Mogambo (1953)

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    There are 4 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Mogambo (1953)




      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      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

      Full Cast
      Clark Gable ... Victor Marswell
      Ava Gardner ... Eloise Y. Kelly
      Grace Kelly ... Linda Nordley
      Donald Sinden ... Donald Nordley
      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 ... Themselves (as Wagenia tribe of Belgian Congo)
      Bahaya ... Themselves (as Bahaya tribe of Tanganyika)
      Asa Etula ... Young native girl (uncredited)
      Bruce Seton ... Wilson (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      John Lee Mahin (screenplay)
      Wilson Collison (play)

      Robert Surtees
      Freddie Young

      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.

      Clark Gable did not get along with director John Ford during filming, and at one point walked off the set in protest at Ford's treatment of Ava Gardner. Ford also made several remarks about Gable's age and weathered appearance.

      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.

      Donald Sinden (and all male members of the crew who removed their shirts) had to shave any hair from their chests daily, as Clark Gable (who did not have a hairy chest) thought it an affront to his 'manliness'.

      The lead role was originally intended for Stewart Granger but MGM decided to employ Clark Gable instead. Production chief Dore Schary suggested to Granger that the film would entail a long filming separation from his wife Jean Simmons though Granger wanted to make the film regardless and later spoke disparagingly about Gable in his memoirs.

      Gene Tierney was first choice for the role of Linda. She dropped out due to emotional problems which were now interfering with her work.

      One of only two MGM films not to have a scored musical soundtrack.

      Deborah Kerr and Lana Turner were sought for the female leads.

      During filming Ava Gardner flew to London to have an abortion after she became pregnant with Frank Sinatra's child.

      Despite the high budget, most of the movie was actually filmed in the studio in Hollywood.

      Clark Gable was unimpressed by the script and was wary of reprising his Red Dust role after 21 years. He only agreed to make the movie after Across the Wide Missouri and Lone Star both flopped at the box office.

      The "Ah Bey Ah Bay (Kooasawa)" chanted by the natives was later employed by celebrated rock and roll DJ and MC Murray The K as a popular "call and response" ritual with his listeners and fans.

      Maureen O'Hara was the first choice for Honey Bear Kelly, but MGM needed Ava Gardner in a movie and made John Ford cast Gardner instead, which is one of the reasons for Ford's vicious treatment towards Gardner while filming.

      Errors in geography: During the gorilla footage - shot separately from the rest of the film - the gorillas are shown eating pineapples, which, while being grown in ZImbabwe and Cote d'Ivoire, are not native to the region of Africa in this movie.

      Continuity: When the trio are singing around the piano, Brownie can be seen standing close to Nordley on Nordley's right-hand side. However in the shot of Marswell in the doorway, only Nordley can be seen at the piano in the background - Brownie has disappeared.

      Revealing mistakes: After Victor rescues Mrs Nordley when she wanders off, a sudden storm blows in. But only the trees and bushes near the actors are blown about by the 'storm', the trees visible a short distance behind them are completely calm.

      Revealing mistakes: When Honeybear is having dinner with Marswell, Brown-Pryce and Koltchak on her first night, it is visibly dark outside as Marswell had earlier told her dinner would be at 9:00. But when the servant comes running in calling for the men, it is clearly broad daylight as seen through the doorway.

      Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): A cheetah walks through Honey Bear's tent late one night. Cheetahs are diurnal, hunting only during the day and sleeping at night.

      Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At the very start of the film, Victor Marswell asks if the "Jeep" is ready. It's not a Jeep but a British Series II Landrover.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Democratic Republic Of Congo
      Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya
      Isoila, Uganda
      Kagera River, Tanzania
      Kagera River, Uganda
      MGM British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      Mount Kenya, Kenya
      Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya
      Okalataka, Democratic Republic Of Congo
      Serengeti Plain, Tanzania
      Tanganjika, Tanzania
      Thika, Kenya
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movies of John Ford- Mogambo (1953)

      Mogambo is a 1953 film directed by John Ford,
      featuring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly and Donald Sinden.
      The film was adapted by John Lee Mahin from the play by Wilson Collison.

      Kelly won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress (1954),
      and the film was nominated for two Oscars, Best Actress in a Leading Role
      (Gardner), and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kelly).

      The film was also nominated for a BAFTA Film Award (Best Film from any Source USA).
      Mogambo is a lavish remake of the classic film Red Dust (1932).
      The earlier movie also featured Clark Gable in the lead role.
      Producer Sam Zimbalist thought of the title by modifying the name of the Mocambo night club.

      User Review

      Unusual John Ford
      20 August 2004 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)
      This is a strange, but good picture coming from John Ford. It's not about the usual themes he normally tackles, it lacks the usual supporting cast from a Ford film. Yet it is a good piece of movie making.

      In a biography of John Ford by his grandson he said that Gable and Ford were friends for years, not particularly close, but friends nonetheless. Whenever they were together Ford and Gable talked about working together. Finally Gable got MGM to get Ford for his next film and it was Mogambo.

      I like Mogambo because it was the start of a trend in Hollywood to show some realism when dealing with Africa. To this day there are people in the United States whose knowledge about things African were gained from Tarzan movies. African Queen, King Solomon's Mines, and Mogambo were all shot on location and all show the native Africans in reality. I was a kid at this time and my first bit of education about Africa came from Ramar of the Jungle. This is light years better.

      Gable was criticized for reprising a role he did 20 years earlier in Red Dust. The plot line stays the same, but in Red Dust, Gable is the hard-nosed manager of a rubber plantation in Malaya. Gable as Vic Marswell here is a world weary and cynical game hunter and safari guide. Both portrayals are very good and very different.

      By all accounts it was not a happy set. The usual problems with location in Africa presented themselves. In addition Frank Sinatra was on the set. He was waiting on word whether he would get the part he sought in From Here To Eternity. At the time he was married to Ava Gardner and there's was one of the most tempestuous marriages in Hollywood history. He was jealous of Gable as he was of all Gardner's leading men. To be just Ava kind of encouraged the jealous. When Harry Cohn gave him the word about From Here To Eternity he left with the gratitude of Ford, Gable, Gardner and everyone else, he'd become a royal pain in the neck.

      Ava Gardner was one of the most beautiful women God ever created and a lot of times she could get by with that. But when called on to act she could. As Eloise "honeybear" Kelly she's as cynical in her own way as Gable was. They were a perfect fit. This was the last of three films she and Gable made.

      I don't think Grace Kelly is shown to best advantage here. Her British accent was a bit affected. I'm not sure why MGM just didn't cast a British actress like Deborah Kerr in the part. Of course she also was involved with From Here To Eternity if I remember.

      Mogambo because of the location shooting and much bigger budget is better than its predecessor Red Dust. For all the unhappiness on the set, the stars and its director did some good work
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

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