9 user 1 critic

Rhodes (1936)

Rhodes of Africa (original title)
Approved | | Biography | 20 February 1936 (USA)
This rousing adventure film tells the true story of Cecil Rhodes, a diamond miner who helped found the South African colonies.


Leslie Arliss (adaptation), Michael Barringer (adaptation) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Walter Huston ... Cecil John Rhodes
Oskar Homolka ... Ohm Paul Kruger
Basil Sydney ... Dr. Jim Jameson
Frank Cellier ... Barney Barnato
Peggy Ashcroft ... Anna Carpenter
Renee De Vaux Renee De Vaux ... Mrs. Paul Kruger
Percy Parsons Percy Parsons ... Hendricks
Bernard Lee ... Cartwright
Lewis Casson ... Rev. Charles Helm
Ndaniso Kumala Ndaniso Kumala ... King Lobengula
Ndanisa Kumalo Ndanisa Kumalo ... King Lobengula (as Ndanisa Kumalo of Matabele Land)


This rousing adventure film tells the true story of Cecil Rhodes, a diamond miner who helped found the South African colonies.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Diamond Master - Empire Builder - Jungle Conqueror




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rhodes See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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User Reviews

Geortge Arliss was to play Rhodes and co write the film
3 April 2010 | by malcolmgswSee all my reviews

Anyone interested in the British film industry of the 1930s in general and this film specifically should read "The Unknown 1930s" edited by Jeffrey Richards and published by I.B.Tauris in 1998.In particular read Chapter 10 commencing on P201 entitled "Berthold Viertel At Gaumont British".Pages 212-215 give detail about the making of this film.It is rather funny in view of the parts that he played that just before filming was about to begin it was realised that Arliss did not resemble Rhodes.The part went to Walter Huston a friend of Mark Ostrer who was one of the major shareholders in Gaumont British.Oscar Homolka was cast because he had worked with Viertel before and shared the same agent.It is ironic that i am the first person from the UK to review this film,since it is unseen and forgotten here.The other reviewers seem to think that this is a Boys Own Adventure in the same vein as "The Drum" or "Gunga Din" which it is not.It is a biography.In fact the only set action piece is truncated half way through.It is an attempt to tell the story of the statesman Rhodes and at the same time extol the virtues of the Empire.it fails on both counts.It suffers the usual problems of such films of having too little time to tell too big a story.One dissolve covers a period of 10years.Rhodes was an aggressive colonist and treated the natives as children as is admitted by the film.Looking at the film in the 1930s these were perfectly acceptable sentiments.Today we can but wonder whether the ills of the continent were to an extent the responsibility of Rhodes.This film was part of a programme designed to woo American audiences.However in June 1937 the company announced that they had lost £98000 the previous year,a colossal amount,production was topped immediately and Lime Grove studios were shut down.This left Gainsborough to turn out Will Hay and Crazy Gang comedies.Balcon went to Ealing Studios via MGM Borehamwood and the rest is history.

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