King Solomon's Mines



Dated classic has colonial racial views.
  • Review Date: May 7, 2003
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1950
  • Running Time: 103 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The film is laden with colonial attitudes and racism. Though these aspects of the film were standard for  the period, it's because of them that the film hasn't aged well and seems outdated today. 


Some, including fights to the death with various weapons.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The bad guy drinks brandy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some children may be disturbed by the violence, and others may be upset by the scene in which Elizabeth Curtis admits that she did not love her husband, and that she is seeking him out of guilt rather than devotion.

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What's the story?

In KING SOLOMON'S MINES, Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) hires the best "white hunter" in Africa (Stewart Granger as dashing Allan Quartermain) to help her find her husband, who was lost searching for the legendary King Solomon's diamond mines. At first, he refuses, saying that women have no place on safari. When she offers twenty times his usual fee, he accepts, but he remains skeptical about her motives and about her ability to survive the trip. In the traditional "road movie" fashion, they develop respect and affection through their adventures.

Is it any good?


This is the best of the many versions of the classic adventure novel by H. Rider Haggard. The story (and the performances) are a bit creaky, but it is an old-fashioned technicolor spectacular, with breathtaking and Oscar-winning cinematography. Filmed on location in Kenya, and the then- Tangynika and Belgian Congo, the out-takes from this movie were used in several other movies, including the otherwise poor 1977 remake. The footage of the landscapes and of the animals is strikingly clear and vivid, especially an unforgettable shot of a just-uncurling brand-new baby alligator and the scenes of the Watusi dancing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the outdated colonial views.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 9, 1950
DVD release date:January 11, 2005
Cast:Deborah Kerr, Richard Carlson, Stewart Granger
Director:Compton Bennett
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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