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Stanley and Livingstone (1939)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 18 August 1939 (USA)
When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the ... See full summary »




(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gareth Tyce
Jeff Slocum
Lord Tyce
Dr. David Livingstone (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
James Gordon Bennett Jr.
John Kingsley
Sir John Gresham
Mr. Cranston
Frederick Holcomb
Sir Oliver French (as Montague Shaw)
Brandon Hurst ...
Sir Henry Forrester
Hassan Said ...
Colonel Grimes


When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the missing Scottish missionary. Stanley finds Livingstone ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume.") blissfully doling out medicine and religion to the happy natives. His story is at first disbelieved. When Livingstone later dies, Stanley returns to continue the good doctor's work (which, of course, never really happened). Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE MOST HEROIC EXPLOIT THE WORLD HAS KNOWN! Into the perilous wilderness of unknown Africa...one white man ventured to seek another! Heat...fever...cannibals...jungle...nothing could stop him! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stanley et Livingstone  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tyrone Power was the original choice for Stanley. See more »


At the National Geographic Society Stanley states he is English because he was born in St. Asaph. This is actually in Wales. See more »


Henry M. Stanley: Dr. Livingstone, I presume?
[Henry M. Stanley said this on Friday, October 27th 1871, in reality]
Dr. David Livingstone: Yes!
Henry M. Stanley: Thank God, Doctor, I have been permitted to see you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

To the officials of His Majesty's government in British East Africa, the producers wish to express their appreciation for the cooperation that made possible the filming of the safari sequences in Kenya, Tanganyka and Uganda. See more »


Spoofed in Some More of Samoa (1941) See more »


Oh Susanna
(1846) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Incorporated into the score often, especially in scenes with Walter Brennan
See more »

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User Reviews

Exhilarating, Tender, Human, Awe-Inspiring, Wonderful, See It!
4 January 2001 | by (Miami, FL) – See all my reviews

Hollywood brings us Uganda, Kenya and Tanganyika as it will never be seen again. The scenery is electrifyingly beautiful. But this is no story for the sake of a travelog...It is a beautiful account of the true historic struggles of newspaperman, Henry Stanley to find "lost" missionary, Dr. David Livingston.

Spencer Tracy, Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Coburn, Nancy Kelly and Walter Brennan bring us wonderful performances full of humanity and depth.

One fine scene in the movie when Stanley encounters extremely hostile adversaries on his way to find Livingston is just about one of the most exciting sequences I have seen on the screen and should there be only one reason to see this movie, then this is it. It is electrifying to see what certainly must have been true African citizens partake in such a very authentic looking ambush. No disrespectful depiction of Africans as seen so often in Tarzan movies will you see here.

Rarely does Hollywood brings us such respectful detail in its depiction of the African citizen as he was when they encountered outsiders. Also, the citizens do not have that awful spurious look that most depictions of Africans are so prone to have from Hollywood in its racism of the past. But then 1939 was a landmark year, wasn't it?

There is so much history that we are inclined to forget too easily and relegate to the dust of the shelves of history.

This is one story that must be heard - if not for anything else than for its sheer humanity.

Exhilarating, Tender, Human, Awe-Inspiring, Wonderful, See It!

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