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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 »

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,

Writers:

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

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 ...
Hassan
...
Colonel Grimes
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stanley et Livingstone  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Neither Spencer Tracy nor Walter Brennan ever actually went to Africa during the making of this film. Stand-ins for both of them were used in the long shots during the safari sequences, and whenever Tracy or Brennan were shown "on safari" in close-up against African scenery, they were acting in front of a rear projection screen. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Stanley's editor states he has arranged passage to London for Stanley on the steamer Great Eastern. The film at this point was set in 1870. The SS Great Eastern had ceased serving as a passenger ship well before 1870 and was just ending its service as a cable laying vessel. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Malibu Beach Party (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Stanley finds Livingstone, with glory and with consequences
21 March 2017 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

The interesting part of this film is the friendship between Stanley and Livingstone as transmitted by Spencer Tracy and Cedric Hardwicke. It's the ideal kind of role for Spencer Tracy, and he would continue developing characters in that direction still for many years to come up to the judge in "Judgement at Nuremberg" 1961. Cedríc Hardwicke makes the most credible possible Dr. Livingstone as both a missionary and a doctor, a character and mission later carried on by Albert Schweitzer. The great encounter is framed by a very epic adventure of Africa exploration, and this could be Henry King's best film - he certainly wouldn't always be that good. Almost the whole film is of a journey, starting carefully in Zanzibar presenting already from the beginning the major complications of infection - one presumes it is malaria - and how it must affect any European for life, like as if Africa in itself was an unavoidable mortal illness for any daring visitor. Spencer Tracy really knocks it off when he has to defend his exploits to the Royal Geographical Society of London headed by Charles Coburn as Stanley's leading newspaper competitor, a London journal completely dominating the field and feeling the threat of New York Herald. It's a great adventure film above all but very much enhanced and lifted to higher levels by the acting of Spencer Tracy and Cedric Hardwicke.


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