Mogambo - Africa 1953 with Clark Gable

Cliffy

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Just sitting here watching Mogambo.
Clark Gable the quintessential African White Hunter
Nice panoramas of Africa


Grace Kelly was not the first choice for the role of Linda Nordley. Gene Tierney dropped out due to her health problems.

Filming was done on location in Okalataka, French Congo; Mount Kenya, Thika, Kenya Mt Longonot and Lake Naivasha, both in the Kenyan Rift Valley and Fourteen Falls near Thika are seen as backdrops Kagera River, Tanganyika; Isoila, Uganda and interiors were shot at the MGM-British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England.

The music featured in the film was performed by local native tribes (except for Gardner accompanied by player piano), unusual for Hollywood and the film records a traditional Africa and safari style.

The Francoist Spanish censors did not allow adultery to be shown on the screen. For that reason, they 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, then a contract star for the Rank Organisation at Pinewood Studios, was not the only person to suffer at the hands of John Ford's notorious behavior. He recalls:

"Ten White Hunters were seconded to our unit for our protection and to provide fresh meat. Among them were Viscount Mandeville and Marcus, Lord Wallscourt, a delightful man whom Ford treated abysmally - sometimes very sadistically. In Ford's eyes the poor man could do nothing right and was continually being bawled out in front of the entire unit (in some ways he occasionally took the heat off me). None of us could understand the reason for this appalling treatment, which the dear kind man in no way deserved. He himself was quite at a loss. Several weeks later we discovered the cause from Ford's brother-in-law: before emigrating to America, Ford's grandfather had been a labourer on the estate in Ireland of the then Lord Wallscourt: Ford was now getting his own back at his descendant. Not a charming sight. Before leaving camp on the first morning of shooting I had been told to report to the hair-dressing departments tent, where I found the make-up men armed with electric clippers: 'I have to remove the hair from your chest.' 'Whatever for?' I asked, 'Orders.' It transpired that Clark Gable, whose chest was completely devoid of hair, had always insisted that no other actor should appear on film exposing a hirsute breast. This included any member of the crew not wearing a shirt as well. He considered it a slight on his masculinity. We now had to return to the MGM Studios in London to shoot all the interior scenes. Someone must have pointed out to Ford that he had been thoroughly foul to me during the entire location shoot and when I arrived for my first day's work I found that he had caused a large notice to be painted at the entrance to our sound stage in capital letters reading "BE KIND TO DONALD WEEK". He was as good as his word - for precisely seven days. On the eighth day he ripped the sign down and returned to his normal bullying behaviour."
 

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Leave it to Jerome to be "Johnny on the Spot!" :)
 

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Just sitting here watching Mogambo.
Clark Gable the quintessential African White Hunter
Nice panoramas of Africa


Grace Kelly was not the first choice for the role of Linda Nordley. Gene Tierney dropped out due to her health problems.

Filming was done on location in Okalataka, French Congo; Mount Kenya, Thika, Kenya Mt Longonot and Lake Naivasha, both in the Kenyan Rift Valley and Fourteen Falls near Thika are seen as backdrops Kagera River, Tanganyika; Isoila, Uganda and interiors were shot at the MGM-British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England.

The music featured in the film was performed by local native tribes (except for Gardner accompanied by player piano), unusual for Hollywood and the film records a traditional Africa and safari style.

The Francoist Spanish censors did not allow adultery to be shown on the screen. For that reason, they 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, then a contract star for the Rank Organisation at Pinewood Studios, was not the only person to suffer at the hands of John Ford's notorious behavior. He recalls:

"Ten White Hunters were seconded to our unit for our protection and to provide fresh meat. Among them were Viscount Mandeville and Marcus, Lord Wallscourt, a delightful man whom Ford treated abysmally - sometimes very sadistically. In Ford's eyes the poor man could do nothing right and was continually being bawled out in front of the entire unit (in some ways he occasionally took the heat off me). None of us could understand the reason for this appalling treatment, which the dear kind man in no way deserved. He himself was quite at a loss. Several weeks later we discovered the cause from Ford's brother-in-law: before emigrating to America, Ford's grandfather had been a labourer on the estate in Ireland of the then Lord Wallscourt: Ford was now getting his own back at his descendant. Not a charming sight. Before leaving camp on the first morning of shooting I had been told to report to the hair-dressing departments tent, where I found the make-up men armed with electric clippers: 'I have to remove the hair from your chest.' 'Whatever for?' I asked, 'Orders.' It transpired that Clark Gable, whose chest was completely devoid of hair, had always insisted that no other actor should appear on film exposing a hirsute breast. This included any member of the crew not wearing a shirt as well. He considered it a slight on his masculinity. We now had to return to the MGM Studios in London to shoot all the interior scenes. Someone must have pointed out to Ford that he had been thoroughly foul to me during the entire location shoot and when I arrived for my first day's work I found that he had caused a large notice to be painted at the entrance to our sound stage in capital letters reading "BE KIND TO DONALD WEEK". He was as good as his word - for precisely seven days. On the eighth day he ripped the sign down and returned to his normal bullying behaviour."
There's a book I read as a kid, so I'm relying on that kid's memory, the book's name is "Hunter". It was written by John Hunter, game officer and PH, Kenya. If I can recall rightly, he said that he was one of the hunters on Mogambo. He related a fascinating story in which Gable found a python and killed it. He had it skinned and gave the skin to Grace Kelly. Ava Gardner was outraged. No doubt she cared nothing for the python skin but, as top-billed actress, she reckoned that Gable had delivered a mortal insult.

Again, if the kid inside me remembers correctly, Hunter despised Gardner and Frank Sinatra but loved Gable and Kelly. I can't remember his comments on Ford. Now, Sinatra wasn't in the movie but apparently flew over with a big entourage to have a big Hollywood-style party which is when Hunter met him.
 

Velo Dog

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I despise any bully and openly refer to them as cowards.
 

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Ok so I guess I live under a rock. Haven't even heard of much less seen this movie. I googled it and it looks wonderful. So I guess I'm going to have to order it and watch it.
 

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Ok so I guess I live under a rock. Haven't even heard of much less seen this movie. I googled it and it looks wonderful. So I guess I'm going to have to order it and watch it.

You're a bit young. I saw the movie when I was a kid (now 62), and it was fairly old then.
 

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Right but I grew up watching and still watch Classic movies. I'm actually surprised I've never at least heard of it. It's about Africa and has Grace Kelly in it! :P Gorgeous:
 

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Right but I grew up watching and still watch Classic movies. I'm actually surprised I've never at least heard of it. It's about Africa and has Grace Kelly in it! :P Gorgeous:

I'm guessing I was 12 or a little older. I knew who Clark Gable was, but didn't know the famous actresses at that time.
 

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I watched but I like more "King Salomon Mines" ( 1952) with Stewart Granger .Great for elephant hunting scene.
Witold
 

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I need to start making a list of these movies.

Trader Horn (filmed in 1928 or 29 and starring Harry Carey) is good for part of the wildlife footage (not all of it) and unfortunately it is very cheesy / overly melodramatic acting.
 

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The scene in 'Trader Horn" in which the black tracker hits a charging lion between the eyes with a spear is worth the price of admssion.
 

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After searching heaven and earth I have found a place to order this movie locally. Should be in in about 2 weeks. I looked for trader horn but can't find it. Any other ideas for movies I need to see having to do with Africa
 

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After searching heaven and earth I have found a place to order this movie locally. Should be in in about 2 weeks. I looked for trader horn but can't find it. Any other ideas for movies I need to see having to do with Africa
Now I'm really scratching my memory but I recall an old film, inappropriately titled "Bwana Devil", I think starring Robert Stack. It is about the events surrounding the two maneating lions eating up those Indian workers trying to build a railroad across Tangyanika. It is far better than the more recent film about the same event, I think starring Robert Redford or Brad Pitt.

Another film definitely worth watching, although it isn't about hunting, is "Breaker Morant" which is a more-or-less true story of the Australian Bushveldt Carabineers during the Boer War. It gives some small insight into the political troubles between the English and Afrikaners that remain unsettled to the present day.

Other than that, all that I can think of is some of the very old Martin and Osa Martin documentaries on Africans and African wildlife. Martin was the photographer. Sometimes they'd provoke a charge and little Osa [around 5 ft tall] using her big double thunder gun, would drop the beast right in front of the camera. Unfortunately, Martin was killed in a crash of their zebra-striped airplane. I have Osa's book here, "I Married Adventure."

Another I saw as an 8 year old child and remember it because the 'star', Howard Hill, came out on the movie theater stage after the movie was over and did trick shooting with his English long bow. I can't remember the name of the movie but Hill may have been the first modern person to go bow hunting to Africa, predating Fred Bear and others. Hill did a lot of Hollywood stunt shooting and was the one who 'split the arrow' in the Errol Flynn "Robin Hood." Just a couple of days ago I saw an old movie filler on TCM. It was Howard Hill bow shooting marlin off Santa Catalina Island in California. Part of the film was realistic enough. They'd hook up a marlin and Hill would arrow the fighting fish. One scene, however, looked pretty Hollywood. Two guys are supposedly battling a marlin from a skiff. The fish swims at the skiff but Hill [shooting from an adjacent boat] hits it just before it hits the little boat. The fish supposedly drives itself halfway through the skiff but I ain't buying it.
 

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"Zulu", starring Michael Caine (I think possibly his first movie role) is not about hunting but, is a tip top movie about the Anglo-Zulu War and definitely worth watching.
I named a good fly fishing stretch on the river here in Alaska, where I built my cabin as, "Rorke's Drift", in honor of the men who died on both sides of this historic battle.

"Shout at The Devil," starring Roger Moore and Lee Marvin (Marvin was an avid bird hunter in real life).
It is loosely (very loosely) based on the life and times of Pretorius, (the chap who Pretoria South Africa was named after ?)
It is a good adventure movie about old Africa.
Read the excellent book, "Jungle Man" if you want the real story.

"The African Queen" is a very fine African adventure movie, starring Humphry Bogard and Catherine Hepburn, but nothing to do with hunting.

"The Naked Prey", starring Cornhole Wilde (oopsy, I meant Cornell Wilde), is an excellent Africa adventure film.

Not really about hunting 4 legged animals but, quite a good story line and should really be re-done these days is, "The Wild Geese" with Richard Burton and Richard Harris, among others.
Parts were filmed in Africa and although very dated, quite an under rated movie back in the day.

Also, along a similar story line, "The Dogs of War", with a very young Christopher Walken and similar age Tom Berringer, is good enough that it also should be re-done now.
It was filmed in Belize but, well represented as West Africa (my favorite Christopher Walken movie, even though he and Tom Berringer were almost unknown actors then).

The old Stewart Granger movie, "Harry Black vs The Tiger" is about India / not Africa but nonetheless, from a hunter and shade tree adventurer's point of view, quite worth watching.
 
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Those are some great suggestions. Some I have seen. Spoonieduck the movie you are referring to is Ghost and the Darkness. It had Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. It had the potential to be good until Michael Douglas showed up as John Remmington and ruined the historical accuracy of the movie thus ruining the movie. At any rate thanks all for the suggestions and I will be on the hunt for those I haven't seen. By all means please keep them coming as I will try and find as many as possible.
 

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Those are some great suggestions. Some I have seen. Spoonieduck the movie you are referring to is Ghost and the Darkness. It had Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas. It had the potential to be good until Michael Douglas showed up as John Remmington and ruined the historical accuracy of the movie thus ruining the movie. At any rate thanks all for the suggestions and I will be on the hunt for those I haven't seen. By all means please keep them coming as I will try and find as many as possible.
Yep, 'Ghost and the Darkness' is the more recent film and not as good as the original 'Bwana Devil." Remakes seldom live up to expectations.
 

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"Zulu", starring Michael Caine (I think possibly his first movie role) is not about hunting but, is a tip top movie about the Anglo-Zulu War and definitely worth watching.
I named a good fly fishing stretch on the river here in Alaska, where I built my cabin as, "Rorke's Drift", in honor of the men who died on both sides of this historic battle.

"Shout at The Devil," starring Roger Moore and Lee Marvin (Marvin was an avid bird hunter in real life).
It is loosely (very loosely) based on the life and times of Pretorius, (the chap who Pretoria South Africa was named after ?)
It is a good adventure movie about old Africa.
Read the excellent book, "Jungle Man" if you want the real story.

"The African Queen" is a very fine African adventure movie, starring Humphry Bogard and Catherine Hepburn, but nothing to do with hunting.

"The Naked Prey", starring Cornhole Wilde (oopsy, I meant Cornell Wilde), is an excellent Africa adventure film.

Not really about hunting 4 legged animals but, quite a good story line and should really be re-done these days is, "The Wild Geese" with Richard Burton and Richard Harris, among others.
Parts were filmed in Africa and although very dated, quite an under rated movie back in the day.

Also, along a similar story line, "The Dogs of War", with a very young Christopher Walken and similar age Tom Berringer, is good enough that it also should be re-done now.
It was filmed in Belize but, well represented as West Africa (my favorite Christopher Walken movie, even though he and Tom Berringer were almost unknown actors then).

The old Stewart Granger movie, "Harry Black vs The Tiger" is about India / not Africa but nonetheless, from a hunter and shade tree adventurer's point of view, quite worth watching.
Velo, Good suggestions. I especially liked "The Naked Prey." I'm of the opinion that the "Naked Prey" was taken from a real life situation experienced by the mountain man, Jim Colter. Colter and a companion were surrounded by some Crow or Blackfoot Indians. Colter's companion went for his weapon and the Indians pinchushioned him. Colter was stripped naked [this was in the Yellowstone country]. One of the braves fired an arrow into the distance and Colter was told that he'd be given that distance but, after that, they'd be after him. They fired their arrow and Colter took off but Colter was a good runner. After miles of the chase one brave caught up with him but Colter turned on him and killed or injured him. Colter survived by diving into a freezing stream and getting up under a beaver lodge. The Indians tried to find him but finally gave up.

Is the story true? Well, it's a great story but it's really hard to imagine surviving in Yellowstone ice water for more than several minutes. I think they made a movie about the Colter event, itself, called "Run of the Arrow." In Africa, I also think it would be a really tough trick. Imagine trying to run for miles, barefoot, in the African thorn scrub. Even here in South Texas, it would be impossible. Even wearing shoes, I oftentimes have a mesquite thorn getting through. One thorn, with a bunch of blood-thirsty Venda behind you, and you are a gone-pecan. God, I'm getting old. I remember stuff from 60 years ago better than I remember things this morning.
 

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Hi Spoonieduck,

Totally agree with you that Naked Prey seems to be too close to the John Colter story to be a mere coincidence.
When I was an early teen, my father had given to me a book called "The Path Finders" which described many early 1800's trappers and N. Am. explorers' adventures, including Colter's run for his life.

Upon reaching civilization (some frontier fort but it's name escapes me), Colter's description of what is now the park, was not generally believed.
Seems like another trapper/explorer, (Jim Bridger?) was also thought to be fibbing when he, only a relatively few years later, described similar things about the area (geysers and such).

Upon reading the above book, I became an instant black powder enthusiast but only was able to afford my first BP firearm a few years later, at age 18.
My father was not a gun enthusiast.
Thankfully, he was not against such things, he was just Dutch and thought I should earn my own money to buy most of my own sporting goods.

Anywhooo, there are some great movies out there, including about Africa, if we take time to sift through all the mountains of rubbish that Hollywood generally prefers to make.

Cheerio,
Velo Dog.
 

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