The .450 Double Rifle Of Dennis Finch Hatton

If I recall correctly that rifle was in .475 3 1/4 NE from the start, later rebarreled to .450 NE..
 
Really enjoyed this article. The rifle is in the same league as the rifles of Corbett and Hemingway that have been the subject of recent articles on AH. As to the movie, I always wondered why the American Robert Redford was chosen to play the tall angular Brit Denys Finch Hatton. Still, I thought he did an excellent job. Bror Blixen (The Waddler) often introduced DFH as "my good friend and my wife's lover". I suggest that next, the sleuth forementioned seek out The Waddler's .505 Gibbs, or maybe Bill Finaughty's Roer, Foa's 4 bore, or Baker's .375 short. Isak Dinesen........"The Story Teller" wrote a great book, and the movie adaptation was excellent . Last I saw, a toothless hag was charging $2 to walk to DFH's grave..............FW Bill
 
In 2018 I called on Ray Ward's in London, to see the Finch-Hatton Lancaster rifle, and it had just been purchased by a private individual and spirited away
 
Great post! What a story about Finch Hatton's rifle!
I have wondered what Redford was carrying in the lion charge scene in the movie. It looks like a Holland & Holland and I think Meryl Streep is shooting a 275 Rigby single square bridge. Looks like the same flat bolt handle that Karomoja Bell liked.
Out of Africa is one of my favorite books and movies and it was probably what pushed me over the edge to book my first safari to Africa in 1987.(I also like Beryl Markham's West with the Night). I did some research on how/why Redford was cast as a British nobleman and why he didn't even attempt an English accent. The producers has some reservations as well until Redford showed up in costume and they started shooting the film. I think he did a good job as a "great white hunter" of that era, but was not a good casting for DFH. It was all about box-office and chemistry with Meryl Streep.
I will take issue with those who didn't like her in the film. Her politics aside, she is brilliant as Karen Blixen. I have watched the movie countless times and noticed something about her performance: she is great with accents and she begins the picture with a fairly heavy Danish accent, but by the end of the movie--and the end of Karen Blixen's time in Kenya--her accent is more English. It's subtle, but probably it's what would have happened to a Danish woman living among mostly British colonists in Kenya for as long as she did.
Klaus-Maria Brandauer (sp) was also great as Bror Blixen.
 
Great post! What a story about Finch Hatton's rifle!
I have wondered what Redford was carrying in the lion charge scene in the movie. It looks like a Holland & Holland and I think Meryl Streep is shooting a 275 Rigby single square bridge. Looks like the same flat bolt handle that Karomoja Bell liked.
Out of Africa is one of my favorite books and movies and it was probably what pushed me over the edge to book my first safari to Africa in 1987.(I also like Beryl Markham's West with the Night). I did some research on how/why Redford was cast as a British nobleman and why he didn't even attempt an English accent. The producers has some reservations as well until Redford showed up in costume and they started shooting the film. I think he did a good job as a "great white hunter" of that era, but was not a good casting for DFH. It was all about box-office and chemistry with Meryl Streep.
I will take issue with those who didn't like her in the film. Her politics aside, she is brilliant as Karen Blixen. I have watched the movie countless times and noticed something about her performance: she is great with accents and she begins the picture with a fairly heavy Danish accent, but by the end of the movie--and the end of Karen Blixen's time in Kenya--her accent is more English. It's subtle, but probably it's what would have happened to a Danish woman living among mostly British colonists in Kenya for as long as she did.
Klaus-Maria Brandauer (sp) was also great as Bror Blixen.
YES! Someone else who has discovered "West with the Night." Hemingway thought the book was so good that he professed to genuinely hate Beryl Markham, because no one should be able write such a book as a first effort. It also provides a far more sympathetic portrait of Bror Blixen than one gets in "Out of Africa." A woman scorned is bad enough - one who can also write will leave a lasting mark. :oops:

And I agree with you - Streep was truly brilliant in that role. I also thought Redford worked because of the chemistry between two incredible actors at the top of their game overcame the issue of Redford's accent. I was unaware of the casting backstory, but if Redford is going to play an Englishman, he might as well do it as Redford.

I recently watched "Knives Out" (entertaining but not "Out of Africa") where Daniel Craig, as Benoit Blanc attempts what I presume the director thought (or hoped?) was Southeastern Louisiana / New Orleans accent - it wasn't pretty. Fortunately, the movie was a comedy. Letting Redford be Redford was wise.
 
YES! Someone else who has discovered "West with the Night." Hemingway thought the book was so good that he professed to genuinely hate Beryl Markham, because no one should be able write such a book as a first effort. It also provides a far more sympathetic portrait of Bror Blixen than one gets in "Out of Africa." A woman scorned is bad enough - one who can also write will leave a lasting mark. :oops:

And I agree with you - Streep was truly brilliant in that role. I also thought Redford worked because of the chemistry between two incredible actors at the top of their game overcame the issue of Redford's accent. I was unaware of the casting backstory, but if Redford is going to play an Englishman, he might as well do it as Redford.

I recently watched "Knives Out" (entertaining but not "Out of Africa") where Daniel Craig, as Benoit Blanc attempts what I presume the director thought (or hoped?) was Southeastern Louisiana / New Orleans accent - it wasn't pretty. Fortunately, the movie was a comedy. Letting Redford be Redford was wise.
The producers figured that in 1982 no one, especially in the U.S., knew who Karen Blixen or Denys Finch Hatton were, so casting Redford as a dashing big game hunter with an American accent was a safe bet for ticket sales. The movie really made Karen Blixen and Finch Hatton much more famous than they were. Also, the outside scenes at Blixen's farm were actually filmed at her home outside Nairobi on the site of the old coffee plantation. It's a kind of museum and tourist destination.
 
I
It's a book, I have no idea if the audio version would be on YouTube or not. When I get hom I'll have to look. I can't remember the title.
The Man Who Women Loved is a good biography on Blix.

African Hunter is the name of Blixen’s own book. I own a copy of the St Martin’s Press print. Pretty good too.
 
If anyone is looking for more on Finch Hatton, I recommend Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton by Sara Wheeler.

The author did a good job piecing together his life. It really fleshes out the story told in Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa which was quite romanticized.
 
The producers figured that in 1982 no one, especially in the U.S., knew who Karen Blixen or Denys Finch Hatton were, so casting Redford as a dashing big game hunter with an American accent was a safe bet for ticket sales. The movie really made Karen Blixen and Finch Hatton much more famous than they were. Also, the outside scenes at Blixen's farm were actually filmed at her home outside Nairobi on the site of the old coffee plantation. It's a kind of museum and tourist destination.

I’ve been there a number of times while in Nairobi, beautiful spot. The first time I went I thought I had walked onto the set! We were born 100 years late!
 
The producers figured that in 1982 no one, especially in the U.S., knew who Karen Blixen or Denys Finch Hatton were, so casting Redford as a dashing big game hunter with an American accent was a safe bet for ticket sales. The movie really made Karen Blixen and Finch Hatton much more famous than they were. Also, the outside scenes at Blixen's farm were actually filmed at her home outside Nairobi on the site of the old coffee plantation. It's a kind of museum and tourist destination.


Sidney Pollack specifically canned the english accent. The real Finch Hatton was tall, bald, well-educated, sardonic, aloof, and a hell of a good shot. I would have loved to know him. I have been to the house where he was born in Kensington, London England. It is at 22 Prince of Wales Terrace. Imagine the coincidence that he would be born in a house on a street named for the (eventually) person he would be most famous for taking on safari? Kismet, I'd say...
 
I’ve been there a number of times while in Nairobi, beautiful spot. The first time I went I thought I had walked onto the set! We were born 100 years late!


It is a great place. After the young Maasai docent finished his little tour (It was just he and I and he said I knew more about the Karen, et. al than he did), he left me alone and I walked back and took some pics and just spent a quiet moment trying to cast my mind back 100 years thinking of the conversations and people that had been through that house. Wonderful place.
 
If anyone is looking for more on Finch Hatton, I recommend Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton by Sara Wheeler.

The author did a good job piecing together his life. It really fleshes out the story told in Karen Blixen’s Out of Africa which was quite romanticized.


A decent book. Wheeler has a bad habit of just lifting a few ideas and phrases from other books though without credit. Still, it's worth reading.

Errol Trzbenskis book on Denys is good and was one that the movie was based on. A bit dry and pedantic, but good. By the way, her husband is the one Karen slaps in the movie at New Years.

In the scene when Karen is asking for a loan, there is a sepia picture of a soldier on the desk. That is Donald Seth-Smith, professional hunter Tony Seth-Smith's father. He was a founder of Muthaiga club. I went on safari with his grandson, Tony's son, Martin a few years ago. Fun history!
 
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Here is a video that actually has moving pics of Denys and Blixen. It's a bit bleeding heart - for lack of a better phrase, but it's pretty good. Tony Seth-Smith has a brief section as does Martin. The double Martin takes out of the case is his dad's Rigby 450 Nitro that his mother gave him - I've held it. A real classic.

 
Here is a video that actually has moving pics of Denys and Blixen. It's a bit bleeding heart - for lack of a better phrase, but it's pretty good. Tony Seth-Smith has a brief section as does Martin. The double Martin takes out of the case is his dad's Rigby 450 Nitro that his mother gave him - I've held it. A real classic.

Thanks for posting this extraordinary video which I had never even heard of.
 
Wow, I commented on a stale, four-year-old thread, and look at all the pent up excitement. I am not alone, I am not alone! :)
I’ve not had the chance to go to Africa but I’ve read a fair amount of Africana. I was just glad to have a topic I could contribute to!
 
While this is an older commentary. it is not a bit stale...

In London in the late Fall of 2001 while on leave, I went over to Holland and Holland, Bond Street.
Sitting on a glass case was an unmarked leather case for a 450/400 3 in Nitro Holland & Holland double rifle. The weathered tag was marked Finch Hatton. One of the Holland staff said that it had just been purchased, and had been returned to Bond Street for a bit of " sprucing up." The H&H staff member was quite knowledgeable, offering that he really could not provide the name of the new owner, as the house rules forbade that. He did state that the rifle had belonged to Denys Finch Hatton. So it is indeed quite possible that DFH had more than one double rifle.

The Patterson twin maneaters are maneless pale lions now in the Field Museum, Chicago.
The Lunatic Line from Nairobi to Mombassa was held up until Lt Col Patterson put paid to their nightly forays.

Hemingway, in a rare moment, remarked that Beryl Markham was an accomplished writer, while writers such as he just cobbled bits and pieces together to produce mediocre works. Markham, he considered in her autobiography-was a highly gifted author as much above others as the aircraft she flew Westward to establish the first solo flight by a woman from England to North America.

British East Africa in the early 1900s produced some interesting and gifted people. Both Markham
and Baroness Blixen were also most attractive in the 1920s

HRM

Lt Col-USA-Ret
 
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I have wondered what Redford was carrying in the lion charge scene in the movie. It looks like a Holland & Holland
Last fall my wife and I were in Enid, OK bringing my VC .470NE to Champlin Arm to have a red dot put on the rifle. We were able to tour the vault and spotted the rifle used by Robert Redford in the movie “Out of Africa”

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We enjoyed to movie greatly while we were dating and it became the model of how we would set up camp when we would take our boys camping. I just recently read the book, “Out of Africa.” If you have been to Africa, Blixen’s description is amazing.
 
How mutch was the price, sir?
 

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tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
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Sable @ the lodge this morning

Buffalo encounter this morning!

 
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