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Sanders of the River (1935)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama | 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.

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Robert Cochran ...
Lieutenant Tibbets (as Robert Cochrane)
Martin Walker ...
J. Ferguson
Richard Grey ...
Tony Wane ...
King Mofolaba
Marqués De Portago ...
Farini (as Marquis De Portago)
Eric Maturin ...
Smith
Allan Jeayes ...
Father O'Leary
Charles Carson ...
Governor of the Territory
Luao ...
Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Kilongalonga ...
Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Oboja ...
Chief of the 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

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bosambo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was included in the first syndicated television presentation of a package of major studio feature films on USA television; it premiered in New York City Sunday 25 July 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11) and in Los Angeles Sunday 2 January 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). The package consisted of 24 Alexander Korda productions originally released theatrically between 1933 and 1942. See more »

Goofs

Although the film is nominally set in Nigeria (as shown on the map in Sanders' office), the aerial wildlife shots seem to have been taken in East Africa (e.g. Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika). Given the presence of Jomo Kenyatta as an extra in the cast, it is likely that the African scenes were shot on the eastern coast of Africa rather than in Nigeria. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tenko: Episode #1.6 (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
I Say Old Boy Isn't Paul Robeson A Great Singer Even When He's Singing About Killing His Neighbours
28 June 2013 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I recently saw THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME recently and was slightly disappointed by it , a fact not helped by Leslie Banks performance . Banks was supposedly a well regarded actor but it should be remembered that GAME was a very early screen performance from him . SANDERS OF THE RIVERS is a film produced and directed by the Korda brothers , two Hungarians who moved to Britain and became major players of British cinema in the 1930s . Looking through the cast list now it's probably not the names of Banks or Korda that'll grab your attention but Paul Robeson . If you've got a film called SANDERS OF THE RIVER and it stars a black singer you don't need a Masters degree in geography to see where the film might be heading

SANDERS OF THE RIVER is painfully dated in its social mores . Putting it in to context the British Empire was alive and well and if Britain hadn't conquered most of Africa then it would have been conquered by the French and who wants to be ruled by the French ? Or indeed the Spanish or the Americans ? There is a strong element of casual racism to this scenario but it's certainly no worse than those dreadful Tarzan movies and the dated elements do have an entertainment value to them that are unintentional . One thing that is genuinely shocking watching it now is the female African natives who are topless

As expected the production budget couldn't involve taking the crew to deepest Africa so to hide this fact the designers have stuck some African looking huts in a field in England and editor Charles Chrichton

  • who went on to become a highly regarded director - splices in some


stock footage of African landscapes and wildlife trying to but not quite convincing the audience the locations are real . The story itself is very basic and involves Sanders mentoring Robeson's jolly good egg Chief Bosambo that rival tribes are causing trouble and need to be taught a lesson . Cue The Killing Song which involves " When the enemy comes be ready to fight . On in to battle make a lot of rattle mow them down like cattle ... "

Robeson himself supposedly disowned this film due to the racist stereotyping but looking this up on the internet there's some dispute about this and he perhaps had another reason for disliking it . Certainly it's difficult to believe before filming started that Robeson wouldn't be playing an African stereotype . That said Robeson is the best thing about the film and you'll remember The Killing Song for days afterwards . All together now " on in to battle , make a lot of rattle , mow them down like cattle ...


2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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