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The Mark Of The Hawk

1958 Drama Not Rated 83 Minutes

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Sidney Poitier gives an electrifying performance in this long unseen and timely political drama set in a colonial African country.

A freshly slain hawk dangles outside the home of recently arrived white missionary Bruce Craig, a warning from terrorists seeking independence through violence for the native population. Legislative council member Obam (whose name translates to Hawk) is an obvious suspect due to his outspoken militancy on behalf of black workers. But the young, charismatic politician is himself a pawn in an explosive situation that threatens to unleash armed rebels against white supremacist settlers - and reverse years of religious and social progress. With grim memories of his persecution in Red China, the elder clergyman seeks to prevent similar bloodshed and tyranny by promoting peaceful and spiritual solutions to the current unrest.

The least known of Sidney Poitier's three 1950s African dramas (following Cry, the Beloved Country and Something of Value), The Mark of the Hawk was an independent production sponsored by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church. Location filming took place in eastern Nigeria after the filmmakers were banned from shooting in Southern Rhodesia. Gilbert Gunn directed the African sequences, but his illness resulted in Michael Audley completing the picture in England's Elstree studio. In addition to Poitier, the film provides a dramatic showcase for John McIntire and marked Eartha Kitt's first important screen role.

Not Rated.

Released by Universal. See more credits.