IMDb > Mandingo (1975)
Mandingo
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Mandingo (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.2/10   2,704 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for Mandingo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 July 1975 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Expect The Savage. The Sensual. The Shocking. The Sad. The Powerful. The Shameful. Expect The Truth.
Plot:
A slave owner in the 1840s trains one of his slaves to be a bare-knuckle fighter. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Whoops! Thought this was a camp classic. See more (60 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

James Mason ... Warren Maxwell

Susan George ... Blanche Maxwell

Perry King ... Hammond Maxwell
Richard Ward ... Agamemnon
Brenda Sykes ... Ellen

Ken Norton ... Mede
Lillian Hayman ... Lucrezia Borgia

Roy Poole ... Doc Redfield

Ji-Tu Cumbuka ... Cicero

Paul Benedict ... Brownlee

Ben Masters ... Charles
Ray Spruell ... Wallace
Louis Turenne ... De Veve
Duane Allen ... Topaz
Earl Maynard ... Babouin
Beatrice Winde ... Lucy

Debbi Morgan ... Dite

Irene Tedrow ... Mrs. Redfield
Reda Wyatt ... Big Pearl
Simone McQueen ... Madam Caroline
Evelyn Hendrickson ... Beatrix
Stanley J. Reyes ... Major Woodford (as Stanley Reyes)
John Barber ... Le Toscan

Durwyn Robinson ... Meg
Kerwin Robinson ... Alph
Deborah Ann Young ... Tense
Debra Blackwell ... Blonde Girl
Kuumba ... Black Mother
Stocker Fontelieu ... Wilson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edwin Edwards ... Gambler (scenes deleted)
Sylvia Kuumba Williams ... Black Mother (as Kuumba)
Warren Kenner ... (uncredited)
Laura Misch Owens ... Prostitute (uncredited)

Sylvester Stallone ... Young Man in Crowd (uncredited)
Rosemary Tichenor ... Slave-Buying Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Fleischer 
 
Writing credits
Kyle Onstott (novel)

Jack Kirkland (play)

Norman Wexler (screenplay)

Produced by
Dino De Laurentiis .... producer
Ralph B. Serpe .... executive producer (as Ralph Serpe)
 
Original Music by
Maurice Jarre 
 
Cinematography by
Richard H. Kline (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Frank Bracht 
 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
 
Production Design by
Boris Leven 
 
Set Decoration by
John P. Austin  (as John Austin)
 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
 
Makeup Department
Sugar Blymyer .... hair stylist (as Maryce Blymyer)
Hank Edds .... makeup artist (as George 'Hank' Edds)
 
Production Management
Peter V. Herald .... production manager
Stanley Neufeld .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frederic W. Brost .... first assistant director (as Fred Brost)
Gary Daigler .... second assistant director (as Gary D. Daigler)
Albert Shepard .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Bill Wainess .... property master (as William Wainess)
 
Sound Department
James Nelson .... sound effects editor
William Randall .... production sound
Raul A. Bruce .... boom operator (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
John Wilkinson .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Ira Anderson Jr. .... special effects
 
Stunts
Joe Canutt .... stunt coordinator
Alan Oliney .... stunt coordinator
Alan Oliney .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Gene Kearney .... head grip
Ross A. Maehl .... gaffer (as Ross Maehl)
Calvin Maehl .... best boy electric (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Hector Freeman .... casting assistant (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jack Martell .... wardrobe
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Andrea E. Weaver .... costumer: women (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Chris Kaeselau .... assistant editor
 
Location Management
Robert F. Kocourek .... location auditor (as Robert Kocourek)
Albert J. Salzer .... location contact
 
Music Department
Maurice Jarre .... conductor
Milton Lustig .... music editor
 
Other crew
Dino De Laurentiis .... presenter
Federico De Laurentiis .... assistant to producer
Alvin Greenman .... script supervisor
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
127 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:R | Finland:K-16 | France:16 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:16 | Norway:15 (video rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | UK:18 (video rating) (cut) | USA:R | West Germany:18 (cut)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The sequel Drum (1976) takes place around fifteen years after the events of this movie.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the movie's first scene, as Brownlee inspects a row of slaves he smokes a cigar which is obviously lit (smoke, ash, etc). But when he clenches the cigar in his mouth and leans in to inspect a slave's teeth, the cigar changes to one that has never been lit. (Maybe a precaution against burning the other actor's face?)See more »
Quotes:
Cicero:I'd rather die than be a slave. You peckerwood! That's tight, you peckerwoods was in oppressed in your own land. We was free. Then you brought us here, in chains. But now we here, you just better know it's as much our land as it is yorn. And after you hang me, kiss my ass!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in White Chicks (2004)See more »
Soundtrack:
Born in This TimeSee more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the International Version and the US DVD/BD by Legend Films/Paramount?
See more »
91 out of 105 people found the following review useful.
Whoops! Thought this was a camp classic., 29 August 1999
Author: Don-94 from Southern California

I just saw this film on the big screen (the only surviving 35mm print in the world). I had never seen it on video, so seeing it in a crowded theater was my first experience with the film. As a bonus, the director, Richard Fleischer, the star, Perry King, and Brenda Sykes, who plays King's slave "wench" in the film, spoke before the screening.

The audience alternated between gasping and roaring with immediately regretted laughter throughout the screening. Nobody laughed for a moment at Susan George's supposedly over-the-top performance. And at the climax -- there were astounded gasps all over the theater. Afterwards, once the applause had died down, the audience filed out, stunned. Everyone looked shell-shocked. I wandered around for a while listening to people murmuring: "I told you guys..." "Best I've seen..." "Totally uncompromising..." "That's how it was..." "Didn't pull any punches..." "Amazing..." "Where did you hear about it?..."

We had one big advantage over most people who see the film. Most viewers go rent the tape because they read about it in, say, Edward Margulies' and Stephen Rebello's BAD MOVIES WE LOVE (which is how I knew about it). MANDINGO has a huge reputation as a camp classic, so people seek out the video where it can be found. Then they take it home and watch it alone, or with a friend or two, pre-primed to laugh.

The audience I was sitting with at the American Cinematheque theater had, first of all, read the sober, favorable description in the Cinematheque schedule. Then we'd listened to Fleischer himself talk about how he had refused ten times when Dino de Laurentiis had asked him to film the novel, only to finally accept when he realized how he could do it: "By being totally honest and straight with it." And he was, if you view it without a laugh ready. King and Sykes also spoke calmly and soberly about how hard the shoot was, and how the cast considered it an important film but still had trouble handling the emotions it stirred up.

Fleischer is hardly a symbolic director, although there's a lot of "found" symbolism in 10 RILLINGTON PLACE, for example. But MANDINGO was an obvious statement of the inhumanity of slave-OWNing, and it constantly used the setting and characters to emphasize the moral and physical disintegration of the Deep South under the self-imposed yoke of the slave culture. That sounds pretentious, but in MANDINGO it's totally straightforward. Moral disintegration leads to moral disintegration. The crime is its own punishment. MANDINGO is an antimatter GONE WITH THE WIND.

MANDINGO, as Fleischer pointed out, was a huge hit on its initial release. It was also viciously attacked by all but two critics in the United States. (Fleischer admitted that he saved all his reviews, and pointed out mildly that those two reviewers -- who were the only critics to go into the film in depth -- pronounced the film a masterpiece. "I don't know if it's that," he said, "but those two were certainly a breath of fresh air.")

Because of all the controversy, the film was never rereleased. Nobody at the screening could think of a single time it had been screened between 1975 and August 28, 1999. Perhaps it was screened once or twice, but my point is that essentially no one since 1975 has seen this film with an audience, to feel the reactions of those around the room, to see it on the big screen.

I think it's really unfortunate that MANDINGO has gotten locked into this "camp" label. The film contains so much depravity that I can certainly see why it was selected as a "camp classic". But that wasn't the intent at all. I've heard this film compared to SHOWGIRLS. But SHOWGIRLS was directed by the bizarre Paul Verhoeven (ROBOCOP, TOTAL RECALL, BASIC INSTINCT). Of course he was going for camp; he always does camp. But Richard Fleischer? He did 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, MR. MAJESTYK, 10 RILLINGTON PLACE (a real gem), THE BOSTON STRANGLER, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, SOYLENT GREEN. He is one of the most mild-mannered directors alive. He's done bad stuff -- CONAN THE DESTROYER and RED SONJA come to mind -- but in the seventies he was doing his best work. And that would have to include MANDINGO -- to my complete amazement.

I can't believe how different my experience with this film was from its usual "cult" interpretation. Now I wonder if Otto Preminger's HURRY SUNDOWN is as bad as the Medveds said it was in 50 WORST FILMS OF ALL TIME. I'll have to try to see it for myself.

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