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Mogambo (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 9 October 1953 (USA)
On a Kenyan safari, white hunter Victor Marswell has a love triangle with seductive American socialite Eloise Kelly and anthropologist Donald Nordley's cheating wife Linda.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Philip Stainton ...
...
...
Skipper
Denis O'Dea ...
...
Themselves (as Samburu tribe of Kenya Colony)
Wagenia ...
Themselves (as Wagenia tribe of Belgian Congo)
Bahaya ...
Themselves (as Bahaya tribe of Tanganyika)
M'Beti ...
Themselves (as M'Beti tribe of French Equatorial Africa)
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Storyline

Victor Marswell runs a big game trapping company in Kenya. Eloise Kelly is ditched there, and an immediate attraction happens between them. Then Mr. and Mrs. Nordley show up for their gorilla documenting safari. Mrs. Nordley is not infatuated with her husband any more, and takes a liking to Marswell. The two men and two women have some difficulty arranging these emotions to their mutual satisfaction, but eventually succeed. Written by Rob Hardy <ai822@dayton.wright.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The battle of the sexes! The battle of the gorillas! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

9 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Могамбо  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,103,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,576,000, 31 December 1953

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,268,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clark Gable was unimpressed by the script and was wary of reprising his Red Dust (1932) role after 21 years. He only agreed to make the movie after Across the Wide Missouri (1951) and Lone Star (1952) both flopped at the box office. See more »

Goofs

When Honey Bear is awaiting the boat to take away (first time round) she is seen sitting on her suitcases and trunks. Then she walks down the slope with just her umbrella in her hand, bids Marswell good bye and hops in the boat. The captain lifts the gangway and off they sail away, forgetting her bags on the shore. See more »

Quotes

Eloise Y. 'Honey Bear' Kelly: The only lions I ever want to see again are the two in front of the public library.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening Title Card reads: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is grateful beyond measure to the government officials of Kenya Colony, Tanganyika, the Uganda Protectorate and the Republic of French Equatorial Africa, whose limitless co-operation made this motion picture possible. See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM: When the Lion Roars (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

COMIN' THROUGH THE RYE
(uncredited)
Traditional tune
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung by Ava Gardner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Romantic triangle drama in which the white hunter dallies with an elegant married woman and another with a dark past
12 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

Although the original trailer for the film explains that "Mogambo" means "the Greatest," in fact, the word "Mogambo" has no meaning at all . It concerns Victor Marswell (Clark Gable but this lead role was originally intended for Stewart Granger ; Gable also starred in the 1933 original Red Dust by Victor Fleming) runs a big game trapping company in Kenya . Eloise Kelly (glorious charm from Ava Gardner who replaces Jean Harlow , though Deborah Kerr and Lana Turner were sought for the female leads and Maureen O'Hara was the first choice for Honey Bear Kelly) is ditched there , and an immediate attraction happens between them . Victor dallies with the attractive as well as jaded lady Eloise and must let her stay till the next boat arrives . But Victor, initially uninterested, soon succumbs to Eloise's ostentatious charms until the arrival of a marriage , a husband (Donald Sinden) , ill with fevers , and his refined but sensuous wife (Grace Kelly who has Mary Astor's part , though Gene Tierney was first choice for the role of Linda , she dropped out due to emotional problems which were now interfering with her work) . Then , Victor falls to the arms of the sophisticated married woman .

This lusty remake deals with classic loving triangle set in Africa and combines love , drama , thrills , action and adventure . Interesting script by John Lee Mahin who reworks his 1932 screenplay for ¨Red Dust¨ . Here we are seeing several African animals though the most turn out to be taken from an excessive utilization of stock-shots , thus : Gnus, Elephants, Impalas , Wild Boar , Gazelle Thomson , lions , Buffalos and Gorillas especially . The film was really censored in some countries , as the censors in Spain did not allow adultery to be shown on the screen. For that reason, MGM changed the relationship of the characters of Linda Nordley (Grace Kelly) and Donald Nordley (Donald Sinden) from wife and husband to sister and brother in the dubbed version released in Spain . However, they did not delete a scene in which both share a bed together. Nice acting by Clark Gable who repeats his character from 1932 , he becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employers . Clark Gable was unimpressed by the script and was wary of reprising his Red Dust (1932) role after 21 years . He only agreed to make the movie after Across the wide Missouri (1951) and Lone Star (1952) both flopped at the box office . Clark Gable and Grace Kelly began an affair on the set that lasted for several months . After filming had ended, they resumed the affair while Kelly was filming The country girl (1954). Ava Gardner steals the show , she is frankly wonderful in the role of the woman with a past . During filming Ava Gardner flew to London to have an abortion after she became pregnant with Frank Sinatra's child . Secondary cast is quite good such as Donald Sinden , Eric Pohlmann , Laurence Naismith and Denis O'Dea .

Marvelously shot by two excellent cameramen , Robert Surtees and Freddie Young . Being filmed on location in Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya , Okalataka, Democratic Republic Of Congo , Tanganjika, Tanzania , Serengeti Plain, Tanzania ,Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya , Kagera River ,Uganda ,Thika, Kenya . Despite the high budget, most of the movie was actually filmed in the MGM studio in Hollywood, and especially in MGM British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK . Lavishly produced by the great producer Sam Zimbalist , he came up with the title by altering the name of the Mocambo, a famous Hollywood nightclub . The motion picture was compellingly directed by John Ford , though he did not get along with Clark Gable during filming, and at one point walked off the set in protest at Ford's treatment of Ava Gardner . It's not great John Ford film but results to be worthwhile and enticing .


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