When the great potato famine hits Ireland, the diaspora begins as thousands emigrate. Among those leaving the Emerald Isle is Katie O’Neill and her husband, who decide that the promised land is South Africa and make their way there. Once there, they discover the hardships that are the reality of the homesteader experience. To complicate matters, Katie meets up with the love of her life, Paul van Riebeck. Will there be betrayal on the veldt?
User Reviews: 20Th Century Fox produced and released some epic motion pictures in Delux Color and CinemaScope in the 1950’s such as The Robe, The Egyptian.Untamed was one such movie with would be advertised as monumental and sweeping in it’s scope.. The story of a young women named Katie O’Neill Kildare born of the Irish landed gentry who loses everything in the Irish Potato Famine of 1847. She and husband Sean migrate to South Africa and join Boar pioneers to become part of the Great Trek and help settle the Orange Free State.
Susan Hayward was queen of the 20TH Century Lot at that time and got first pick of any of the roles that the studio had available. She hoped Untamed would be her Gone With the Wind and any resemblance between Katie and Scarlett O’Hara is purely intentional.Fox matinée idol Tyrone Power is Boar military commander Paul Van Riebeck who is sort the Ashley Wilkes of this tale and Katie pursues him as Scarlett pursues Ashley.Richard Egan portrays Kurt Hout a Boar settler who is in lust with Katie and is always more then willing to play the chump for her. Agnes Moorehead and Hope Emerson were two of my favorite Hollywood…er.. ah…actresses and their involvement in any film always upgraded it’s quality.
Veteran director Henry King was 20TH Century Foxes top drawer helmsman and a personal friend of Powers. He ha also directed Hayward in several of her best films.King kept the story very visual.
Untamed starts out with a bang.Paul Van Riebeck comes to the O’Neill Estates in Ireland to purchases horses from Squire O’Neill , Katie’s father.Paul and Katie dislike each other at first so you know that they will soon passionately in love with each other. Paul can’t let his feelings for Katie interfere with his duty to his cause so he returns to South Africa to resume his mission, leaving Katie heartbroken. Like Scarlet, Katie just isn’t used to being dumped by a man.So it’s not surprising that when the opportunity presents itself shes off to South Africa with her husband and child in tow to… start anew.
For me the best part of Untamed is the trek and the Zulu attack. This segment is dramatic, exciting and beautify filmed. After the Commando’s rescue of the wagon train,however, the story slides into soap opera and becomes fairly predicable. A good film for Hayward and Henry King fans with one of Egan;’s better performances and of course Agnes Moorehead and Hope Emerson.