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Champagne Safari

Champagne Safari(1954)

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The three opening title cards read as follows: "Jackson Leighter Associates Incorporated present A Film Record of a Fabulous Journey; Prince Aly Khan and The Former Princess Aly Khan; on their CHAMPAGNE SAFARI." Although the film was originally released in color, a black-and-white print was viewed.
       In May 1954, the film became the subject of a four-million-dollar lawsuit brought by the Defense Film Corp. and Jackson Leighter Associates against the Beckworth Corp. (Rita Hayworth's company), Columbia Pictures Corp. and its president, Harry Cohn. The suit claimed that Cohn had interfered with plans for the film's release. Cohn's position was that Columbia had exclusive rights to any screen appearance by Hayworth, its contract artist. AHollywood Reporter news item of June 16, 1954 reported that an out-of-court settlement had been reached. Details of the settlement were not made public, beyond the agreement that Columbia and Beckworth would not directly or indirectly interfere in the film's distribution or exhibition.
       Aly Khan, who had served with distinction in World War II, was, at the time of his marriage to Hayworth, best known as an international playboy. When his father, the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Ismaili sect of Moslems, died in 1957, his will stipulated that Aly's elder son Karim, not Aly, succeed him. Soon after Karim was named Aga Khan IV, Aly Khan became head of the Pakistani delegation to the United Nations, although he was not a Pakistani. After Aly Khan was killed in a car accident in a Parisian suburb on May 12, 1960, Henry Cabot Lodge, the United States delegate to the United Nations, paid tribute to him as "a most generous and considerate man. He served Pakistan with distinction." Aly Khan's last official act at the U.N. was to denounce South Africa's policy of apartheid.
       By the time Champagne Safari was released, Aly Khan and Hayworth were divorced. Hayworth married and divorced singer Dick Haymes, then married producer James Hill. That marriage also ended in divorce, in 1961. Hayworth died in 1987, an early victim of Alzheimer's Disease. Hayworth and Aly Khan's daughter, Jasmine, became an internationally known advocate for raising awareness of the disease.