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White Mischief (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  May 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,986 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 17 critic

A millionaire past his prime and his young wife arrive in Kenya circa 1940 to find that the other affluent British expatriates are living large as the homefront gears up for war. They are ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: White Mischief (1987)

White Mischief (1987) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nina Soames
Gilbert Colvile
Gladys - Lady Delamere
Catherine Neilson ...
Alan Dobie ...
Jacqueline Pearce ...


A millionaire past his prime and his young wife arrive in Kenya circa 1940 to find that the other affluent British expatriates are living large as the homefront gears up for war. They are busy swapping partners, doing drugs, and attending lavish parties and horse races. She begins a torrid affair with one of the bon vivants, and her husband finds out and confronts them. The husband and wife decide to break up peacefully, but the bon vivant is murdered and all the evidence points to the husband. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In England they were the elite, but bound by rules of society. In Kenya there were no rules, only glamour, decadence . . . and murder. See more »


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adeus, África  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,300,000 (estimated)


$3,107,551 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hugh Grant:  As Hugh. See more »


The courtroom scenes include counsel shouting "Objection!" and the Judge replying "Sustained" or "Overruled" and occasionally ordering things "stricken from the record". These terms are routine in courts in the United States but are never heard in courts based on English jurisprudence, as was the case in colonial Kenya in 1941. See more »


Sir Jock Delves Broughton: These bankers are terrible, Abdullah.
Abdullah, Broughton's Servant: Yes, Bwana.
Sir Jock Delves Broughton: When it's dry they offer you no end of umbrellas; as soon as it starts raining they want them back.
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Referenced in Clatterford: Ladies in Lavender (2009) See more »


The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
from "The Nutcracker"
Composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Arranged and directed by Eric Banks
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User Reviews

Strange, decadent, and worthwhile
29 April 2008 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Based on the book by James Fox (not the handsome English actor of a certain age) this film remains hard to pin down: it's part murder mystery, part sociological study, part history of pre-WW2 East African colonialism, part romance, part dionysian orgy (really), part Evelyn Waugh/Somerset Maughm, part romance, part.... etc. etc. And it's all true.

Yes, the actors are more spectacular looking than their real life counterparts (particularly Scacchi, seldom more stunning.) Sarah Miles' strange character wafts through as most memorable of all in a rich ensemble set of louche decadents. (And yet the actress in real life admitted she may not have gotten a handle on the real woman, just an impression. Based upon my reading of Fox's and Trzebinski's books' accounts on the Alice de Janze, I'd have to agree. Nothing like her except the memorable quips and woozy flair.) Plus, most folks who didn't swim through the primo decadence of the 1960's firsthand might be appalled at what passes for entertainment in British colonial East Africa of the 1930'/40s. But what you'll get for your treasure hunt (this is a hard film to find) is the truth of a murder mystery, weird but real characters, a slice of history, all against the gorgeous panoply of Kenya, despite all its troubles one of the most beautiful spots on the entire planet, all shot on location right where the real events unfolded.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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