|Directed by||Gray Hofmeyr|
|Produced by||Anant Singh
|Written by||Leon Schuster
|Music by||Julian Wiggins|
|Distributed by||Videovision Entertainment
Mr. Bones is a 2001 slapstick comedy film made and set in South Africa. Leon Schuster, well-known figure in the South African film industry, starred in the title role. He also created the story and co-wrote the screenplay. The film sets African "tradition" in opposition to forces of ambition and greed in contemporary South Africa, and plays on reversals of racial stereotypes for its humour.
The film grossed R33 million, making it the highest grossing South African film of all time, until it was beaten by its sequel, Mr Bones 2: Back from the Past (grossing R35 million), itself only surpassed by Titanic in South Africa's box-office history.
The film begins in Kuvukiland, an undeveloped kingdom somewhere in Africa. Mr. Bones arrives as a baby, the sole survivor of an airplane crash that happens nearby. He grows older and becomes the bone-throwing prophesier for the kingdom. King Tsonga, ruler of Kuvukiland, longs for a male child to be heir to the throne. After having seventeen children, all of them girls, he gives up hope, until he remembers fathering a boy decades before in Sun City. He immediately sends Mr. Bones to find the future prince.
At the same time golf star Vince "The Prince" Lee, along with his coach, The Wild Bull, arrives in Sun City for a golf tournament. A local casino owner, Zach Devlin, places a huge bet on Vince Lee winning the tournament, but just before it begins, Wild Bull is injured in a freak accident when a passing plane drops a wild boar on him. He quickly recovers, but is held against his will in a local hospital. Without his coach, Vince Lee plays terribly, until he meets the eccentric Mr. Bones, who believes him to be the actual prince, and gives him a lucky streak. Vince nearly wins the game until Mr. Bones remembers his mission and stops a perfect putt. Vince retires in disgrace, but meets a local singer, Laleti, afterwards, whom he is stricken with. Mr. Bones notices this, and by impersonating her, he kidnaps Vince.
The next day, Wild Bull manages to escape from the hospital and goes on a search for Vince, along with Laleti and her mother. Enraged by Vince Lee's performance, and by the fact that everyone had gone missing, the casino owner mounts a search for them in a helicopter, along with two of his henchmen. After a series of comical mishaps, they all meet near Kuvukiland. Mr. Bones introduces Vince to King Tsonga, but after discovering that Vince is terrified of animals, King Tsonga disowns him, and prepares to die. The casino owner quickly locates Vince and Laleti, and attempts to kill them both, but Vince escapes. He finds Laleti tied to a tree with a lion about to eat her, and overcoming his fear, he chases the lion away. King Tsonga sees this, and decides that he doesn't want to die. Soon after, the casino owner reappears, but Mr. Bones, with the help of an elephant, causes the helicopter to crash. King Tsonga proclaims that Vince is his son, but asks Mr. Bones to throw his prophecy bones once more just to be sure. As Mr. Bones does this, Wild Bull arrives upon the scene, and it is confirmed that he is the actual prince.
The film closes with Mr. Bones, King Tsonga, and Wild Bull watching from Kuvukiland as Vince Lee, now married to Laleti, wins the Masters golf tournament.
Writing credits (in alphabetical order)
Cast (in credits order)
- Leon Schuster as Mr. Bones
- David Ramsey as Vince Lee
- Aldrovandra Cotton as Trader Viking
- Faizon Love as Pudbedder
- Robert Whitehead as Zach Devlin
- Jane Benney as Laleti
Remainder of cast (alphabetically listed)
- Fem Belling as the Helicopter Pilot
- Fats Bookholane as King Tsonga
- Zack Du Plessis as the Farmer
- Ipeleng Matlhaku as Lindiwe
- Jerry Mofokeng as the Sangoma
- Craig Morris as the Future Son-in-Law
- Septula Sebogodi as the Young King Tsonga
- Muso Sefatsa as Boy Tsonga
- Keketso Semoko as Laleti's Mother
- Ryan Joel Govender as Bones' Son
- Adam Woolf as Young Bones
- Saks, Lucia (2010). Cinema in a Democtratic South Africa: The Race for Representation. Indiana University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-253-22186-5.
- "The world's most loved movies". The Guardian. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2011-04-22.