Kelli Koval

Written by Kelli Koval

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


If you’re a fan of epic dramas set against exotic backdrops, then “Out of Africa” is a movie that surely needs no introduction. Directed by Sydney Pollack and released in 1985, this timeless cinematic masterpiece takes viewers on a mesmerizing journey through the vast plains of Africa. Starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, “Out of Africa” is based on the memoirs of Karen Blixen, a Danish author, who chronicled her experiences in colonial Africa during the early 20th century. The film effortlessly combines breathtaking cinematography, an enchanting musical score, and compelling performances to weave a tale of love, adventure, and self-discovery. From its captivating storyline to its stunning visuals, there’s no denying the enduring appeal of “Out of Africa.” So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of this extraordinary film by exploring 37 intriguing facts that you might not know about “Out of Africa.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Out of Africa” is a captivating movie based on a true story, featuring stunning African landscapes, powerful performances, and themes of love, resilience, and cultural exchange.
  • The film delicately captures the essence of Karen Blixen’s memoir, immersing viewers in the complexities of her life in Africa, making it a timeless masterpiece for all movie lovers.
Table of Contents

Out of Africa received seven Academy Awards.

The film won Best Picture, Best Director (Sydney Pollack), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score, and Best Sound.

It is based on the autobiographical book by Karen Blixen.

The movie is a true story and is based on the memoir written by Karen Blixen, a Danish author who lived in Kenya.

Out of Africa stars Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen.

Meryl Streep delivers a captivating performance as Karen Blixen, depicting her strength, resilience, and love for Africa.

Robert Redford plays the role of Denys Finch Hatton.

Robert Redford portrays the charismatic and adventurous Denys Finch Hatton, a big game hunter and Blixen’s love interest.

The movie was primarily filmed in Kenya.

The stunning landscapes of Kenya serve as the backdrop for the film, showcasing the beauty of the African continent.

Out of Africa was a critical and commercial success.

The film was well-received by both critics and audiences, grossing over $128 million at the box office.

It explores themes of love, colonialism, and identity.

Out of Africa delves into complex themes, including the exploration of love, the effects of colonialism, and the quest for personal identity.

The movie features breathtaking cinematography.

With its sweeping shots of the African landscape, the film’s cinematography immerses viewers in the beauty of the surroundings.

Out of Africa showcases the rich culture of the Maasai people.

The film offers a glimpse into the traditions and way of life of the Maasai tribe, one of Kenya’s indigenous communities.

The screenplay was written by Kurt Luedtke.

Kurt Luedtke adapted Karen Blixen’s memoir into a screenplay that beautifully captures the essence of her story.

The film highlights the challenges faced by women in a male-dominated society.

Karen Blixen’s struggle for independence and her determination to assert herself in a patriarchal society are prominent themes in the movie.

Out of Africa was filmed on location in Blixen’s former home.

The filmmakers were granted permission to shoot in Karen Blixen’s former home, which added authenticity to the production.

The movie features a memorable theme song.

John Barry composed the film’s beautiful and evocative score, which includes the iconic theme song “Out of Africa.”

It was released in 1985.

Out of Africa hit theaters on December 18, 1985, and has since become a classic in the romantic drama genre.

The film explores the complexities of interracial relationships.

Blixen’s relationship with Denys Finch Hatton challenges societal norms and explores the complexities of interracial romance.

Out of Africa portrays the struggles of colonialism.

The movie depicts the tension between European settlers and the native population, shedding light on the effects of colonial rule.

The film’s screenplay stays true to Karen Blixen’s voice.

Kurt Luedtke’s adaptation captures the poetic and introspective style of Karen Blixen’s writing.

It was directed by Sydney Pollack.

Sydney Pollack’s masterful direction brings the story to life, immersing the audience in the sights and sounds of Africa.

Out of Africa is a tale of self-discovery.

Karen Blixen’s journey in Africa leads to her self-discovery and finding her true purpose in life.

The movie showcases the struggles of running a coffee plantation.

Blixen’s endeavor to run a coffee plantation in Africa is portrayed, highlighting the challenges she faces as a woman in a male-dominated industry.

Out of Africa emphasizes the importance of embracing different cultures.

The film promotes the understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and the importance of cultural exchange.

It received critical acclaim for its authenticity.

Out of Africa was praised for its attention to detail and accuracy in portraying both Karen Blixen’s personal story and the African setting.

The film showcases the beauty of African wildlife.

Through stunning visuals and nature scenes, Out of Africa highlights the diverse wildlife found in Africa.

The movie was shot using 35mm film.

The use of traditional film adds to the timeless and nostalgic quality of the visuals.

Out of Africa illustrates the contrasts between African and European lifestyles.

The clash between the simplicity and closeness to nature in Africa and the formality of European society is evident throughout the film.

The movie has a runtime of 2 hours and 41 minutes.

Out of Africa is an epic film that takes its time to tell the story of Karen Blixen’s life in Africa.

It offers powerful performances from the entire cast.

In addition to Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, the film features remarkable performances from the supporting cast, including Klaus Maria Brandauer and Michael Kitchen.

Out of Africa portrays the devastating effects of a syphilis outbreak.

The film addresses the syphilis outbreak that devastated the communities in Africa during Karen Blixen’s time.

The movie explores the intricate relationships between the characters.

From Blixen’s complex relationship with Denys Finch Hatton to her interactions with the local community, the film delves into the dynamics between the characters.

Out of Africa showcases the transformation of Karen Blixen’s character.

Throughout the film, Blixen grows and evolves as she navigates the challenges of life in Africa.

The movie captures the grandeur and majesty of African landscapes.

The sweeping shots of vast plains, mountains, and wildlife in Out of Africa leave a lasting impression on the audience.

It delves into the conflicts between duty and personal desires.

Blixen grapples with her responsibilities as a landowner and her desires for love and freedom.

The film’s dialogue is rich and poetic.

The script offers beautifully crafted dialogue that adds depth and emotion to the story.

Out of Africa showcases the resilience of the human spirit.

Amidst the challenges and hardships, the film highlights the strength and resilience of the characters.

The movie highlights the importance of environmental conservation.

Through its portrayal of the African landscapes, Out of Africa brings attention to the need for preserving the natural world.

It was nominated for an impressive 11 Academy Awards.

In addition to its seven wins, Out of Africa received nominations for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Costume Design, among others.

The film remains a timeless and beloved classic.

Decades after its release, Out of Africa continues to captivate audiences with its sweeping story, stunning visuals, and powerful performances.

Overall, Out of Africa is a remarkable film that delicately captures the essence of Karen Blixen’s memoir. Through its breathtaking cinematography, captivating performances, and exploration of profound themes, the movie transports viewers to the vast African landscapes and immerses them in the complexities of Blixen’s life. It is a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with audiences today, making it a must-watch for all movie lovers.


In conclusion, Out of Africa is a timeless masterpiece that captivated audiences with its captivating story, stunning cinematography, and exceptional performances. The movie earned critical acclaim, winning numerous awards including seven Academy Awards. It continues to be regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.The film’s accurate portrayal of the African landscape and its exploration of complex themes such as love, adventure, and self-discovery have made it a beloved classic among moviegoers. Meryl Streep and Robert Redford’s brilliant performances brought depth and authenticity to their characters, while the direction by Sydney Pollack ensured a visually stunning and emotionally resonant experience.Out of Africa is a must-watch for any movie enthusiast, and its legacy will continue to endure for generations to come.


Q: Is Out of Africa based on a true story?

A: Yes, Out of Africa is based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Danish author Karen Blixen (writing under the pen name Isak Dinesen). It chronicles her experiences living in Kenya during the early 20th century.

Q: Who directed Out of Africa?

A: The movie was directed by Sydney Pollack, who was also known for directing other acclaimed films such as Tootsie and The Firm.

Q: Did Out of Africa win any awards?

A: Yes, Out of Africa won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Meryl Streep’s performance.

Q: Where was Out of Africa filmed?

A: The movie was primarily filmed on location in Kenya, capturing the breathtaking landscapes and creating an authentic setting for the story.

Q: What is the theme of Out of Africa?

A: Out of Africa explores themes such as love, adventure, loss, and the human connection to nature. It delves into the complexities of relationships and the pursuit of personal freedom.

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