IMDb > Sanders of the River (1935)
Sanders of the River
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Sanders of the River (1935) More at IMDbPro »

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Sanders of the River -- 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.

Overview

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5.7/10   346 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Lajos Biró (adaptation)
Jeffrey Dell (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Sanders of the River on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 June 1935 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Instrument Of Enforcement See more (13 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Robeson ... Bosambo
Leslie Banks ... Commissioner R.G. Sanders

Nina Mae McKinney ... Lilongo
Robert Cochran ... Lieutenant Tibbets (as Robert Cochrane)
Martin Walker ... J. Ferguson
Richard Grey ... Captain Hamilton
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)
Members of the Sesi Tribe ... Themselves
Members of the Tefik Tribe ... Themselves
Members of the Juruba Tribe ... Themselves
Members of the Mendi Tribe ... Themselves
Members of the Kroo Tribe ... Themselves
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Adams ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Joe Cozier ... (uncredited)
Bertrand Frazer ... Makara (uncredited)
Beresford Gale ... Topolaka (uncredited)
Jomo Kenyatta ... Tribal Chief (uncredited)
Orlando Martins ... K'Lova (uncredited)
Anthony Papafio ... Bosambo's Son (uncredited)
James Solomon ... Kaluba (uncredited)
John Thomas ... Obiboo (uncredited)
Deara Williams ... Daughter of Bosambo and Lilongo (uncredited)

Directed by
Zoltan Korda 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Lajos Biró  adaptation
Jeffrey Dell  adaptation
Edgar Wallace  story
Arthur Wimperis  additional dialogue

Produced by
Alexander Korda .... producer
 
Original Music by
Mischa Spoliansky  (as Michael Spolianski)
 
Cinematography by
Osmond Borradaile 
Louis Page 
Georges Périnal 
 
Film Editing by
Charles Crichton 
 
Production Management
G.E.T. Grossmith .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stanley Irving .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
D. Field .... sound
L. Fisher .... sound
J. Paddon .... sound
A.W. Watkins .... recording director
 
Visual Effects by
W. Percy Day .... matte painter
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Bernard Browne .... camera operator
 
Editorial Department
William Hornbeck .... supervising editor
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
 
Other crew
Cecil Grosse .... technical advisor
C.O. 'Squash' Lemon .... technical advisor
C. Wallace .... technical advisor (as Major C. Wallace)
Alfred Hitchcock .... director of the first stages (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
98 min | 92 min (re-release)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This film had originally started as a project Alexander Korda assigned to be directed by Alfred Hitchcock, called "Wings of the Jungle". Hitchcock was only minimally involved in the earliest stages.See more »
Goofs:
Errors in geography: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Lion SongSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Instrument Of Enforcement, 19 May 2009
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Viewed today, 74 years after the film came out Sanders Of The River is a paradoxical film with the good and bad of British colonial attitudes of the 19th century. It's based on the first novel by Edgar Wallace, prolific British author who spent much time in Africa during the latter 19th and early 20th century.

Sanders played by Leslie Banks is the local administrator of an area of what is now Nigeria and a man who is confidently shouldering the white man's burden as he saw it. Nevertheless he's probably the best representative of his type in the area, someone the British see as the best in themselves.

He's taken the trouble to study the languages and cultures of the various tribes in his area and mixes in the local politics judiciously and fairly. When one of the tribal kings, Tony Wane, starts resorting to the slave trade which the British fought vigorously to suppress, Banks comes up with his own instrument of enforcement.

His instrument is rival king, Paul Robeson of a different tribe and on that the plot of Sanders Of The River turns.

Robeson was over in the United Kingdom at the time because he could not get the kind of film roles he wanted in the USA with America hung up on stereotypical blacks. Though the film is a salute to the judiciousness and fairness of British colonial role, Robeson took the part because I believe it gave him a chance to show the real Africa. There is no way America was ever going to make this kind of film. After MGM's near disaster with Trader Horn, American companies shied from location shooting until there until The African Queen and King Solomon's Mines.

Though taking place in the Nigeria area, the film was shot on location in the Kenya colony and we learned that the first Kenyan president, Jomo Kenyatta actually was an extra in this film. Robeson gets a chance to sing a couple of songs written by Mischa Spoliansky and Arthur Winder, but are as good in the black idiom as Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. No way Paul Robeson would have sung them if they weren't.

Robeson is joined in the vocal department by Nina Mae McKinney who scored big in King Vidor's Hallelujah, but was then unable to find decent roles for a beautiful black singer. That would wait until Lena Horne came on the scene and not altogether satisfactorily done there. She plays Robeson's wife and mother of his child and her capture by the rival king sets off a potentially nasty blood bath.

Sanders Of The River though incredibly dated should be seen quite frankly because of that. Robeson's singing voice is at its best here and this is a picture of Africa you won't get in Tarzan films.

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