GenreAdventure Story byErnest Hemingway CountryUnited States
Release dateApril 20, 1947 (1947-04-20) (New York City) Based onThe Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber
by Ernest Hemingway WriterErnest Hemingway (story), Seymour Bennett (adaptation), Frank Arnold (adaptation), Casey Robinson, Seymour Bennett CastGregory Peck (Robert Wilson), Joan Bennett (Margaret Macomber), Robert Preston (Francis Macomber), Reginald Denny (Police Inspector), Jean Gillie (Aimee), Carl Harbord (Coroner) Similar moviesPrey, Hatari!, Wildlife South Africa 3D, Tarzan and His Mate, Safari, The Snows of Kilimanjaro
TaglinePeck...Bennett...Hemingway...only all three together could create this electric love story...with a vengeance!
Francis Macomber (Robert Preston) and his wife, Margaret (Joan Bennett), hire experienced hunter Robert Wilson (Gregory Peck) as their guide on a safari through Kenya. After embarking on the trip, Margaret becomes quickly and openly attracted to Robert. The safari guide refuses her advances, but the situation causes tension between husband and wife. When Margaret shoots Francis, its up to a jury to decide whether she meant to kill her spouse or the stampeding buffalo behind him.
The Macomber Affair is a 1947 movie set in British East Africa concerning a fatal triangle involving a frustrated wife, a weak husband, and the professional hunter who comes between them. The film was distributed by United Artists and directed by Zoltan Korda, and features Gregory Peck, Joan Bennett, and Robert Preston.
The screenplay was written by Casey Robinson and Seymour Bennett and adapted by Bennett and Frank Arnold, based on "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", the 1936 Ernest Hemingway short story.
A big-game hunter (Gregory Peck) takes a rich American couple (Joan Bennett, Robert Preston) on an African safari. Film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber".
Margaret "Margot" Macomber (Joan Bennett) is unhappily married to Francis Macomber (Robert Preston). As their plane lands in Nairobi, Kenya, accompanied by Robert Wilson (Gregory Peck), a big-game hunter, Francis is dead from a gunshot wound to the back of his head.
What happened was this: Francis, a wealthy man, has alienated his wife Margot with his physical cowardice while on safari. She is attracted to Robert, so to prove his masculinity, Francis sets out to kill a lion. He succeeds only in wounding it. Robert insists the animal must be tracked and killed so it will not to suffer. When the wounded lion charges, Francis runs and Robert must shoot it. A furious Margot humiliates her husband by kissing Robert on the lips.
As the couples animosity grows, Francis is cruel to a servant. When a wounded cape buffalo charges on the next mornings hunt, Margot takes aim and shoots, but her bullet strikes Francis and he falls dead. Robert tries to get her to admit that the shot was accidental as Margot prepares to go on trial for her life.
Gregory Peck as Robert Wilson
Joan Bennett as Margaret "Margot" Macomber
Robert Preston as Francis Macomber
Reginald Denny as Police Inspector
Jean Gillie as Aimee
Carl Harbord as Coroner
Vernon Downing as Reporter Logan
Frederick Worlock as Clerk
Bosley Crowther, in The New York Times, said the film, except for the beginning and the end, was a "quite credible screen telling" of a short story Hemingway felt was one of his best. Crowther also said that "it makes for a tight and absorbing study of character on the screen" if you ignore what the producers added at the beginning and the end. Crowthers review opined that "the contrived conclusion that the guide has fallen in love with the dame and that possibly the shooting was accidental is completely stupid and false".
Ernest Hemingway wrote the story for The Macomber Affair and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Joan Bennett appears in The Macomber Affair and The Man I Married. Ernest Hemingway wrote the story for The Macomber Affair and Under My Skin. Gregory Peck appears in The Macomber Affair and The Paradine Case. Safari (1955).
The film is loosely based on a true incident in which Audley Blyth shot himelf while he and his wife Ethel were on safari with John Henry Patterson. When Patterson returned to England with Mrs Blyth, a murder and affair were suggested.