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Mogambo (1953)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  9 October 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,461 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 36 critic

Victor Marswell runs a big game trapping company in Kenya. Eloise Kelly is ditched there, and an immediate attraction happens between them. Then Mr. and Mrs. Nordley show up for their ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Philip Stainton ...
Laurence Naismith ...
Denis O'Dea ...
Samburu ...
Themselves (as Samburu tribe of Kenya Colony)
Wagenia ...
Themselves (as Wagenia tribe of Belgian Congo)
Bahaya ...
Themselves (as Bahaya tribe of Tanganyika)
M'Beti ...
Themselves (as M'Beti tribe of French Equatorial Africa)


Victor Marswell runs a big game trapping company in Kenya. Eloise Kelly is ditched there, and an immediate attraction happens between them. Then Mr. and Mrs. Nordley show up for their gorilla documenting safari. Mrs. Nordley is not infatuated with her husband any more, and takes a liking to Marswell. The two men and two women have some difficulty arranging these emotions to their mutual satisfaction, but eventually succeed. Written by Rob Hardy <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

safari | camp | zoo | maharajah | africa | See All (181) »


Filmed on Safari in Africa! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 October 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Могамбо  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ava Gardner arrived in Africa for location shooting with current husband Frank Sinatra in tow. Their marriage was on the rocks at the time following a huge bust-up during a house party at which Lana Turner was a guest. Some reports claim Sinatra found the two women in bed together. More likely, he caught them giggling over the sexual prowess of musician Artie Shaw, to whom both women had been married (Sinatra was jealous of all of his wife's previous romances). At first he canceled his plans to accompany her to Africa. When Gardner changed her phone number, he proposed a reconciliation in Earl Wilson's gossip column. They spent most of their time on location fighting and making up, both at top volume. See more »


As Victor and Eloise argue on the deck, she is holding a cigarette between the index and middle fingers of her left hand. At one point, she folds her arms. She should have reacted to the cigarette now burning her, but doesn't. When she unfolds her arms, the cigarette remains between her fingers, and intact. See more »


Eloise Y. 'Honey Bear' Kelly: Let me jump to my own conclusions.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening Title Card reads: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is grateful beyond measure to the government officials of Kenya Colony, Tanganyika, the Uganda Protectorate and the Republic of French Equatorial Africa, whose limitless co-operation made this motion picture possible. See more »


Referenced in Hollywood: The Great Stars (1963) See more »


Traditional tune
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung by Ava Gardner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Another "safari" in the MGM tradition...Gardner steals the show...
30 December 2006 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Some stunning Technicolor photography of African footage and beautiful AVA GARDNER are the sole reasons for watching John Ford's MOGAMBO, a remake of "Red Dust" that starred Jean Harlow twenty years before this was made.

Harlow's co-star, CLARK GABLE, is back reprising his role as the great white hunter (what happened to STEWART GRANGER???), but Gable has mellowed quite a bit and looks a bit too tired to be the love interest of both AVA GARDNER and GRACE KELLY--which is what the plot really boils down to. However, he is more than able to tame both of them.

GRACE KELLY still has the affected way of reciting her lines in a prim and princess-like way and is the less interesting of the two females. AVA GARDNER, on the other hand, livens up the story with her sarcastic one-liners and her ability to size up any situation and call a spade a spade. She's honest, frank and completely charming in her own way and walks off with every scene she's in, fully deserving her sole Oscar nomination.

But if you're looking for a real good story, MOGAMBO is not it. It has all the realism of a picture postcard despite the fact that much of it was filmed in colorful Africa. But the use of stock footage is also apparent as are shots of Gable and others before a process screen.

Fans of the stars should enjoy this one, but be warned--it's not without some serious flaws, mostly due to a weak script.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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