The Ghost and the Darkness

The Ghost and the Darkness

Stephen Hopkins (1996)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Screenwriter William Goldman developed this true colonial yarn of man versus near-mythical beast and writes candidly about its shortcomings in his book Which Lie Did I Tell?. He wanted to tell the tale of the man-eating Tsavo lions that terrorised the building of a railway in East Africa in the late 1800s, but producer Michael Douglas pulled rank and decided he would also star as the enigmatic big game hunter who assists Val Kilmer's engineer. Douglas and Kilmer did not hit it off on a stressful location shoot, and since their relationship is central to the story (the vicious lions are barely seen, even at the climax), it fails to convince on any level. There's majestic scenery, but nothing to get your teeth into in the foreground except ham.


Two man-eating lions are preventing a military engineer from building a railway line in 19th-century East Africa because they are preying on his workforce. The company behind the project hires a big-game hunter to kill the animals - but the locals are convinced the cunning predators are possessed by demons. Action adventure, with Michael Douglas, Val Kilmer, Bernard Hill and Tom Wilkinson.

Cast & Crew

Remington Michael Douglas (1)
John Patterson Val Kilmer
Dr Hawthorne Bernard Hill
Samuel John Kani
Beaumont Tom Wilkinson
Starling Brian McCardie
Mahina Henry Cele
Abdullah Om Puri
Helena Patterson Emily Mortimer
Director Stephen Hopkins
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK)Guidance: Contains violence and some swearing.Available on: video and DVD