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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.



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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 ...
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)


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


Adventure | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 June 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bosambo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paul Robeson disowned this picture, telling journalists that it was the only one of his films to have been screened in Italy and Germany. However, his claim to have walked out of the premiere in disgust was a re-invention of history. See more »


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 »


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


Lion Song
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
Sung by Paul Robeson
See more »

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User Reviews

Sanders of the River has the pleasure of bringing Paul Robeson and Nina Mae McKinney together
5 February 2011 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

In reviewing films involving African-Americans in chronological order for Black History Month, it's now 1935 when singer/actor Paul Robeson has gone to England for this movie produced by Alexander Korda's London Films with direction by Korda's brother Zoltan. It takes place and is partially filmed in Africa and concerns a British colonialist (Leslie Banks) who places Robeson in charge of keeping peace among various tribes especially when the tribal king (Tony Wane) seems intent on abusing his power. Later on, Robeson meets Nina Mae McKinney and makes her his wife and they have a couple of kids. I'll stop there and just say despite some questionable politics that permeate the film, this was quite a rousing adventure to watch what with many of the wonderful scenery along the countryside with various beautiful animal shots not to mention the wonderful singing voices of Robeson and, in one instance, Ms. McKinney. And the sequences of the tribes, whether chanting or going into battle, bring plenty of excitement to bear. So on that note, Sanders of the River is at the very least, well worth a look.

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