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:

Greater than "King Soloman's Mines" ! 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

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

Years of heavy drinking had left Clark Gable with a case of the shakes. John Ford, who suffered from the same problem, was sympathetic and tried to shoot around Gable's bouts of palsy. When the schedule got tight, however, he refused to re-take a scene between Gable and Ava Gardner. This led to a rift between the two. Though they were able to finish filming without any more problems, Gable would never work with the director again. 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: The only lions I ever want to see again are the two in front of the public library.
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

Featured in The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Romantic triangle drama in which the white hunter dallies with an elegant married woman and another with a dark past
12 February 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Although the original trailer for the film explains that "Mogambo" means "the Greatest," in fact, the word "Mogambo" has no meaning at all . It concerns Victor Marswell (Clark Gable but this lead role was originally intended for Stewart Granger ; Gable also starred in the 1933 original Red Dust by Victor Fleming) runs a big game trapping company in Kenya . Eloise Kelly (glorious charm from Ava Gardner who replaces Jean Harlow , though Deborah Kerr and Lana Turner were sought for the female leads and Maureen O'Hara was the first choice for Honey Bear Kelly) is ditched there , and an immediate attraction happens between them . Victor dallies with the attractive as well as jaded lady Eloise and must let her stay till the next boat arrives . But Victor, initially uninterested, soon succumbs to Eloise's ostentatious charms until the arrival of a marriage , a husband (Donald Sinden) , ill with fevers , and his refined but sensuous wife (Grace Kelly who has Mary Astor's part , though Gene Tierney was first choice for the role of Linda , she dropped out due to emotional problems which were now interfering with her work) . Then , Victor falls to the arms of the sophisticated married woman .

This lusty remake deals with classic loving triangle set in Africa and combines love , drama , thrills , action and adventure . Interesting script by John Lee Mahin who reworks his 1932 screenplay for ¨Red Dust¨ . Here we are seeing several African animals though the most turn out to be taken from an excessive utilization of stock-shots , thus : Gnus, Elephants, Impalas , Wild Boar , Gazelle Thomson , lions , Buffalos and Gorillas especially . The film was really censored in some countries , as the censors in Spain did not allow adultery to be shown on the screen. For that reason, MGM changed the relationship of the characters of Linda Nordley (Grace Kelly) and Donald Nordley (Donald Sinden) from wife and husband to sister and brother in the dubbed version released in Spain . However, they did not delete a scene in which both share a bed together. Nice acting by Clark Gable who repeats his character from 1932 , he becomes involved with the new wife of one of his employers . Clark Gable was unimpressed by the script and was wary of reprising his Red Dust (1932) role after 21 years . He only agreed to make the movie after Across the wide Missouri (1951) and Lone Star (1952) both flopped at the box office . Clark Gable and Grace Kelly began an affair on the set that lasted for several months . After filming had ended, they resumed the affair while Kelly was filming The country girl (1954). Ava Gardner steals the show , she is frankly wonderful in the role of the woman with a past . During filming Ava Gardner flew to London to have an abortion after she became pregnant with Frank Sinatra's child . Secondary cast is quite good such as Donald Sinden , Eric Pohlmann , Laurence Naismith and Denis O'Dea .

Marvelously shot by two excellent cameramen , Robert Surtees and Freddie Young . Being filmed on location in Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya , Okalataka, Democratic Republic Of Congo , Tanganjika, Tanzania , Serengeti Plain, Tanzania ,Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya , Kagera River ,Uganda ,Thika, Kenya . Despite the high budget, most of the movie was actually filmed in the MGM studio in Hollywood, and especially in MGM British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK . Lavishly produced by the great producer Sam Zimbalist , he came up with the title by altering the name of the Mocambo, a famous Hollywood nightclub . The motion picture was compellingly directed by John Ford , though he did not get along with Clark Gable during filming, and at one point walked off the set in protest at Ford's treatment of Ava Gardner . It's not great John Ford film but results to be worthwhile and enticing .


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