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Mountains of the Moon (1990)

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The legendary true-story of Capt. Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's tumultuous expedition to find the source of the Nile river.

Director:

Bob Rafelson

Writers:

William Harrison (novel), William Harrison (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Bergin ... Richard Francis Burton
Iain Glen ... John Hanning Speke
Richard E. Grant ... Larry Oliphant
Fiona Shaw ... Isabel Arundell (Mrs Burton as from 1861)
John Savident ... Lord Murchison
James Villiers James Villiers ... Lord Oliphant
Adrian Rawlins ... Edward
Peter Vaughan ... Lord Houghton
Delroy Lindo ... Mabruki
Bernard Hill ... Dr. David Livingstone
Matthew Marsh ... William
Richard Caldicot ... Lord Russell
Christopher Fulford ... Herne
Garry Cooper ... Stroyan
Roshan Seth ... Ben Amir
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Storyline

The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the story of their meeting, their friendship emerging amidst hardship, and then dissolving after their journey. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 February 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Montanhas da Lua See more »

Filming Locations:

Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,011,793
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The phrase 'Mountains of the Moon', according to website 'Wikipedia', "is an ancient term referring to a legendary mountain or mountain range in east Africa at the source of the Nile River. Various identifications have been made in modern times, the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda being the most celebrated". Website 'Entertainment Weekly' stated that "according to geographical legend, [the Mountains of the Moon] hid the [River Nile's] source". See more »

Goofs

Isabel asks Burton to sign her copy of "A System of Bayonet Exercise" and hands him a very substantial book. This writing of Burton's was a 36-page pamphlet. See more »

Quotes

Arab chief in Cairo: In this wilderness you will find only Allah's terrible whimsy.
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Connections

Spoofed in Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Wagogo Soothing Song
Recorded by David Fanshawe
From the album "Africa - Ceremonial & Folk Music"
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User Reviews

 
Often Overlooked Masterpiece
28 February 2001 | by brandon-1See all my reviews

A great story, beautifully filmed and acted about two Victorian era explorers. Irish-born Sir Richard Francis Burton, one of the greatest explorers in history, is in search of knowledge. English-born dilletante John Hanning Speke joins Burton's quest in search of glory. Together they search for the answer to one of the most elusive geographical questions of their time - what is the Nile's source? The film accurately shows how the Royal Geographical Society and other outside interests played Burton and Speke against each other for their own gain.

The film's tagline really says it all: "Two strangers made friends by a savage world. Two friends made enemies by a civilized world."


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