The Johnsons in the first talking African jungle movie play jazz records in between filming animal sequences. Two rhinos charging towards the camera is the highlight. Thousands of flamingos and pygmy life are also included.

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Martin E. Johnson ...
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The Johnsons in the first talking African jungle movie play jazz records in between filming animal sequences. Two rhinos charging towards the camera is the highlight. Thousands of flamingos and pygmy life are also included.

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african tribe | africa | See All (2) »

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Tearing Through the Barriers of an Empire of Death See more »

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Documentary

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Release Date:

7 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventures Among the Big Apes and Little People of Central Africa  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Celebrated ballroom dancers Chester Towne and Helen Knott are pictured on the sheet music cover for the song "Congorilla". See more »


Soundtracks

Congorilla
Lyrics by Al Bryan (as Alfred Bryan)
Music by Louis De Francesco (as Louis E. DeFrancesco)
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User Reviews

Wild life before ethnographic's
20 November 2007 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

"Congorilla" (1932) by Martin Johnson and his courageous and beautiful wife, it was as movie an entire discovery of the potentiality from African jungle. The fragility of the rushes on African jungle as pictures from the trip are good enough for open the curiosity to this kind of life where the day slows easy and the contrast with the past and the present is almost nothing in terms of time for the help from these tribal peoples from the bow age and encircled timber huts within a strange magnetism from the sunset on the savanna.

Just in time of first Tarzan's and from the novels written in the spirit of Livingstone and Stanley from XIX Century explorers, but here concerning wild life as true first ethnographic view helping contact with Pygmy's for instance in the spirit of Jack London. Osa is shown when the team of explorers was in a given savanna, searching the lions and after while she is before one of it, in the moment of preparing the jump for the attack, just before the shootings of protection.

One of the scenes shows us a Pygmy smoking a cigar before the camera and the idea that a black man was like a monkey vanishes slowly of the mind of any viewer, I presume also, because the purpose was indeed approaching cultures and not exactly open another abyss in between. A free style for capturing snapshots over the jungle with people naked and happy in its natural environment but with a rudimentary look. It seems that it was here that we had seen one of the first aerial landscapes taken from a plane on African continent. The separation between race and culture it was here a matter of angle of view not an eugenic standard of the time and such a magnificence was too the subject of these contradictions, but differently understood if above the legacy of the XIX Century and the main activity of Martin Johnson and his wife, in the transit and competitive overview with others in the geographical exploitation of the moment, that it was too about chasing during hunts by local people. With such an imagined savagery with some rules and principles learned in Kansas, claiming a rescue of the forgotten colonized folks in the bush as a new small economy of scale, beginning contacts of other nature intuitively before exploitation or leaving them out of the history for the next generation. Martin Johnson was a voyager very known in the time of hangings and picnics, positioned in his interest for the cultural comparative studies about primitive peoples between continents also at the time of cannibalism and cutting heads as idea profoundly linked with the imaginary of common dealers around the world.


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