Mau-Mau (1955)

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Newsman Chet Huntley narrates this documentary showing the rise of the African resistance movement known as the "Mau-Mau" against British rule in East Africa in the early 1950s.



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Credited cast:
Chet Huntley ...


Newsman Chet Huntley narrates this documentary showing the rise of the African resistance movement known as the "Mau-Mau" against British rule in East Africa in the early 1950s.

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Documentary | Drama





Release Date:

13 July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mau Mau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Elwood Price took the completed film to most of the big movie studios and TV networks and was roundly rejected, usually being told that no one wanted to see a documentary about "natives". He finally took it to exploitation legend Dan Sonney, who marketed it as an "outLaw" picture, one that was "too hot" for Hollywood to touch. It made a fortune. See more »


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User Reviews

Don't let the Chet Huntley narration credit fool you.

"Mau Mau" was strictly a road-show, 4-waller, exploitation picture made for the side-street grind houses that played burlesque pictures and worn-out prints of 1930's and 40's exploitation pictures such as "Reefer Madness", "Bob and Sally", "Gambling With Souls", "Mom and Dad" and such, and filled in with prints of whatever was left in the indie exchanges of old Mayfair, Chesterfield and Invincible films. Poverty Row films being shown in Poverty Row theatres.

Joe Rock left England prior to the outbreak of WW II, and shuffled around New York and Hollywood doing publicity and whatever else fell his way, and when Robert C. Ruark's book of the Mau-Mau uprising in Africa, "Something of Value", became a national best seller, Joe Rock saw an opening and opportunity to turn a buck, with little or no investment, beyond the lab cost of having a few prints made and some posters printed.

Gathering up material from some National Geographic-type film shot in Africa and his own "Krakatoa" and anything else lying around town that showed bare breasts and "nekked" Black women, he and director Elwood Price gave L.A. newsman Chet Huntley a few bucks to narrate a few minutes of newsreel footage, and stitched that in and around the "Ooma-Goona" and "Bowanga-Bowanga" and whatever else footage they had, and "Mau Mau" was the result.

Joe Rock wasn't born yesterday, since he was already over 60 years old, and he knew the patrons of the "art houses" that would book "Mau Mau" weren't the type to shell out money to see a documentary on problems in South Africa. But they would fall over themselves to see anything that even hinted of having naked babes in it---no matter if most of them topped 200 pounds stark naked, because the weight was secondary to the operative words of stark naked, top and bottom. So, all of the newspaper ads and posters were filled with shots of bare-breasted women, engaging in such bare-breasted pursuits as cat-fighting, wrestling with men carrying machetes, and going down to the river to take a bath or wash their feet stuff.

Of course, no newspaper was going to run those ads and even the grind houses couldn't get away with running posters showing women sans any kind of foundation garment, meaning bra-less and buck-naked. But that was no problem. Rock hired someone to draw palm trees behind the women on the posters and ads, and then draw a branch from that tree covering up whatever was showing that might offend the community. One of the drawings was really artistic as it had a palm leaf shaped like a hand covering a bare bottom. Hey, maybe the artist just wasn't good at drawing realistic palm-tree leaves. Artist St. John couldn't draw feet in the first editions of the "Tarzan" books, so he had everybody standing in knee-high grass, including the animals. He was a whiz at drawing grass.

And then, Joe Rock, showman that he was, made certain that any potential patron of that film knew there were no palm trees anywhere in the film, and every seat in the house had an unobstructed view of anything of interest.

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