6.7/10
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Mogambo (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 9 October 1953 (USA)
On a Kenyan safari, white hunter Victor Marswell has a love triangle with seductive American socialite Eloise Kelly and anthropologist Donald Nordley's cheating wife Linda.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

John Lee Mahin (screenplay), Wilson Collison (play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Victor Marswell
Ava Gardner ... Eloise Y. Kelly
Grace Kelly ... Linda Nordley
Donald Sinden ... Donald Nordley
Philip Stainton Philip Stainton ... John Brown-Pryce
Eric Pohlmann ... Leon Boltchak
Laurence Naismith ... Skipper
Denis O'Dea ... Father Josef
Samburu ... Themselves (as Samburu tribe of Kenya Colony)
Wagenia Wagenia ... Themselves (as Wagenia tribe of Belgian Congo)
Bahaya Bahaya ... Themselves (as Bahaya tribe of Tanganyika)
M'Beti M'Beti ... Themselves (as M'Beti tribe of French Equatorial Africa)
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Storyline

Victor Marswell runs a big game trapping company in Kenya. Eloise Kelly is ditched there, and an immediate attraction happens between them. Then Mr. and Mrs. Nordley show up for their gorilla documenting safari. Mrs. Nordley is not infatuated with her husband any more, and takes a liking to Marswell. The two men and two women have some difficulty arranging these emotions to their mutual satisfaction, but eventually succeed. Written by Rob Hardy <ai822@dayton.wright.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Filmed on Safari in Africa! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Могамбо See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,103,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,576,000, 31 December 1953

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,268,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the original trailer for the film explains that "Mogambo" means "the Greatest," in fact, the word "Mogambo" has no meaning at all. Producer Sam Zimbalist came up with the title by altering the name of the Mocambo, a famous Hollywood nightclub. See more »

Goofs

The geography in the film is a mish-mash of locations. The location of the compound could be in Kenya or Tanzania, but gorillas in East Africa are only found in Uganda. In addition, there is also a statement that the camp could only be reached by boat, but that doesn't square with the location. See more »

Quotes

Eloise Y. 'Honey Bear' Kelly: This is no Sir Galahad who loves from afar. This is a two-legged boa constrictor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening Title Card reads: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is grateful beyond measure to the government officials of Kenya Colony, Tanganyika, the Uganda Protectorate and the Republic of French Equatorial Africa, whose limitless co-operation made this motion picture possible. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Angela (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

COMIN' THROUGH THE RYE
(uncredited)
Traditional tune
Lyrics by Robert Burns
Sung by Ava Gardner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Watch the original instead
9 September 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Mogambo is a remake of the 1932 drama Red Dust. In 1932, Clark Gable was torn between Jean Harlow and Mary Astor. In 1953, he reprised his role and found himself torn between Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly. Watch the original.

While in the original, a high-class married couple travel to China to hunt big game, the remake is set in Africa. Elephants and apes are shown, since in 1953, the company filmed on location rather than in a studio, but that doesn't make up for the lackluster script and terrible casting. No one can compete with Jean Harlow, and Ava Gardner just comes across as overheated and sloppy. Grace Kelly plays the icy, sophisticated married woman, and while she was typecast in that type of role, I always thought she was very insincere in her love scenes.

In the story she's drawn to Clark Gable's ruggedness, but she doesn't know he's already become involved with the very loose Ava. Hence the love triangle. The original was made before the Hays Code, so Jean Harlow's character was a prostitute, but in the 50s, Hollywood censorship didn't allow Ava's character to be sullied that much.

Clark Gable seems old and tired, which makes sense, since he's already made this exact movie before. And although you can find ample information about why the cast and crew were not happy while filming Mogambo, I can't help but consider the sad memories Clark must have felt while remaking a film he made with Jean Harlow, his real-life friend who died tragically during the shooting of another movie they made together. It makes sense that he didn't give a very enthusiastic performance. Unless you're an Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly fan, which I am not, I can't recommend you watch this movie.


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