dir Gray Hofmeyr, yet to be released). Cast: Leon Schuster. Durban.