Hindi cinema has a tendency towards stories that stretch over long periods of time. Days, at the least, but often months, often many years too (that old trope of children growing up has been a part of too many films to name). It is the unusual film, especially in the 50s and 60s, that extends over just a few hours. Solvaa Saal was one such; Gateway of India is another. Both films are about runaway girls who meet the loves of their lives in the course of one night. That, though, is where the resemblance stops.
I probably shouldn’t call it a genre, but one type of film that always appeals to me is the ‘journey film’: people, often strangers, setting off on a journey together. The motive or need for the journey can be varied, from the very dire necessity of staying alive (Lifeboat, Ice Cold in Alex) to making a new life for oneself (Westward the Women) to – well, what else – tourism (If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium). And this, pure and simple adventure.
King Solomon’s Mines is based on the novel of the same name by Rider Haggard. I haven’t read the book yet, though from what I’ve heard, it’s quite different from the film. Not that I mind; this is an entertaining, visually very pleasing film, and a must-see for any fan of Stewart Granger’s, which I certainly am.