Monday, July 2, 2012


Mogambo(1953). Directer: John Ford. Cast: Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly and Donald Sinden. The film was adapted from the play by Wilson Colliso. 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). Mogambo is a remake of the classic film Red Dust (1932). The earlier movie also featured Gable in the lead role.

After trying to capture a black leopard, safari guide and big game hunter Victor Marswell returns home, only to find a young woman in his outdoor shower. The unexpected Kelly, tells Victor that she traveled from New York at the invitation of Maharajah, who left for India leaving her stranded. Kelly, is furious when she learns she will have to wait until next week, for the boat to take her back to America.

She wins over Victor and they begin romantic relationship. Kelly also makes fast friends with Leon Boltchak and Brownie, Victors helpers. Kelly is heartbroken when Victor comes to tell her that the boat has arrived and orders her to pack.

After telling Kelly an awkward goodbye, Victor welcomes British anthropologist Donald Nordley and his wife Linda, who have come to study gorillas. Victor is angry when he hears their plans, and refuses to take them. Soon, Donald becomes ill because of a tsetse fly vaccination, Victor doctors him, but his attitude angers Linda, and she slaps his face.

Later that evening, Donald recovers and Linda apologizes to Victor.

Everyone, is surprised to see a disheveled Kelly show up with the skipper, who tells them that the steamer had engine trouble and will take about four weeks to repair.

The next morning, Linda goes for a walk in the jungle and Victor goes out looking her, saving her just in time from the black leopard. On their way back to the camp, Victor and Linda are caught in a wind storm, Victor carries her home and sparks begin to fly. Kelly witnesses the romantic moment, and throws barbs at them throughout dinner.

Victor suddenly changes his mind and agrees to take the Nordleys to gorilla country. Brownie suggests that Kelly join them on safari and catch a flight to Cairo. Will Kelly make her flight or be the Victor..? I know.. I know.. that was a bad play on words. :)

Grace Kelly was not the first choice for the role of Linda Nordley. Gene Tierney dropped out because of health problems. The movie was filmed on location in Okalataka, French Congo, Mount Kenya, Thika, Kenya, Kenyan Rift Valley, and Fourteen Falls near Thika. Also the Kagera River, Tanganyika Isoila Uganda, and at the MGM British Studios.

The film offers some of the best wildlife shots taken of the African continent. Most of the music is performed by the native tribes. The film shows a traditional Africa that has long since passed. This type of scenes is why I love this film.. but the love triangle is still the focus. Clark Gable's performance is amazing. How often does an actor have the opportunity of portraying the same character 20 years later? In "Red Dust", Gable was also amazing.


While filming Mogombo, Clark Gable and Grace Kelly began an affair that lasted for several months.


  1. This film made me realize how good Ava Gardner is. And overall the splendid trio (Gardner, Gable, and Kelly) gave very good performances. I also think that Mogambo is underrated, love this movie.

  2. I loved Ava Gardner's personality in the film, Mogambo. I only wish.. that she did not allow Gable's character to walk all over her..

  3. hi
    i love Mogambo and it's my favourite Ava Gardner role. great perfomances, exotic location, great characters and i love the all knowing wise brownie.

    would love to see Red Dust one day.

  4. Alyssa LM,I hope you have the opportunity to see the classic film, Red Dust, soon. You are in for a special treat.

  5. I've never seen Red Dust, but I did know that it starred Gable and that Mogambo was a remake of it. I liked Mogambo well enough, but not enough to seek out Red Dust for a comparison.


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