7.3/10
2,864
39 user 17 critic

Mountains of the Moon (1990)

The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Larry Oliphant
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Isabel Arundell (Mrs Burton as from 1861)
John Savident ...
Lord Murchison
James Villiers ...
Lord Oliphant
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Edward
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Lord Houghton
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Mabruki
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William
Richard Caldicot ...
Lord Russell
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Herne
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Stroyan
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Ben Amir
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Storyline

The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the story of their meeting, their friendship emerging amidst hardship, and then dissolving after their journey. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aux sources du Nil  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,011,793 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The phrase 'Mountains of the Moon', according to website 'Wikipedia', "is an ancient term referring to a legendary mountain or mountain range in east Africa at the source of the Nile River. Various identifications have been made in modern times, the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda being the most celebrated". Website 'Entertainment Weekly' stated that "according to geographical legend, [the Mountains of the Moon] hid the [River Nile's] source". See more »

Goofs

Isabel asks Burton to sign her copy of "A System of Bayonet Exercise" and hands him a very substantial book. This writing of Burton's was a 36-page pamphlet. See more »

Quotes

Arab chief in Cairo: In this wilderness you will find only Allah's terrible whimsy.
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Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of 1990 (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Wagogo Soothing Song
Recorded by David Fanshawe
From the album "Africa - Ceremonial & Folk Music"
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User Reviews

 
Too bad no-one seems to know this nice movie.
8 October 2004 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

I have to admit that, before it was shown on television a few weeks ago, I had never heard of the movie. When I see how many people wrote a review or voted for this movie on IMDb, I guess I'm not the only one. It's clear to me that this is a movie that has never had any attention. Not from the public, the cinema's nor the festivals. Even journalist didn't pay much attention to it. Does that mean this movie isn't worth seeing? Certainly not, although the subject probably isn't very attractive to the mainstream audience.

The movie tells the story of Burton and Speke, two friends and explorers who tried to find the source of the Nile in the middle of the nineteenth century. Burton was more of an anthropologist who wanted to learn more about the indigenous tribes which they encountered on their journeys, while Speke was more interested in the discovery of the source itself. Once they were back home they become enemies, because Speke tells everybody who wants to hear it that he alone discovered the source of the Nile, namely Lake Victoria.

There are different things that I liked about this movie. The acting was very good, the costumes were nice, but what I really liked were the images from the African landscapes, the animals, the people... Seeing the images from England just made me look forward to the next scenes in Africa. It never felt right to see these two explorers in England, you're always left with the feeling that they belong in Africa. I guess that is where the strength of this movie lies ... It makes you feel exactly the way these men felt. I reward this little masterpiece with an 8/10.


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