August Bolte, the richest man in a settlement in German East Africa in the period before World War I, is called "Mamba" by the locals, which is the name of a deadly snake. Despised by the ...
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August Bolte, the richest man in a settlement in German East Africa in the period before World War I, is called "Mamba" by the locals, which is the name of a deadly snake. Despised by the locals and the European settlers alike for his greed and arrogance, Bolte forces the beautiful daughter of a destitute nobleman to marry him in exchange for saving her father from ruin. Upon her arrival in Africa, she falls in love with an officer in the local German garrison. When World War I breaks out, Bolte, unable to avoid being conscripted, foments a rebellion among the local natives. Written by
Negatives from the defunct Tiffany Pictures collection were most likely used for the burning of Atlanta in Gone with the Wind (1939), as nitrate ignites easily and there was a lot of it lying around. According to historian Jonas Nordin, the original negative for this film was probably among them, which would account for its loss. See more »
To update the other reviews on this site, the film exists in its entirety in two-strip Technicolor. The owners also have five sound discs (5 through 8). UCLA possesses two reels (1,9) and all nine sound discs. Attempts are underway to combine these two sources and hopefully with UCLA's track record of superb restorations of early Technicolor films, MAMBA will soon be available for viewing once again for the first time in eighty years.
Initial viewing of reel five and almost all of reel six reveals a stellar performance by Jean Hersholt as the villainous bore, August Bolte, and a sensitive take by aristocratic Eleanor Boardman as Helen. Ralph Forbes is rather stiff and affected as the so-called hero, Karl Von Reiden. The colors are lovely - reds and greens predominate, but the flesh tones are quite authentic.
This seems to be a treasure, awaiting interest and funding for a proper restoration.
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