The Mark of the Hawk

The Mark of the Hawk (also called Accused) is a 1957 drama film, directed by Michael Audley with a screenplay by Lloyd Young (better known for his sound work on other films) and H. Kenn Carmichael. The film stars Eartha Kitt and Sidney Poitier.

The Mark of the Hawk
1957 Theatrical Poster
Directed byMichael Audley
Produced byLloyd Young
Written byLloyd Young
StarringSidney Poitier
Eartha Kitt
John McIntire
Music byMatyas Seiber
CinematographyErwin Hillier
Edited byEdward Jarvis
Distributed byUniversal-International
Release date
March 1958
Running time
83-85 minutes
CountryUnited States / United Kingdom


Obam (Sidney Poitier), brother of an indigenous resistance leader (Clifton Macklin) in British colonial Africa, returns to his troubled homeland after some years abroad, seeking a political post. However, domestic tensions have divided the country into two hostile camps, with many natives demanding the return of their ancestral lands - now farmed by European settlers. Britain and the local white administration are determined not to release their stranglehold; rather than adopting violence Obam seeks racial equality through peaceful means. His motives are frequently questioned by his own people, but with the assistance of an insightful spouse (Eartha Kitt) and sympathetic missionary Bruce Craig (John McIntire), this unlikely newcomer to African nationalism fights to make a meaningful difference before the situation deteriorates further.


Production notes

  • Production Dates: 1957 at Associated British Picture Corp. Studios, Elstree, England
  • Although Sidney Poitier is listed fourth, below John McIntire, in the opening credits, he receives second billing in the closing credits.
  • The opening credits include the following written statement: "The producers wish to acknowledge the cooperation extended to them by the Cinema Corporation of Nigeria." The end credits note that the film was "made at Associated British Elstree Studios, England."
  • According to a December 1957 Film Daily item, The Mark of the Hawk was partially shot on location in Nigeria, after which Universal bought the distribution rights.
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