When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the ...
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When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the missing Scottish missionary. Stanley finds Livingstone ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume.") blissfully doling out medicine and religion to the happy natives. His story is at first disbelieved. When Livingstone later dies, Stanley returns to continue the good doctor's work (which, of course, never really happened).Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To the officials of His Majesty's government in British East Africa, the producers wish to express their appreciation for the cooperation that made possible the filming of the safari sequences in Kenya, Tanganyka and Uganda. See more »
Onward Christian Soldiers
Music from "St. Gertrude" by Arthur Sullivan (1871)
Hymn by Sabine Baring-Gould (1865)
Played when Stanley finds Livingstone and often as background music
Sung a cappella by natives
Reprised at the end by offscreen chorus and orchestra See more »
As was common at this time in Hollywood, the facts of the Stanley-Livingstone saga were highly fictionalized and romanticized in this film. This was an era in movie-making when close attention was not always given to historical accuracy.
The ending of the movie, with "Onward Christian Soldiers" playing in the background, turned the movie into a salute to the "spreading of Christianity to heathen lands," one of the common arguments used in the 19th century to justify European imperialism. It's another example of Hollywood portraying Christianity as the "true religion" superior to all other beliefs. On top of that, the ending clearly overlooks the fact that while Stanley returned to Africa after Livingstone's death, it was for purposes of exploration and empire building, not to follow in Livingstone's footsteps as a missionary.
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