The literalism of writer-director Richard Brooks serves him well in this meticulously faithful adaptation of the Robert Ruark novel Something of Value. Filmed on location in Africa, this is the story of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, as seen through the eyes of a handful of protagonists. Virtually alone in a sea of racist British colonialism, gentleman farmer Peter McKenzie (Rock Hudson) strives to understand the demands of freedom and equality made by Kenya's black population in particular and his childhood friend Kimani (Sidney Poitier) in particular. Ultimately, however, McKenzie and Kimani find themselves on opposite sides of the fence when the latter aligns himself with the Mau Mau. Without advocating the terrorism of this controversial movement, the screenplay is careful to deal the ongoing iniquities and frustrations that forced men like Kimani to take arms against their white brethren. There were a few theatres in the American south who, feeling that the racial tensions inherent in Something of Value hit too close to home, refused to book this fascinating, thought-provoking, often startlingly brutal film.
by Hal Erickson synopsis