The Fiercest Heart

The Fiercest Heart is a 1961 American adventure film starring Stuart Whitman and Juliet Prowse, also featuring 1960 Summer Olympics decathlon champion Rafer Johnson. It is set in 1830s South Africa and based on the 1955 novel of the same name by Stuart Cloete.

The Fiercest Heart
Directed byGeorge Sherman
Produced byGeorge Sherman
Written byEdmund H. North
StarringStuart Whitman
Juliet Prowse
Raymond Massey
Geraldine Fitzgerald
Music byIrving Gertz
Edited by20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 16, 1961 (1961-03-16)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States


Three men escape from a prison garrison in South Africa, 1837. As the encounter a tribe of Boers led by Willem Prinsloo who are trekking into the country's interior, one of the fugitives, Steve Bates, a British soldier, immediately develops a romantic interest in Prinsloo's beautiful granddaughter, Francina.

Bates and his fellow escapees, his African friend Nzobo and a brutal criminal, Harry Carter, help hold off a raid by Zulu warriors, but Prinsloo is badly wounded. To the fury of Barent Beyer, a man who loves Francina, her grandfather's last wish before he dies is that Bates now become the group's leader.

The jealous Barent sets an ambush to kill Bates, but before he can, he is felled by a Zulu spear. Carter, too, ends up dead, Bates avenging an assault on Francina. What remains of the group is able to go back to Francina's farm in peace after the Zulu chief is killed in battle by Nzobo.



  1. Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p253

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