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Sanders of the River (1935)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Music | 26 June 1935 (USA)
A British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930s rules his area strictly but justly. He struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief.


Zoltan Korda, Alfred Hitchcock (uncredited)


Lajos Biró (adaptation), Jeffrey Dell (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Robeson ... Bosambo
Leslie Banks ... Commissioner R.G. Sanders
Nina Mae McKinney ... Lilongo
Robert Cochran Robert Cochran ... Lieutenant Tibbets (as Robert Cochrane)
Martin Walker Martin Walker ... J. Ferguson
Richard Grey Richard Grey ... Captain Hamilton
Tony Wane Tony Wane ... King Mofolaba
Marqués De Portago Marqués De Portago ... Farini (as Marquis De Portago)
Eric Maturin Eric Maturin ... Smith
Allan Jeayes ... Father O'Leary
Charles Carson ... Governor of the Territory
Luao Luao ... Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Kilongalonga Kilongalonga ... Chief of the Wagenia [Congo] Tribe
Oboja Oboja ... Chief of the Acholi Tribe
Members of Acholi Tribe Members of Acholi Tribe ... Themselves (as Members of the Acholi Tribe)


British District Officer in Nigeria in the 1930's rules his area strictly but justly, and struggles with gun-runners and slavers with the aid of a loyal native chief. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE AMAZING STORY OF THREE WHITE MEN WHO HELD A WAR-CRAZED NATIVE EMPIRE AT BAY! (Print Ad-Victoria Daily Times, ((Victoria, BC)) 23 January 1937)


Adventure | Drama | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film was included in the first syndicated television presentation of a package of major studio feature films on USA television; it premiered in Philadelphia Friday 4 June 1948 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Chicago Monday 21 June 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), by Cleveland Sunday 11 July 1948 on WEWS (Channel 5), by New York City Sunday 25 July 1948 on WPIX (Channel 11), by Baltimore Saturday 30 October 1948 on WMAR (Channel 2), and by Los Angeles Sunday 2 January 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). The package consisted of 24 Alexander Korda productions originally released theatrically between 1933 and 1942. See more »


Although the film is nominally set in Nigeria (as shown on the map in Sanders' office), the aerial wildlife shots seem to have been taken in East Africa (e.g. Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika). Given the presence of Jomo Kenyatta as an extra in the cast, it is likely that the African scenes were shot on the eastern coast of Africa rather than in Nigeria. See more »


Version of Sanders (1963) See more »


The Song of the Spear
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
Lyrics by Arthur Wimperis
Sung by Paul Robeson
See more »

User Reviews

Africa in the movies, circa 1935
1 September 2005 | by FelixtheCatSee all my reviews

Leslie Banks stars as the title character, a British officer who manages to keep the peace between the African tribes loyal to His Majesty and those loyal to the African king. His right-hand man, one of the tribal leaders, played by Paul Robeson, does all he can to help Banks maintain the peace, but when Banks takes a trip away from the region, all heck breaks loose. Robeson tries his best to stem the tide of revolution against the British in Sanders' absence.

Zoltan Korda directed this surprisingly lesser-quality film, but actually wanted to make a more positive film in regards to its portrayal of Africa, but sadly he was dissuaded. Also, it is sad to see Robeson, such a political force for equality in real life, play a stereotypically subservient role to Banks. The film was based on Edgar Wallace's novel at the urging of the film's producer and director's brother, Alexander.

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Release Date:

26 June 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sanders of the River See more »

Filming Locations:

Kenya See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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