Slave owner Warren Maxwell insists that his son, Hammond, who is busy bedding the slaves he buys, marry a white woman and father him a son. While in New Orleans, he picks up a wife, Blanche, a "bed wench," Ellen, and a Mandingo slave, Mede, whom he trains to be a bare-knuckle fighting champion. Angered that Hammond is spending too much time with his slaves, Blanche beds down Mede.Written by
Edwin Edwards, the governor of Louisiana at the time, was cast as a gambler and several scenes were filmed but excised before release. Upon the advice of his public relations staff, Edwards decided the potential damage to his public image when the salacious content of the film was revealed would be too great. See more »
During Mede's first fight in the city, he and his opponent are wrestling on the grass. When they roll over the floor, the grass is moving like a slipping carpet would, revealing it to be a sheet of artificial green, probably lying on the floor of a sound stage. See more »
The international version of the film (released on PAL region 2 DVD) contains a different cut of the film that runs approx. 5 minutes shorter than the U.S. release but also has many scenes presented in alternate clothed takes. In all 12 scenes were either trimmed or re-edited with alternate shots/angles/takes:
Scene where slave is bent over and inspected for hemorrhoids is cut.
Scene where the wench is being prepared for her deflowering is presented in an alternate take where her breasts are not exposed.
Scene with pregnant wench is shot with alternate angles to obscure nudity. Perry King's full frontal nudity is cut and replaced with a closer shot that reveals he is wearing shorts when he kneels down to pray (It looks like a goof - only a bit of the waistband can be seen at the corner of the frame).
Alternate takes of the slave being strung up to be beaten are used to obscure nudity, and many shots of him being beat and left bloody are cut.
A few seconds where Perry King's cousin rips off a wench's dress and bends her over to begin beating her is cut to remove nudity. The beating is left intact.
The slave market scene is edited to remove the topless wenches on display, and the shot where the German widow sticks her hand into Ken Norton's shorts and "inspects" him is cut short. The second shot with her hand in and then removing it is left intact though.
An alternate take is used with a prostitute clothed rather than nude at the bawdy house.
A few seconds of a prostitute rubbing on Perry King's crotch is cut.
An alternate take is used during the fight at the bawdy house so that a prostitute is seen holding her dress up while she cheers whereas in the original she lets it fall and her breasts be exposed.
The entire scene between Perry King and Brenda Sykes in which she asks him if he'll let their child go free is presented in alternate clothed takes. In the original film they are both completely nude. Even the camera angles and setups are the same, only with clothes in the international version.
In the scene where Ken Norton fights a man to death one long shot where the other fighter claws his back is cut. Also cut is when Ken bites down on the other fighter's neck, is pulled off, and then bites into his neck again. All the close-ups are cut.
The Susan George/Ken Norton love scene is almost entirely missing. Ken Norton's nudity is cut, and then the scene ends in an alternate take when the two go out of frame onto the bed. The original scene went on for much longer and exposed Ken Norton's buttocks and Susan George's breasts. The German theatrical version does not feature any of these alterations and is identical to the U.S. release.
I just watched Mandingo and can't for the life of me figure out why this film would get any critical reviews. You can't criticize the truth unless you yourself are part of the lie or involved in hiding the truth or you just want to ignore the truth and live in a fantasy world. Like those freaks that refuse to acknowledge the holocaust really happened or say it wasn't that horrible. This film hits you with the truth about 1840ish slavery with a vengeance, shocking, sickening, and uncomfortable as it should be. It doesn't sugar coat the South and especially the Deep South with shades of romantic Gone with the Wind feel sorry for us we lost our culture nonsense, but shows in detail all the dehumanizing, sickening, savage racist attitudes that existed in the south at that time. The buying and selling of human beings should be as sickening and repulsive as it gets and left to me this film would be mandatory viewing by all high school students in this country to help them understand the barbarism of slavery and how it's residue still affects and infects this country to this day. If you get a chance to rent or view this film a note of advice, be prepared for the truth!
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