5.3/10
630
15 user 6 critic

Call Me Bwana (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 14 June 1963 (USA)
A returning moon capsule with vital information goes off course and lands in Africa where the little-known Ekele tribesmen find it. Washington orders the great African Authority Matthew ... See full summary »

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Nate Monaster (screenplay), Johanna Harwood (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Single father Bob Holcomb, dissatisfied with his daughter JoJo's choice of partner, seizes an unexpected opportunity to bring her on a trip to Sweden in order for her to forget all thoughts... See full summary »

Director: Frederick De Cordova
Stars: Bob Hope, Dina Merrill, Tuesday Weld
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two playboys try to forget previous romances in Singapore - until they meet a beautiful dancer.

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Road to Rio (1947)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two inept vaudevillians stow away on a Brazilian-bound ocean liner and foil a plot by a sinister hypnotist to marry off her niece to a greedy fortune hunter.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A bachelor author of sleazy books moves to a family-oriented subdivision where he becomes an unofficial relationship advisor to unhappy local housewives, to the dismay of their respective husbands who suspect him of sexual misconduct.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Janis Paige
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A seductive starlet flees Hollywood and causes chaos for a real estate agent.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Bob Hope, Elke Sommer, Phyllis Diller
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Parker Ballantine is a New York theater critic and his wife writes a play that may or may not be very good. Now Parker must either get out of reviewing the play or cause the breakup of his marriage.

Director: Don Weis
Stars: Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Maxwell
Comedy | Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Bumbling reporter Robert Kittredge has been fired after bungling his latest assignment. His career isn't all he's botched up: his girlfriend Chris is tired of waiting for him to marry her. ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler
Stars: Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, Lenore Aubert
Road to Bali (1952)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two unemployed show-biz pals accept treasure-diving work in Bali for a local princess and they find treasure, love and trouble.

Director: Hal Walker
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Bank teller and widower with seven kids, Bob Hope finds $10,000 in a parking lot. His luck quickly changes when it's discovered that his bank discovers a substantial money shortage in their... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Jonathan Winters
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mistaken identity and the acquisition of a rare Tibetan herb put two buffoonish con men on the wrong side of a secret organization geared toward world domination.

Director: Norman Panama
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Joan Collins
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A meek tailor thinks his wooing will be helped if he assumes the identity of the famous Casanova...who's deeply in debt.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Bob Hope, Joan Fontaine, Audrey Dalton
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Junior Potter returns to claim his father's gold, which is nowhere to be found. "Mike" is the luscious head of a gang of thieves, and Roy Barton is the federal marshal hot on her trail.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Bob Hope, Jane Russell, Roy Rogers
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Hope ... Matt
Anita Ekberg ... Luba
Edie Adams ... Frederica
Lionel Jeffries ... Ezra
Percy Herbert ... First Henchman
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Col. Spencer
Orlando Martins ... Chief
Al Mulock Al Mulock ... Second Henchman
Bari Jonson Bari Jonson ... Uta
Peter Dyneley ... Williams
Mai Ling Mai Ling ... Hyacinth
Mark Heath Mark Heath ... Koba
Robert Nichols Robert Nichols ... American Major
Neville Monroe Neville Monroe ... Reporter
Mike Moyer ... Reporter (as Michael Moyer)
Edit

Storyline

A returning moon capsule with vital information goes off course and lands in Africa where the little-known Ekele tribesmen find it. Washington orders the great African Authority Matthew Merriwether, an utter fraud and authority only on feminine pulchritude, to go find it. A foreign power sends Secret Agent Luba to go after Matthew and stop at nothing - absolutely nothing - to get it from him. Dr. Ezra Mungo is peeved that Luba superseded him, and is sent along posing as her father but has plans of his own. All meet and form a safari but there is time out for a golf match between Merriwether and Arnold Palmer. After reaching their destination, with Merriwether madly in love with Luba, they find that the Ekeles believe the capsule is a holy talisman and won't give it up. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bob Hope takes off for the jungle and takes on Russian spy Anita Ekberg. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Appelez-moi chef See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Danjaq,Eon Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Terry-Thomas was the original choice for the role of Dr. Ezra Mungo. See more »

Goofs

When Matt boards his flight for Africa it's a 707 jet but after he lands at his destination and disembarks, it's a propeller driven aircraft. See more »

Quotes

Matthew Merriwether: The only wild animal I want to see is the cigarette girl at the Stork Club.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits of cast and crew are depicted by various monkeys and chimps. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside 'From Russia with Love' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

William Tell Overture
Written by Gioachino Rossini
Heard during the scenes with the satellite on the truck.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Hope Was Way Behind the Times
17 December 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Someone forgot to tell old ski nose that non-authentic African locations just weren't going to cut it any more. Not after King Solomon's Mines and The African Queen right up to Howard Hawks's acclaimed Hatari. What was good for the Road to Zanizibar wasn't going to cut it any more with a Sixties audience.

Call Me Bwana other than establishing background shots got no closer to Africa than London where the film was made. The plot such as it is has Hope as a Robert Ruark type author who has used his uncle's African diary as material for some successful books. This in fact was the same plot device that was used in the very funny Man's Favorite Sport where Rock Hudson was a fishing expert.

But all Rock was asked to do was enter and win a fishing tournament. In Call Me Bwana, the Kennedy administration wants to have the CIA hire Bob Hope to lead an expedition to recover a lost satellite before the Russians get it. The Russians in turn are sending Gina Lollabrigida in a ridiculous blond wig to help their man in Africa, Lionel Jeffries.

I do realize this is a comedy, but are we to believe that the Central Intelligence Agency didn't do some background check on Hope and found his credentials weren't all that good? Lord, they were non-existent. Helping Hope in his quest is CIA agent Edie Adams who I'm sure was personally hired at the agency by Allen Dulles.

Hiring Edie, I'm sure was either an act of charity or it's possible that Lionel Jeffries's part was originally meant for her late husband Ernie Kovacs. If the latter was the case it's a good thing Ernie checked out when he did.

There's a whole sequence when in the jungle Hope finds a golf course with Arnold Palmer playing on it. It's about 10 minutes and what might have been funny in a surreal road picture lays a Vermont volleyball of an egg in Call Me Bwana. The golf allows Hope however to get his obligatory Crosby jokes in the script.

The real problem is that by 1963 the American public had increased its knowledge of Africa. Sub Sahara Africa was in the news then, the Congo was in civil war, apartheid was being challenged in the Union of South Africa, there were wars against the Portugese in Angola and Mozambigue, and both Northern and Southern Rhodesia were in turmoil. Bob Hope was way behind the times in trying to sell Call Me Bwana.

Anita Ekberg was a most beautiful and fetching Russian spy. But she's Russian in the tradition of Janet Leigh in Jet Pilot rather than Greta Garbo in Ninotchka. Of course the charm of Bob Hope forces her to defect as per the American script has. I often wonder though did the Russians make films where charming spies get Americans to defect to them?

Call Me Bwana was doomed from the start in its release. What was funny in 1943 couldn't be sold in 1963.


17 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed