King Solomon’s Mines is a 1937 British adventure film directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Paul Robeson, Cedric Hardwicke, Anna Lee, John Loder and Roland Young. The first of five film adaptations of the 1885 novel by the same name by Henry Rider Haggard, the film was produced by the Gaumont British Picture Corporation at Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd’s Bush. Sets were designed by art director Alfred Junge.
Although versions of King Solomon’s Mines were released in 1950 and 1985, this film offering is considered to be the most faithful to the book.  Nonetheless, if you read the book you will quickly realize how dissimilar the book is from the movie, for instance; the addition of a white female lead (the novel had an interracial romance subplot) and some musical interludes deliberately added to give Paul Robeson a chance to sing. In contrast to later adaptations, it does depict Allan Quartermain (not Quatermain, as in the book) as a dispassionate, professorial type uninterested in romance, as in the book.
In 1882, Irish dream chaser Patrick “Patsy” O’Brien (Arthur Sinclair) and his daughter Kathy (Anna Lee) have failed to strike it rich in the diamond mines of Kimberley, South Africa. They persuade a reluctant Allan Quartermain (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) to give them a lift to the coast in his wagon.
Along the way, they encounter another wagon carrying two men in bad shape. Umbopa (Paul Robeson) recovers, but Silvestra (Arthur Goullet) dies after boasting to Quartermain that he has found the way to the fabled mines of Solomon. Patsy finds the dead man’s map. He sneaks off during the night, unwilling to risk his daughter’s life. Kathy is unable to persuade Quatermain to follow him. Instead, they rendezvous with Quartermain’s new clients, Sir Henry Curtis (John Loder) and retired navy Commander Good (Roland Young), out for a bit of big game hunting.
Kathy steals Quartermain’s wagon to go after her father. When they catch up with her, she refuses to go back with them, so they and Umbopa accompany her across the desert and over the mountains, as shown on the map. During the arduous trek, Curtis and Kathy fall in love. On the other side of the mountains, they are surrounded by unfriendly natives and taken to the kraal of their chief, Twala (Robert Adams), to be questioned. Twala takes them to see the entrance of the mines, guarded by the feared witch doctor Gagool (an uncredited Sydney Fairbrother).
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