Hettie Uys, the beautiful teacher in "Daar Doer in die Bosveld" filming a scene with Jamie, his family and his decrepit car












Daar Doer in die Bosveld

A classic South African comedy in which a young Jamie Uys plays producer, writer, director and star, and his wife Hettie Uys the romantic interest. Somewhere in the bushveld, Hans Botha is doing the usual farm rounds when his friend and neighbour comes around with an urgent request: please collect the new teacher at the bus stop.

The shy Hans is alarmed, saying he does not know how to talk to women. Prevailed on nevertheless, Hans sets off in his old jalopy, which for good measure has no brakes. He eventually arrives at the bus stop, where the teacher, Martie, is waiting patiently. She is pretty and young and the already flustered Hans proceeds to flatten her hatbox, allow the car to run off with her, and dump her in the river. By the time Hans says goodbye, Martie is angry and he is in love.

AWARD:
1953: The Schlesinger Drum: Award of Merit: Daar Doer In Die Stad.
 


Cast: Jamie Uys, Hettie Uys, Jurg du Preez
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Language: Afrikaans (No subtitles)
Running time: 62 min
Producer: Jamie Uys
Year: 1951
Copyright: © MNet
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Erika Norton scolding Jamie Uys, the "Boer" because of his fighting with the Englishman












Vyftig / Fifty (a.k.a Vyftig / Vyftig or 50/50)

Two men, one English and one Afrikaans, apply for bus tickets with the intention of going on a trip and spend that trip not relaxing but getting in each other’s faces. The two bicker and quarrel throughout the trip until a fellow passenger challenges them to walk all the way home, unaided and without food or water, leaving the rest of the bus passengers in peace and the unfortunate pair as hobos by the end of the trip.


Cast: Jamie Uys, Tromp Terreblanche, Erika Norton, Hettie Uys, Andries Roux
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: Afrikaans / English
Running time: 70 min
Producer: Jannie Raath
Year: 1952
Copyright: © Raath Films
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Jamie and Marietjie Uys and their puppy in the city












Daar Doer in die Stad

An early South African comedy in which a young Jamie Uys reprises his roles from Daar Doer in die Bosveld, playing producer, writer, director and star. Uys is Hans Botha, a farmer married to the ex-teacher Martie (played by Hettie Uys, Jamie’s wife). Tragically, Martie dies after being bitten by a snake.

Hans and their daughter Marietjie (played by Uys’s young daughter, also named Marietjie) go to Johannesburg to patent his peanut-sorting machine so he can make enough money to return to the farm. The big city is foreboding and dangerous but in the end the goodhearted farmer and his little girl finds happiness.
 


Cast: Jamie Uys, Hettie Uys, Jurg du Preez
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 70 min
Producer: Jamie Uys
Year: 1954
Copyright: © MNet
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Siegfried Mynhardt












Paul Kruger

It is 1899 and the Anglo-Boer War is raging. British soldiers are implementing a scorched-earth policy, burning all Boer farmsteads and crops to the ground. Against this backdrop unfolds the biography of Paul Krüger, formidable Boer leader and president of the Transvaal Republic.


Cast: Jamie Uys, Siegfried Mynhardt, James Norval, Wena Naudé
Director: Werner Grünbauer
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans / English
Running time: 90 min
Producer: FPA Bpk
Year: 1955
Copyright: © MNet
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Johan du Plooy and Jamie in jail.












Geld Soos Bossies / Money To Burn

Two dirt poor brothers are desperate to make a quick fortune. They devise a scheme using chainmail…


Cast: Jamie Uys, Jok Uys and Johan du Plooy
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: English / Afrikaans
Running time: 70 min
Producer: Jamie Uys Productions
Year: 1955
Copyright: © MNet
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Hettie Uys helping uncle Jamie after an unfortunate fall.












Die Bosvelder

Widescreen remake of Uys’ first feature “Daar Doer in die Bosveld”. Somewhere in the bushveld, Hans Botha is doing the usual farm rounds when his friend and neighbour comes around with an urgent request: please collect the new teacher at the bus stop. The shy Hans is alarmed, saying he does not know how to talk to women. Prevailed on nevertheless, Hans sets off in his old jalopy, which for good measure has no brakes. He eventually arrives at the bus stop, where the teacher, Martie, is waiting patiently. She is pretty and young and the already flustered Hans proceeds to flatten her hatbox, allow the car to run off with her, and dump her in the river. By the time Hans says goodbye, Martie is angry and he is in love.


Cast: Jamie Uys, Hettie Uys, Johan du Plooy, Jan Bruijns
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 70 min
Producer: Jamie Uys Productions
Year: 1958
Copyright: © Jamie Uys Film Productions (PTY) LTD
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Satanskoraal

When Portuguese marine scientists discover that large chunks of coral have gone missing off the Mozambican coast, they call in a rich playboy and an expert in coral, played by Ponie de Wet. He jets off to Inhaca Island with his dog-loving assistant Gamtas, where he meets an English girl who shares his love of diving. The girl, however, turns out to be a decoy, who must distract Ponie while tons of coral are loaded into a submarine. It seems some foreign power wants the material to create a great barrier reef in the Gulf Stream that will freeze England and Europe.


Cast: Ponie de Wet, Linda Bosman, Tessa Laubscher
Director: Elmo de Witt
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 82 min
Producer: Jamie Uys Productions
Year: 1959
Copyright: © MNet
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Jamie , as Rip van Wyk, in Commissioner Street leading a hired horse under the impression that he had purchased it for five shillings












Rip van Wyk

A local version of the American Rip van Winkle tale produced by Jamie Uys. Rip van Winkle is the story of a man who drinks too much and falls asleep under a tree, waking up 20 years later to discover how America changed during the Civil War, while Rip van Wyk concerns a slow-witted Afrikaner living in 1858 who wakes up a century later and has to cope with the big city.

AWARD:
1958: London Film Festival: Outstanding Film of the Year: Rip van Wyk.
 

 


Cast: Jamie Uys, Gert van den Bergh, Eynona Cheyney, Douglas Fuchs
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: English / Afrikaans
Running time: 84 min
Producer: Emil Nofal / Jamie Uys Productions
Year: 1959
Copyright: © MNet
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Jamie, as Hans the refreshing the inner man before taking to the road in an effort to arrive in Johannesburg before the "Rooinek".












Hans & Die Rooinek (aka Sidney & The Boer)

This early Jamie Uys comedy examines the “war” between two South Africans, one English, one Afrikaans. The chief battle is over which official Language of the time should take prominence: English or Afrikaans. Hans and Sydney are on a bus tour to the Cape. Hans is Afrikaans; Sydney is English. They chat up two pretty young women – and also quarrel between themselves all the way. Finally the tour guide kicks them off, forcing the two men to walk all the way back to Johannesburg…


Cast: Jamie Uys, Bob Courtney, Wynona Cheyney
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: English and Afrikaans
Running time: 90 min
Producer: Jamie Uys
Year: 1960
Copyright: © MNet
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An Afrikaans schoolboy labelled with a "donkey" sign by the English teacher for not speaking English.












Doodkry is Min

A cultural film concerning the evolution of the Afrikaans-language. Made at the behest of the Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurverenigings. The open air premiere was attended by a vast crowd of some 50 000 people. Uys received the coveted Besembostoekenning.
 

AWARD:
FAK (Federation for Afrikaans Culture): Besembos Award:
Exceptional Film Art: Doodkry Is Min.
 


Cast: Jan Bruijns, Douglas Fuchs and Tommie Meyer
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Political Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Jamie Uys Productions
Year: 1961
Copyright: © FAK
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A scene from the movie "The Hellions"












The Hellions

The Hellions tells the story of a gangster and his sons who lay siege to a town in the 1800s Transvaal and Sam Hargis, the policeman who goes up against them, ultimately bringing them down with the help of the, at first, timid townsfolk.


Cast: Jamie Uys, Patrick Mynhardt, Anne Aubrey, Richard Todd
Director: Ken Annakin
Genre: Action Drama
Language: English
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Jamie Uys, Irving Allen
Year: 1961
Copyright: © Sony Entertainment
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A scene from the movie "Voor Sononder"












Voor Sononder

Inspired by the Western genre, this cowboy-type tale unfolds on the Transvaal Highveld shortly after the Anglo-Boer War in 1902. A Boer hero back from the front, gets drawn into small-town politics when he sides with a young farmer who has made an enemy of the town’s most powerful man.  


Cast: Dawid van der Walt, Tromp Terre’blanche,   Marie du Toit
Director: Emil Nofal
Genre: Romance / Action / Western
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 67 min
Producer: Jamie Uys and Emil Nofal
Year: 1962
Copyright: © MNet
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Lord Oom Piet (aka Lord Uncle Pete)

Staunch Afrikaner and Nationalist Party supporter Oom Piet Kromhout of Kransberg is standing for election against his neighbour, Sir David, who represents the United Party. The two farmers bicker about politics, unaware their teenage children have fallen in love. One day, Oom Piet gets shocking news that he is an English lord.


Cast: Jamie Uys, Bob Courtney, Madeleine Usher
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: Afrikaans / English
Running time: 104 min
Producer: Jamie Uys
Year: 1962
Copyright: © MNet
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Kimberley Jim

Jim Reeves’ first and only feature film (which he was never to see, as he died in an aeroplane crash before its’ premiere) is a musical comedy about two good natured conmen who descend on Kimberley during the diamond rush. Reeves extends himself so far as to partially sing in Afrikaans at one point.


Cast: Jim Reeves, Clive Parnell, Vonk de Ridder, Madeline Usher, Mike Holt
Director: Emil Nofal
Genre: Musical-comedy
Language: English and Afrikaans
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Jamie Uys Film Productions
Year: 1963
Copyright: © Embassy Films
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Al Debbo












Die Wonderwêreld van Kammie Kamfer

Boet Troskie and Mimosa Films filmed their first film, "DIE WONDERWÊRELD VAN KAMMIE KAMFER" ("The wonderful world of Kammie Kamfer"), in 1964. Kammie Kamfer works at a company that tests people for the theatre, radio and film industry. However, the poor man suffers from extreme hypochondria. His pharmacist friend is only making matters worse. Kammie discovers that there is medication available that prevents you from getting ill should a… uh, sea lion bites you. Of course he has to take this – and it changes him in many ways. All of a sudden he is able to wrestle and gamble! The poor man then sets about gambling himself into a hilarious crisis…


Cast: Al Debbo, Brian O’Shaugnessy, June Neethling, Trudi Rossouw, Willie van Rensburg, Gert van den Bergh
Director: Al Debbo
Genre: Comedy
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 80min
Producer: Mimosa Films
Year: 1964
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Dingaka

The chilling story of an African whose daughter is slaughtered in a ritual murder and his pursuit of the killer. Based loosely on Uys’ 1950’s short “The Fox Has Four Eyes”.


Cast: Sir Stanley Baker, Juliet Prowse, Ken Gampu and Gordon Hood
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Culture Clash Drama
Language: English
Running time: 98 min
Producer: Jamie Uys Productions
Year: 1964
Copyright: © Embassy Pictures
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Three beautiful French girls refreshing Jamie, the Russian Diplomat, after a long and tiring day's walking












All the way to Paris (aka After You, Comrade)

Bob Courtney and Jamie Uys were part of the Golden Age of South African film comedy. In this send-up of the absurdities of international relations, they play the American and Russian delegates to a UN conference in Athens on international standards. When the two become mired in insoluble trivialities, a challenge is issued: he who reaches Paris first on foot wins the issues – whatever those may be!


Cast: Jamie Uys, Bob Courtney, Reinet Maasdorp
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Running time: 90 min
Producer: Jamie Uys, Jamie Uys Production
Year: 1965
Copyright: © MNet
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A scene from the movie Debbie












Debbie

Debbie falls pregnant by medical student Paul but his family rules out any possibility of him marrying the love of his life, which her farmer father wants. Instead, Debbie puts up their baby daughter for adoption and Paul goes overseas to further his studies. When Paul returns to assume a senior post at one of the country’s leading medical institutions, he contacts Debbie but she declines his invitation to rekindle their friendship. However, they are drawn together again when their child is brought to Paul’s hospital for neurological examination after a fall and so this poignant drama unfolds.


Cast: Susanne van Oudtshoorn, Gert van den Bergh, Leon le Roux
Director: Elmo de Witt
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 85 min
Producer: Jamie Uys Films, Elmo de Witt
Year: 1965
Copyright: © MNet
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Die Professor & Die Prikkelpop (aka The Professor & The Beauty Queen)

The MIMOSA FILMS movie "DIE PROFESSOR EN DIE PRIKKELPOP" ("The Professor and the Beauty Queen") was produced by Boet Troskie in 1967, with Jamie Uys as director and scriptwriter. This was also Jamie Uys’ first movie for Mimosa Films. "DIE PROFESSOR EN DIE PRIKKELPOP" is the story of an absent-minded professor, Hans Botha (Jamie Uys), who gets involved as a judge in a beauty pageant. Then his son is kidnapped. The viewer is drawn into the jealous infighting among the contestants, the long-suffering chaperone and the hapless professor, who does all the wrong things at the right time. Everybody tries to help, but just ends up causing more problems. Other actors include Bernadette da Silva, Genevieve Waite (South Africa’s answer to Britain’s “Twiggy”), Reinet Maasdorp, Gordon Mulholland, Carike Keuzenkamp (who sings the hit song “Timothy” in the movie), Erica Rodgers, Liezel Bosman and Tani de Lange, who makes her debut. "DIE PROFESSOR EN DIE PRIKKELPOP" is a family comedy with a lot of suspense and a happy ending.


Cast: Jamie Uys, Wynand Uys, Gert van den Bergh, Reinet Maasdorp, Tani de Lange, Bernadette da Silva, Gordon Mullholland, Erica Rodgers, Madam Sarah Sylvia, Ian Yule, Genevieve Waite
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: Afrikaans / English
Running time: 84 min
Producer: Mimosa Film Productions
Year: 1967
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Wynand Uys as Dirkie








Dirkie: Lost in the Desert (a.k.a. Adventures In The Red Desert)

Filmed in the most dangerous wastelands, the Kalahari Desert, the film is the creation of Jamie Uys. “LOST IN THE DESERT”, is a story of suspense, conflict and incredible human courage as an 8 year old boy and his dog are left to face this vast wasteland alone after an aeroplane crash while an army of men and machines penetrate the desert in search for them.“LOST IN THE DESERT” is based on true events and is sure to hold you spellbound! Few have ever entered the deadly, mysterious Kalahari … and lived to reveal its secrets!

DIRKIE (WYNAND UYS) MEETS THE FURY OF THE MOST DANGEROUS WASTELAND ON EARTH IN “LOST IN THE DESERT”.

Award: 1972: Teheran Film Festival: Lost In The Desert (Dirkie)

BEHIND THE SCENES…In some way or another each one of Uys’ Mimosa pictures provided the spark for the next one. The film-maker was flying to Namibia to promote "Die Professor en die Prikkelpop" (1967) when he became completely hypnotized by the sprawling red dunes of the desert. As a seasoned cinematic storyteller he realized that, in spite of its majesty, images of dunes will only mesmerize audiences for a few moments. He had read of a plane crash in which only a small child survived. Uys’ script told of a sickly boy (Wynand Uys) that is sent by his pianist father (Jamie Uys) to a dryer climate. The plane carrying the boy crashes; he is lost in the Namib Desert together with his dog. The father frantically searches for him… Initially entitled "The Fallen Sparrow", Uys later decided on "Dirkie" (the English version was released as "Lost In The Desert" or "Adventures In The Red Desert"). Dirkie’s story might have been a simple premise but the production was a grueling epic. Most directors that have filmed in the Namib usually did not venture away from the beaten track but said Uys, “We are going to film at even the most inaccessible places.” Uys and Mimosa negotiated permission to film at places that are legally off-limits to the public; including parts of Namibia’s confined diamond zone. Uys travelled thousands of miles across Namibia, first by car and then plane, location-scouting. Then the cinematic endurance race started. Actual filming stretched from the Kalahari Gemsbok Park to Etosha to Windhoek to Walvis Bay, Rhehoboth and the restricted diamond zone. The Uys-team would drive 11 000 kilometres through the wilderness to make the picture. Challenges abounded: The R250 000 budget didn’t allow for a glamorous safari – it was boendoe bashing all the way. They would camp far away from civilization (and sometimes water) which made planning for the production an intricate operation. Once a week a plane brought provisions from Windhoek, otherwise the film-makers were on their own. The small crew, 11 whites and 5 blacks, had to obey food and water rations. Temperatures were extreme: The nights icy; the days hellish. Only a small window of time existed for optimum filming. Tents, equipment, notes and supplies were constantly blown away by desert winds. They tented in the Namib wilderness amidst roaming beasts. Animals used in the film, ranging from a leopard to a hyena to a baboon to snakes and scorpions, an Alsatian and Dirkie’s pet Cairn terrier had to be tended to as well. These animals were tamed but not trained which complicated the film making. Furthermore Jamie Uys suffered from a unique medical condition. The intense heat made his lips burst into a (painful) bloody mush. When Uys (lead actor / scriptwriter / director / principal cameraman) became incapacitated the production stopped, sending costs soaring. Dawid, a local Toppenaar, played a Khoi San without ever having seen a movie, which complicated the production even further. Uys needed an indigenous child to play a part in the movie. Remembering an old legend, the secluded local tribes were convinced “the white one” wanted to buy their kids as slaves. After gentle negotiations (as well as a change of filming-location) the director acquired his actress. However, the two most treacherous challenges facing Uys were dunes and sand. “At night he has nightmares about those footprints,” a concerned Hettie Uys, Jamie’s wife, mentioned. The red dunes (the film’s muse) were nightmarish. The boy was supposedly alone in the desert. When a dune shot (towering things in the Namib) demanded a retake a different virgin dune without inerasable footprints had to be found. Secondly the fine desert sand got into the cameras. It took only a few sand particles to obliterate the delicate film. Uys could not evaluate the filmed material in the desert. The film was flown from Namibia to London where it was developed by Eastman / Technicolor. Only back in Johannesburg could he see the material (making editing a nightmare.) If it was damaged or Uys was unhappy with a scene, the whole production team had to trek back and reshoot; prolonging production and wrecking the budget. At long last – and after a lot of public anticipation and speculation – "Dirkie (Lost In The Desert)" was released in 1969. It was more than just successful: It set South African box office records. The 13 prints Mimosa Films had made were not nearly enough which meant Mimosa officials had to travel across the country to deliver copies. Boet Troskie and Mimosa Films brokered a masterful deal for Dirkie’s international distribution with the Columbia Pictures Corporation that screened it almost worldwide with tremendous success, putting Uys squarely on the international studios’ radar.


Cast: Wynand Uys, Jamie Uys, Sue Burman, Wilhelm Esterhuizen, Pieter Hauptfleisch
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Drama
Language: English / Afrikaans
Running time: 70 min
Producer: Boet Troskie
Year: 1969
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Staal Burger

During the 1960s the Afrikaans radio service of the South African Broadcasting Corporation presented a series on the adventures of a super secret agent, Staal Burger, a character created by the well-known SABC broadcaster Fanus Rautenbach. "STAAL BURGER" had an enormous following among listeners – the rich playboy with an eye for a pretty girl, his fast cars and his straight-punching way with the bad guys! Daan Retief, who played the role of Staal Burger in the radio series, reprises his role for the movie. He is assisted by Staal’s sidekicks, Willem (Sarel Breed) and Dada (Miems de Bruyn).


Cast: Daan Retief, Sarel Breed, Miems de Bruyn, Heleen Wessels, Ankia Lotter, Tiny de Lange, Mary-Anne Berold, Tromp Terrèblanche, Willie Steyn, P.W. Marais, Alewyn Lee, Essie Esterhuyzen, Josh du Toit and Nic Swanepoel
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Action comedy
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 87 min
Producer: Boet Troskie, Constantia Films
Year: 1969
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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Breekpunt / Breakpoint

BREEKPUNT (Breakpoint) is set against the arid landscapes of the Northwestern Cape and Southern Namibia. The story revolves around an eternal love triangle. On her wedding day, Marie (Tani de Lange) is kidnapped by her manically jealous former fiancé (Cobus Rossouw). He threatens to shoot her and himself should she try to escape. Her current fiancé (Dawid Swart) realises that she has been kidnapped and sets out to rescue her. Tani de Lange has been nominated for the "Gert van den Bergh" Award for her portrayal of Marie.


Cast: Tani de Lange, Cobus Rossouw, Dawid Swart
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans / English
Running time: 77 min
Producer: Constantia Film Productions
Year: 1971
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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Salomien

CONSTANTIA FILMS’ SALOMIEN was produced by Bill Troskie in 1972, with Daan Retief as director. The film is based on Elsabe Steenberg’s original story “Rondomtalie” (Roundabout), which was published in the magazine “Sarie Marais”. Elsabe also wrote the film script. Salomien (played by Petru Wessels) is sent to prison for murdering her husband, Ernst (Don Lamprecht). She is suffering from amnesia, but the prison’s chaplain (Cobus Rossouw) believes she will be able to remember by writing down her fragmented memories. This the story of her husband’s murder unfolds.  


Cast: Petru Wessels, Don Lamprecht, Cobus Rossouw, Wena Naudé , Wilna Snyman, Magda Beukes, Doreen Lamb, Johan Brewis, Eghard van der Hoven, Christine Stevens
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Bill Troskie (Constantia Films)
Year: 1972
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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Jamie 21 (compilation film)

 

The best of the best! Daan Retief was commissioned by Boet Troskie to commemorate Jamie Uys’ twenty one years in the film industry. The tribute-compilation contains twenty five fragments from Uys films up till that point. From Daar Doer in die Bosveld to Lord Uncle Piet to Dingaka to Dirkie….


Cast: Too many to mention (1950-1973)
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Compilation (comedy, drama, adventure)
Language: English / Afrikaans
Running time: 85 min
Producer: Boet Troskie (Mimosa Films)
Year: 1973
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Beautiful People (aka Animals are Beautiful People)

Jamie Uys spent over a year in the Kalahari Desert making this film, emerging eventually with enough footage for at least five full length motion pictures. “Beautiful People” is a wild life adventure story depicting life in the animal community and was filmed against the scenic beauty of Southern Africa including the Kalahari, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.  Special permits were obtained from the various authorities to film in the restricted areas. The Story unfolds in the Namib desert, that vast barren waste-land where only tiny prints in the sand tell a story of a life that exists – where little creatures, from insects to reptiles, reign.  A story of survival of the fittest.

Awards:
1974: Hollywood Press Association: Golden Globe for Best Documentary.
1974: Hollywood Film Company: Golden Scissors Award: Outstanding Achievement in Editing: Beautiful People
1974: American Editors Incorporated: Eddy Award: Best Edited Documentary:Beautiful People

BEHIND THE SCENES…After the overseas breakthrough with Dirkie, Hollywood wanted another Uys-picture. While filming Dirkie in Namibia, Uys was mesmerized by the desert’s fauna and flora. He was to make a full-length feature film about it: No humans. No dialogue. But a cast of thousands. Although styled like a nature documentary, Beautiful People was an epic feature. Uys revealed Southern Africa’s fauna and flora as a lush-dried paradise. He was to capture a rainbow of trees, plants, flowers and seeds to birds to fish and insects and reptiles as well as herbivores and carnivores plus his beloved desert in an unimaginable way. Beautiful People showed how the wild kingdom and the human world mirrored each other. Part comedy, part drama, part adventure, part tragedy, part romance, part action, part educational – the picture, essentially, was a combination of all genres.  The most grueling production of his career of almost 50 years, Beautiful People was beset with practical impossibilities. The regions Uys wanted to explore cinematically morphed with the slightest change in the weather – never mind seasons. Nature cannot be hurried; the film-maker simply had to wait, film and wait again. The wild is wild: a missed shot was lost forever. Furthermore he wanted to capture Southern Africa’s natural world almost in its entirety, a rather far-fetched ambition for a man who preferred to work alone. As chief cinematographer, he travelled about 200 000km through the Kalahari, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in over three years. “In spite of the heat, rain, tsetse flies and humidity it was fun for the most of the time,” said Uys. “Each change in the weather brought out different animals for me to look at, study and film.” In the end he had an astounding 804 672 metres of film – he was personally going to edit it to 3 000m. Working non-stop for 18 months, Uys, jetting between his Johannesburg studios and California, edited the labyrinth of film; his overzealousness resulting in cardiac arrest. Rina Venter, from Mimosa Films, said: “He’s overextended and moreover he’s doing everything himself.” Dr Boet Troskie, backed by Hollywood, managed a million dollar production (South Africa’s first) which was quickly depleted by a drawn-out production. The Americans demanded a film or the money. With the one-man movie-maestro in intensive care, the picture had the potential to kill Uys and massacre Mimosa Films. Dr Troskie persevered and Uys made a miraculously quick recovery. Uys again tackled the picture. The film was presented to experts to explain the animals’ behaviour and if “they could not tell me I would work it out for myself”. Next Uys had to write an absorbing commentary with which to tie-up some 40 sequences. Four years in the making, the feature’s success (locally and internationally) was – to say the least – unprecedented.  Beautiful People wasn’t merely a huge success: By 1975 more than 3 000 000 had seen the picture – more than the country’s entire white population. Locally the picture made more than R3 000 000. At just one South African bioscope it sold more tickets than an average Afrikaans movie grosses nationally. In November 1974, Variety, Hollywood’s daily gospel, stated: “Beautiful People is an extraordinary African nature documentary, one of the finest examples of its kind and told with a singleness of purpose…” When just released in the USA, its popularity was fantastic: Within three weeks it made $525 000 in Los Angeles and $450 000 in Dallas. In Hong Kong the film (permanently sold out) caused havoc. Large crowds waited (im)patiently for hours to get tickets. In Bangkok – in 48 hours – it had set an attendance record. It made more than (US) $965 000 at three Tokyo theatres within 84 days; within 33 days Hong Kong’s seven bioscopes sold tickets worth (USA) $618 905 – eventually making twice as much as the legendary Star Wars. Across South America the movie was thrashing records.  By 1980 the film had earned some (US) $15 000 000. In the same year Boet Troskie sold the television rights to the giant American network NBC: 20 000 000 Americans watched it in one broadcast. In 2009 the film, bought by Warner Bros., is still shown on television worldwide. Awards proliferated – including America’s coveted Golden Globe for best documentary.
 


Cast: Southern African Wildlife
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Wildlife Documentary
Language: English
Running time: 93 min
Producer: Boet Troskie
Year: 1974
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Soekie

SOEKIE is based on Santie Grosskopf’s popular story “Die hele dorp weet” (The entire town knows), which was first filmed by CARFO in 1961. It is a family drama which focuses on the destructive effect of an impending divorce on family life. Erna van den Bergh is Soekie, with Petru Wessels as her mother and Dawid van der Walt as her father.  Tani de Lange and Danie Smuts play supporting roles. SOEKIE is a family story full of drama and sadness, but with a happy ending.


Cast: Erna van den Bergh, Petru Wessels, Dawid van der Walt, Tani de Lange, Danie Smuts
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 79 min
Producer: Bill Troskie (Constantia Films)
Year: 1975
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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Die Rebel / Sending vir 'n Voortvlugtige

CONSTANTIA FILMS’ DIE REBEL (The Rebel) was produced by Bill Troskie in 1976, with Daan Retief as director and scriptwriter. DIE REBEL is the film adaptation of Cor Nortjé’s thriller “Sending vir ‘n voortvlugtige” (Mission for a fugitive), which was broadcasted twice by the South African Broadcasting Corporation. The rebel Fritz Dercksen (Will Roberts) is an unconventional character. When he is drafted into military service his attitude changes and he becomes a hero. The Army recognises his many talents and he is trained to gather military intelligence. However, due to circumstances beyond his control he is dishonourably discharged and sent to prison. There, Colonel Dreyer (Jan Bruijns) forces him to choose: he either accepts his mission or he stays in prison. 


Cast: Will Roberts, Jan Bruijns, Richard Daneel, Tani de Lange, Wena Naude, Wilna Snyman
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 106 min
Producer: Bill Troskie (Constantia Films)
Year: 1976
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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What can happen if one works in Jamie Uys' cake factory










Funny People

The first of many Candid Camera type comedies made in South Africa.“Funny People” is packed with scenes which will make you double up with laughter! What would you do if you were walking along the street and a cute little lady rushed up to you and gave you a smashing kiss, as if you’d known each other for years?  And how does one remain cool as a cucumber when you’re busy with an important audition and the chair you are sitting on gets hotter and hotter until you have to jump up in discomfort to save your behind? Then there is the case of the bank note sticking out from under the wheel of a car.  People will always be human and no-one will walk past without trying to pull it out, even if the mudguard comes off or the hooter suddenly starts blowing.

BEHIND THE SCENES…“Actually I had my crew just film a couple of comical shots to keep them busy after we had completed Beautiful People, ” explained Uys. “When I saw the result, we just left everything and started to work on what would later become Funny People.” Uys first saw hidden camera-comedies, showing ordinary citizens’ reactions to extraordinary situations, as a schoolboy and loved the idea. “It’s fascinating to see how people reveal their personalities in moments of stress,” said Uys. He experimented with the concept while making the 1969 short film "Marching To Pretoria". Dr Troskie flew to New York to meet with Allan Funt, legendary creator of Candid Camera, to negotiate permission to use the premise. The Uys-team compiled a list of almost a hundred sequences from which they chose about 50 to stage. The scenarios had to be planned with precision – catching humorous reactions meant precise timing; camouflaging the cameras and microphones were also tricky. Filming across the country took 18 months. They snared hundreds of South Africans of all ages and races. Uys then sat with five hours of usable material which had to be edited into a 90 minute picture, taking him six months. Funny People (1976) was to better the record-breaking Beautiful People’s historic records. Public anticipation for South Africa’s first hidden camera-film was ablaze. Nationwide theatres were sold out for days – even before its release. In some cities all sessions were sold out weeks in advance. In its first week alone, grossing about R250 000! No other film had ever achieved that. The spur-of-the-moment comedy provoked such a national circus of popularity that Boet Troskie decided to take it to the Cannes Film Festival (the global cinema industry’s most important trade fair). He successfully sold the film for distribution in most countries worldwide. They bought the movie without having seen it – the name Jamie Uys clinched the deal. After engulfing South Africa, once more depleting the State’s film subsidy scheme, Uys’ People annexed box offices across the world raking in millions for years. While selling Funny People at Cannes, Boet Troskie was besieged by interest in Uys. Some of the world’s largest film-financiers demanded the right to bankroll his next three productions!


Cast: Unsuspecting general public
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Hidden camera comedy
Language: English
Running time: 88 min
Producer: Jamie Uys
Year: 1976
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Dingetjie en Idi

This hilarious comedy follows the journey of Daan and his brother, Dingetjie, who travel to Cape Town in search of Doctor McDonald to cure Dingetjie’s shy nature. They encounter a conman who introduces the duo to a phone clairvoyant who promises to heal Dingetjie spiritually. Ouma “Muti” miraculously cures him by means of a fake medallion. The medallion transforms Dingetjie into a powerful, wealthy businessman and owner of a detective agency.  The agency is assigned a special case.  The question is, will Dingetjie and his team complete the mission while everyone wants to get their hands on the medallion?


Cast: Dawie Malan, Louw Verwey, Trix Pienaar, Mary Dreyer, Tobie Cronje, Nerina Ferreira
Director: Dirk de Villiers
Genre: Comedy
Language: Bilingual (Afrikaans / English)
Running time: 79 min
Producer: Dirk de Villiers (Aurora Films)
Year: 1977
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Tobie Cronje












Kom tot Rus

Kom tot Rus (Settle Down) is based on a popular radio series by Pieter Pieterse and tells the story of the Botha family. Having had enough of big city life, they decide to relocate to the Bosveld. For Marius Botha (Cornelis Esterhuyse) the farm Kom tot Rus is the perfect place. Marius swops his Mercedes Benz for a pick-up truck and he moves with his family to the country for some peace and quiet... until the intrigues start to unfold. Cattle theft, a detective trying to catch poachers, a scheming young man, a bachelor and a seductive widow, as well as two calm senior citizens all play a role as the saga unfolds.


Cast: Cornelis Esterhuyse, Tobie Cronjé, Don Leonard, Wena Naudé, Coreen Olivier, Willie van Rensburg, Isabel Pienaar, Erica Rogers, Anna Cloete
Director: Elmo de Witt
Genre: Comedy
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 94 min
Producer: Elmo de Witt (Mimosa Films)
Year: 1977
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Mooimeisiefontein

An English teacher (Janet du Plessis) accepts the invitation of a local headmaster (Hal Orlandini) to come and teach at a school at a rural town called Mooimeisiesfontein. However, there’s a twist in the tale when the new teacher meets the headmaster’s son (Will Roberts) on the train en route to the town. The rugged farmer immediately falls head over heels in love with her and decides to go back to school to complete his final school year... and to be close to the new English teacher! This leads to numerous run-ins between father and son – with hilarious consequences.


Cast: Janet du Plessis, Hal Orlandini, Will Roberts, Danie Smuts, Volente Bertotti
Director: Elmo de Witt
Genre: Comedy
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 89 min
Producer: Elmo de Witt (Elmo de Witt Films)
Year: 1977
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Iemand soos jy / Someone like you

Starring the world’s most beautiful woman! If audiences of the film “Someone Like you” think that the heroine is the most beautiful woman they have ever seen it will hardly be surprising … Anneline Kriel was voted “Miss World” in in 1974. Based on the story by Roald Dahl, this film is packed with suspense, and the drama of a love triangle with an unusual twist. “Someone Like you”  is a dramatic and tender love story, it’s a “people” film, an eternal triangle story involving two girls, one rich and one from the poorer part of town who fall in love with the same man.  The conflicts of their lives, and loves will keep you spellbound, till the closing moment. A film that starts off in the glory of a simple love affair, and ends in the tensions of a High Court case. “Someone Like you” is a love story with an unusual twist. The agony of the poor and the thrill of the rich … experience the drama when these two worlds meet.


Cast: Annelien Kriel, Hans Strydom, Janet du Plessis, Don Leonard, Milla Louw
Director: Elmo de Witt
Genre: Romantic drama
Language: English / Afrikaans
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Elmo de Witt (Mimosa Film Distributors)
Year: 1978
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Sonja

The CONSTANTIA FILMS movie SONJA is a romantic drama produced in 1971 by Bill Troskie, with Daan Retief as director and scriptwriter. It tells the story of Sonja’s (played by Petru Wessels) husband, Chris (Hans Strydom), who is obsessed with having children to carry the proud De La Rey family name. His wife realises that, due to circumstances, Chris will not be able to father a child. To solve the dilemma, she gets pregnant through a friend, Martin (Will Roberts). Sonja’s best friend, Nicolente (Elma Potgieter), a paraplegic who is in love with Chris, uncovers the secret. She threatens to tell Chris that the child is not his – unless Sonja asks for a divorce and leaves Chris.


Cast: Petru Wessels, Hans Strydom, Will Roberts , Elma Potgieter, Zack du Plessis, Gert van Tonder, Cobus Robinson
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Bill Troskie (Constantia Films)
Year: 1978
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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Grensbasis 13

A fictional police base on the border between Angola and the former South West Africa. While patrolling, a mail convoy is ambushed and most of the soldiers are shot. The captain (Danie Joubert) is rescued, but one of his constables (Tommie Erasmus) is taken prisoner. Die constable’s sister (Karin Kritzinger) is also the captain’s girlfriend. GRENSBASIS 13 (Border Post 13) tells the story of the captain’s suspenseful and action-filled rescue attempt in order to bring his sweetheart’s brother home.


Cast: Danie Joubert, Tommie Erasmus, Karin Kritzinger
Director: Elmo de Witt
Genre: Action
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 86 min
Producer: Philo Pieterse (Aurora Films)
Year: 1979
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Night Of The Puppets

A train from the city of San Diaz steams across the monotonous desert landscape towards Angra Pequena, a village on the barren coast. On board the train is Charly, a young carefree pick-pocket, bumming a ride.  Unaware of what fate has in store for him, Charly makes lighthearted fun of his fellow travelers.  Angra Pequena with its own peculiar enchantment is the background for this unusual and off-beat love story between two young people from differing worlds.  In a strange castle-like house on the outskirts of the village, Jenny Markham a naïve seventeen year old girl whose only “Friends” are her puppets, is kept a virtual prisoner by her disturbed grandmother who has influenced Jenny to believe that her mother had killed Jenny’s father.During the New Year’s eve festivities a jittery, sweating Kramer kills an innocent shopkeeper, to get money for drugs. The local police tyrant, Condorini, immediately suspects Charly of the crime, and so the hunt for Charly begins. Then follow a series of intriguing and often amusing adventures between the obsessed Condorini and the petty thief, Charly. It is during this hunt that Charly finds refuge in the Markam’s sinister home and also meets Jenny. Although worlds apart in background they soon fall in love, only to have it shattered by Condorini when he eventually arrests Charly.  Jenny now completely disillusioned, decides to leave.  Molly, the Markham’s housekeeper, rushes to the prison to tell Charly of Jenny’s impending departure.  At this point the story takes an unexpected turn.  Charly escapes from prison and Condorini, now completely besides himself with range, stalks Charly who is making his way to the station before the train leaves with Jenny aboard. The suspense builds up to a dramatic climax before Charly and Jenny are re-united in a bittersweet, but happy ending.
 

 


Cast: Piero von Arnim, Leonie Ross and Barry Trengove
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Adventure
Language: English
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Bill Troskie (Constantia Films)
Year: 1979
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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Kiepie en Kandas

After many years, Kandas (Ryno Hattingh), literally runs into his primary school sweetheart, Kiepie (Debbie Labuschagne), on the university campus. Immediately, the spark between them is back! However, Kiepie is engaged to a bright young lawyer (Mieder Olivier), who drags Kandas to court over an accident.


Cast: Ryno Hattingh, Debbie Labuschagne, Pierre Knoesen, Alex Heyns, Friedrich Stark, Willie Van Rensburg
Director: Jan Scholtz
Genre: ‘Varsity’ comedy
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 87 min
Producer: Jan Scholtz (a Kasteel-Constantia Film)
Year: 1980
Copyright: © Kasteel-Constantia Film
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The Gods Must Be Crazy

High international success for Jamie Uys and Mimosa Films.
The peaceful co-existence of a small Bushman community is destroyed when a Coke bottle falls from the sky.  They have never seen as strange an object and think it a gift from the gods. In their community they have no sense of ownership, they share and share alike, but now individuals want to possess this wonderful thing and problems, previously unknown, start.  Why did the gods send only one? It is decided that Xi will travel to the end of the world and return the bottle to the gods by tossing it over the edge.  So starts a journey that would lead to many strange and eventful adventures.

Awards:
 
1981: Switzerland’s Festival International du Film de Comedie pour: Grand Prix: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

1981: Norwegian Film Festival: Grand Prix: Voted the most popular movie by the jury and press and the public.

1981: London Film Festival: Outstanding Film of the Year: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

1982: France’s Chamrousse Grand Prix: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

1984: Film Advisory Board: Award of Excellence: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

1984: Southern California’s Motion Picture Council: Golden Halo Award of Special Merit: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

1984: Southern California’s Psychotherapy Affiliation / Screening Guild: Courage in Filmmaking Award: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

1985: The Academy of Science Fiction and Horror Films: Golden Scroll: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

1985: The Academy of Family Films and Family Television: Award of Merit: The Gods Must Be Crazy.

2000: Yahoo!: The Gods Must Be Crazy: Nominated by Americans as 7th best foreign film – ever.
 

 


Cast: N!Xau, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, Ken Gampu, Louw Verwey, Nic de Jager, Jamie Uys
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Running time: 105 min
Producer: Boet Troskie (Mimosa Films / Ace Films)
Year: 1980
Copyright: © Ace Films
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APRIL 1980

She was innocent but perfect for their schemes. As a spy, he was in the ideal position on campus. As an activist, everybody had to kneel before his warped ideals…


Cast: Doon Boshoff, Sandy Horn, Joe Stewardson, Michael Richard, Bill Flynn, Trix Pienaar, Marie du Toit
Director: Jan Scholtz
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans / English
Running time: 90 min
Producer: André Scholtz (Scholts Films /Mimosa Films)
Year: 1981
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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A scene from "Beloftes van More"












Beloftes van More

The CONSTANTIA FILMS movie "BELOFTES VAN MÔRE" (Tomorrow’s promises) was produced by Bill Troskie in 1981, with Daan Retief as director and scriptwriter. "BELOFTES VAN MÔRE" is based on a story by Empie Maritz and takes place in a hospital. For years, Nursing Inspector Ella Rossouw (Magda Beukes) carried a grudge against Matron Ria Vermeulen, whose two daughters, Heleen (Elzette Maarschalk) and Christa (Elize Lizamore), are employed as nurses at the same hospital. Christa is especially popular among the cancer patients. Ella tries to get back at Ria by being prejudiced against her daughters and by lodging a complaint of misconduct against Ria at the hospital board. Danie Joubert and Mieder Olivier play romantic roles. Other well-known actors include Corrie Huyser, Alex Heyns and Trudie Taljaard.


Cast: Magda Beukes, Elzette Maarschalk, Elize Lizamore, Danie Joubert, Mieder Olivier, Corrie Huyser, Alex Heyns, Trudie Taljaard
Director: Daan Retief
Genre: Drama
Language: Afrikaans
Running time: 80 min
Producer: Bill Troskie (Constantia Films)
Year: 1981
Copyright: © Constantia Films
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The Riverman / Return To Eden

The Riverman tells the powerful and captivating story of the one man’s obsession to exploit an uranium-rich stretch of African land to bolster company profits as well as for his own benefit, as opposed to another’s genuine concern for ecological conservation. Caught in the middle of this struggle is a beautiful woman who eventually is virtually torn apart by her feelings for the one and her moral obligation to the other. This invariably leads to a fascinating love triangle and an explosive final confrontation!  
 

 


Cast: Michael Parks, Deborah Wakeham, Christopher Cazenove, Ken Gampu
Director: Ivan Hall
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Running time: 90 min
Producer: Emil Nofal (Aurora Films)
Year: 1983
Copyright: © Aurora Films
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Funny People 2

The most hilarious “happening” to hit the South African cinema screen is about to be released … The ever watchful eye of Jamie Uys is twinkling again … and if you thought “FUNNY PEOPLE” was comedy at its best, wait until you see "FUNNY PEOPLE 2"! The man who focused his candid camera on the public a few years ago to the chortling glee of thousands of cinema-goers, is back in the business with a brand new version.
"FUNNY PEOPLE 2" will make you roar with laughter!
 


Cast: Unsuspecting general public
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Hidden camera comedy
Language: English
Running time: 86 min
Producer: Boet Troskie, Jamie Uys
Year: 1983
Copyright: © Mimosa Films
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Back To Freedom

Ivan Hall’s action-filled tale of three adventurers who are caught up in a tropical wilderness amidst a civil war. The three – a scientist Dr Paul Flemming, the no-nonsense Janet Henderson and master conman Sammy Samson – cannot stand one another but circumstances force them to work together for their own survival. After many adventurous twists and unsuspecting turns Janet ends up with a microdot – for the launch of a nuclear cruise missile... The three unlikely heroes must now fight against time and a dangerous army to stop a nuclear holocaust!


Cast: Philip Brown, Michael D. Roberts, Hal Orlandini, Paul Eilers, Sam Ntsinyi, Joey de Koker, Dorothy Ann Gould, Tony Caprati
Director: Ivan Hall
Genre: Action adventure
Language: English
Running time: 95 min
Producer: Henry Hyman (ACE Film Corporation)
Year: 1986
Copyright: © Ace Films
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The Gods Must Be Crazy II

The gods must be crazy at times, but they also have a sense of humour.  Why else would they have allowed man to get so caught up in this technological achievements that he forgets how to survive in Nature? Xixo, the bushman, (played by Xao), has already come through one encounter with black and white people – the “heavies” – out beyond the edges of the magnificent Kalahari. This time, a game ranger, a New York lady lawyer, a Cuban and a Unita soldier, and two ivory poachers, get their tracks well and truly crossed in the heart of Xixo’s country, generating more laughs than a whole pack of hyenas!


Cast: Xao, Hans Strydom, Lena Farugia, Pierre van Pletzen
Director: Jamie Uys
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Running time: 93 min
Producer: Boet Troskie (ELRINA Investment Corporation)
Year: 1989
Copyright: © ELRINA Investment Corporation
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Daar Doer in die Bosveld
Vyftig / Fifty (a.k.a Vyftig / Vyftig or 50/50)
Daar Doer in die Stad
Paul Kruger
Geld Soos Bossies / Money To Burn
Die Bosvelder
Satanskoraal
Rip van Wyk
Hans & Die Rooinek (aka Sidney & The Boer)
Doodkry is Min
The Hellions
Voor Sononder
Lord Oom Piet (aka Lord Uncle Pete)
Kimberley Jim
Die Wonderwêreld van Kammie Kamfer
Dingaka
All the way to Paris (aka After You, Comrade)
Debbie
Die Professor & Die Prikkelpop (aka The Professor & The Beauty Queen)
Dirkie: Lost in the Desert (a.k.a. Adventures In The Red Desert)
Staal Burger
Breekpunt / Breakpoint
Salomien
Jamie 21 (compilation film)
Beautiful People (aka Animals are Beautiful People)
Soekie
Die Rebel / Sending vir 'n Voortvlugtige
Funny People
Dingetjie en Idi
Kom tot Rus
Mooimeisiefontein
Iemand soos jy / Someone like you
Sonja
Grensbasis 13
Night Of The Puppets
Kiepie en Kandas
The Gods Must Be Crazy
APRIL 1980
Beloftes van More
The Riverman / Return To Eden
Funny People 2
Back To Freedom
The Gods Must Be Crazy II
Chillies

In Lord Oom Piet Uys made history by saying the dirtiest word in a South African film up till then. Appearing in a kilt before a group of rough and tough guys, he said: “Let just one bastard laugh!” Cinematic history…

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