MGM's expensive remake of the 1937 British adventure film King Solomon's Mines stars Stewart Granger as fearless-explorer Alan Quartermaine, and Deborah Kerr as the spunky Irish lass who hires him on to locate her husband. Kerr's spouse has disappeared somewhere in Africa while attempting to unearth the long-lost diamond mines of King Solomon. Quartermaine wants no part of so risky an undertaking until Kerr waves 5000 pounds of sterling under his nose. Coming upon a Watusi tribe, the explorers discover that their taciturn native bearer (Siriaque) is actually a deposed Watusi king, who intends to wrest the throne back from his usurpers. Quartermaine uses his wits to quell the natives and keep his party from being killed on the spot. The group finally reaches King Solomon's Mines, where rests the bones of Kerr's late husband. The ending of this version of King Solomon's Mines doesn't pack the same ironic punch as the climax of the 1937 version, but this MGMization is more concerned with the blossoming romance between the leading man and leading lady than with full fidelity to the H. Rider Haggard novel on which it is based. King Solomon's Mines was filmed on location in Africa, which proved an excellent decision in the long run: for several years afterward, MGM adventure films like Watusi (1959) and Trader Horn (1973) were able to economically lift huge chunks of Technicolor stock footage from King Solomon's Mines. The property would be remade once more in 1985, this time as an Indiana Jones rip-off starring Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Stone.
by Hal Erickson synopsis