Slave owner Warren Maxwell insists that his son, Hammond, who is busy bedding the slaves he buys, marry a white woman and father him a son. While in New Orleans, he picks up a wife, Blanche, a "bed wench," Ellen, and a Mandingo slave, Mede, whom he trains to be a bare-knuckle fighting champion. Angered that Hammond is spending too much time with his slaves, Blanche beds down Mede. Written by
Edwin Edwards, the governor of Louisiana at the time, was cast as a gambler and several scenes were filmed but excised before release. Upon the advice of his public relations staff, Edwards decided the potential damage to his public image when the salacious content of the film was revealed would be too great. See more »
About 18 minutes into the movie, when Dite tells Hammond that she's "knocked up", her leg changes position between shots. See more »
Cousin Charles, What the hell you doing, kissin on the mouth?
[Charles throws Katie to bed, removes his belt, and whips her with it]
What you doin that fer?
Makes a man feel good. She likes it too. Don't you pretty wench?
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"Mandingo" is truly an amazing movie. One would think that this is as close you can get to actually seeing the slave-owning south on film.
"Mandingo" is probably lumped into the "cult/camp classic" category because this is a film no one would dare make today, unless the slaves got a major comeuppance at the end. They do not here. This film is a brutal look at slave owners and their slaves which will leave the audience gasping. Some of the lines are so daring by today's politically-correct standards, there's no doubt they'd get a lot of laughs. Kind of how 1977's "Fight For Your Life" gets laughs with all it's over-the-top racism, only not in such abundance. Sure to get some laughs is hearing the English actor who played "Bently" on "The Jeffersons" talk all nasty.
Perry King is Hammond, the slave owner's son, and he actually has a bit of a heart where the slaves are concerned. He and "Mandingo" (actually his name is "Mede," evidently a "Mandingo" is a name for a "breed" of strong/fighting slave) become friendly. Hammond also has a favorite female slave "wench" who he falls for. And he marries cousin Susan George, who is very bitchy and shows the slaves no respect. Mede is played by Ken Norton who is obviously not an actor but who looks the part.
The film has a sleazy realism to it. Even the plantation looks like a mess - the outside is all ragged and the inside isn't much better, and this is a rich man's plantation. This is definitely not "Tara."
Not to repeat the plot, but many amazing things happen, and there are plenty of incredible scenes. The big fight scene between Mede and another slave is especially bloody and brutal. The ending certainly won't anyone feel all nice and cozy. There are many familiar 70's movie faces all over the place.
This is a film that has kind of disappeared in the realm of today's political correctness. But seeking it out isn't tough, as it has to be seen by anyone with an interest in non-PC cinema, or any kind of "forbidden" movies.
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