5.5/10
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Sanders of the River (1935)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Music | 26 June 1935 (USA)
British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief.

Directors:

Zoltan Korda, Alfred Hitchcock (uncredited)

Writers:

Lajos Biró (adaptation), Jeffrey Dell (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Robeson ... Bosambo
Leslie Banks ... Commissioner R.G. Sanders
Nina Mae McKinney ... Lilongo
Robert Cochran Robert Cochran ... Lieutenant Tibbets (as Robert Cochrane)
Martin Walker Martin Walker ... J. Ferguson
Richard Grey Richard Grey ... Captain Hamilton
Tony Wane Tony Wane ... King Mofolaba
Marqués De Portago Marqués De Portago ... Farini (as Marquis De Portago)
Eric Maturin Eric Maturin ... Smith
Allan Jeayes Allan Jeayes ... Father O'Leary
Charles Carson ... Governor of the Territory
Luao Luao ... Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Kilongalonga Kilongalonga ... Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Oboja Oboja ... Chief of the Acholi Tribe
Members of Acholi Tribe Members of Acholi Tribe ... Themselves (as Members of the Acholi Tribe)
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Storyline

British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 June 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bosambo See more »

Filming Locations:

Africa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jomo Kenyatta, who was President of Kenya from 1963 to 1978, had a bit part in this movie as a tribal chief. See more »

Goofs

Paul Robeson's chest hair comes and goes, from one sequence to another. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Old Bones of the River (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

My Little Black Dove
(uncredited)
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
Sung by Nina Mae McKinney, Paul Robeson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mixed Review for a Flawed Film
25 June 2014 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

This British release from 1935 gets a mixed review from me.

On one hand, it is wonderful to see Paul Roberson in a film role, but that enjoyment is tainted somewhat by the way the film portrays native Africans. Sanders is the white man in charge of the district. He treats all of the tribal chiefs and their subjects as if they were his black "children". This theme is repeated so frequently in the film that it seems the filmmakers were--rather defensively--trying to make a point. On the other hand, such arrogant hogwash is routinely part of colonialism wherever it is manifest, so the film's depiction of such racism is accurate.

In my opinion, the best part of the film are the many shots of native life, especially native dances and rituals. We also see various African animals in their natural habitats, even if they are sometimes being stampeded by low-flying aircraft.

The plot of this film was not very engaging. But it is worth noting that the real villains of the film are two white men who wish to stir up the tribes by giving them gin and rifles--apparently just because their only goal in life is to stir up trouble.

The African chiefs and kings seem too Anglicized, and Robeson sings some songs that feel out of place in the mouth of a chief. But I found enjoyment in pieces of this film, if not in the whole.


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