IMDb > White Witch Doctor (1953)
White Witch Doctor
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White Witch Doctor (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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Ivan Goff (writer)
Ben Roberts (writer)
View company contact information for White Witch Doctor on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 July 1953 (USA) See more »
The story of a woman who followed a dream to the end of the earth ... and found a love that will live to the end of time !
In 1907, a nurse arrives in the Belgian Congo to work for a missionary doctor but meets a grumpy animal hunter who secretly plans to search for gold in the dangerous Bakuba tribal region. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Hayward was a great outdoor actress! See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order)

Susan Hayward ... Ellen Burton

Robert Mitchum ... John 'Lonni' Douglas

Walter Slezak ... Huysman
Mashood Ajala ... Jacques
Joseph C. Narcisse ... Utembo

Elzie Emanuel ... Kapuka

Timothy Carey ... Jarrett
Otis Greene ... Bakuba boy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nnaemeka Akosa ... (uncredited)
Leo C. Aldridge-Milas ... Council Member (uncredited)
Myrtle Anderson ... Aganza (uncredited)

Michael Ansara ... De Gama (uncredited)
Anyaogu ... (uncredited)

Everett Brown ... Bakuba King (uncredited)
Louis Polliman Brown ... Councilman (uncredited)
Naaman Brown ... Witch Doctor (uncredited)
Charles Gemora ... Gorilla (uncredited)
Michael Granger ... Paal (uncredited)
Dorothy Harris ... Chief's Wife (uncredited)
Henry Hastings ... Bit Part (uncredited)
John Iboko ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Elechukwu Njakar ... (uncredited)
Chukemeka Okeke ... (uncredited)
Floyd Shackelford ... Native (uncredited)
Paul Thompson ... Witch Doctor (uncredited)
Gabriel Ukaegbu ... Native (uncredited)
A.E. Ukonu ... Prosecutor (uncredited)

Directed by
Henry Hathaway 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ivan Goff  writer
Ben Roberts  writer
Louise A. Stinetorf  novel

Produced by
Otto Lang .... producer
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann 
Cinematography by
Leon Shamroy 
Film Editing by
James B. Clark 
Art Direction by
Mark-Lee Kirk 
Lyle R. Wheeler 
Set Decoration by
Stuart A. Reiss 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Production Management
F.E. 'Johnny' Johnston .... location production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur Lueker .... first assistant director
Gerd Oswald .... first assistant director
Roy Ward Baker .... location director (uncredited)
Richard Rosson .... second unit director (uncredited)
David Silver .... assistant director (uncredited)
Robert R. Snody .... second unit director: location (uncredited)
Erich von Stroheim Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Ray Kellogg .... special photographic effects
Matthew Yuricich .... visual effects artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles G. Clarke .... director of photography: second unit
Harry Jackson .... director of photography: second unit
Joseph MacDonald .... additional director of photography
Scotty McEwin .... camera operator: second unit
Walter Fitchman .... location grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Music Department
Eddie Lynn .... musician: jungle drums
Bernard Herrmann .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Conway Wharton .... technical advisor
Serge Bertensson .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Mel Koontz .... animal trainer (uncredited)
Eva Monley .... script supervisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
96 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

Filmed in californiaSee more »
John 'Lonni' Douglas:We leave at dawn.See more »


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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Hayward was a great outdoor actress!, 17 November 2002

Lonnie Douglas (Robert Mitchum) and his partner, Huysman (Walter Slezak), guide a dedicated nurse Ellen Burton (Susan Hayward) to the distant jungle outpost where she, as a volunteer, has been sent to give medical aid to the natives.. But Huysman and Lonni also have plans of their own: it is said that there is hidden gold in the Bakuba country, and they are determined to find it...

They penetrate the remote interior of the Belgian Congo by means of a primitive canoe propelled by a native crew... At one of their portages Ellen cures a native chief's wife (Dorothy Harris) and the witch doctor, seeking revenge for her interference, tries to kill her with a tarantula, but she manages to escape its poisonous bite...

Later, Lonni saves a boy who has been severely injured fighting a lion... The lad is the son of the Bakuba king and wears a necklace made of gold nuggets—the treasure Lonni and Huysman are seeking... Perhaps this is the opportunity they've been waiting for, Lonni thinks, and devises a plan for using the Bakuba boy to get the gold...

There have been quite a number of Adventurers ladies, the most notably adventurous of whom has perhaps been the aggressive and resilient Susan Hayward who was at her best not in the Oscar-Winning vein of 'I Want to Live,' but roughing it out in the jungle in films like 'White Witch Doctor.'

She was quite capable of blasting Jack Elam with a rifle at the end of 'Rawhide,' and in 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro,' she was tough enough to send the witch doctor packing and go to work with a knife on Gregory Peck who will otherwise die from the infection that was building up in him... Hayward was the great outdoor actress—indoors, she was often a bit too much to take...

This was Hayward's second movie with Robert Mitchum... They were teamed in Nicholas Ray's rodeo movie in 'The Lusty Men' (1952).

Africa was the real star of "White Witch Doctor," with beautiful color shots of the Congo and Bakubas caught in their colorful dances, taken by Leon Shamroy, three times an Oscar winner...

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