Review: ‘Mogambo’

The lure of the jungle and romance get a sizzling workout in Mogambo and it's a socko package of entertainment, crammed with sexy two-fisted adventure.

The lure of the jungle and romance get a sizzling workout in Mogambo and it’s a socko package of entertainment, crammed with sexy two-fisted adventure.

While having its origin in the Wilson Collison play [Red Dust], this remake is fresh in locale and characterizations switching from the rubber plantations of Indo-China to the African veldt and updating the period.

John Lee Mahin’s dialog and situations are unusually zippy and adult. Ava Gardner feeding a baby rhino and elephant, and her petulant storming at a pet boa constrictor to stay out of her ber, are good touches.

The romantic conflict boils up between the principals during a safari into gorilla country, where an anthropologist and his wife plan to do research. Clark Gable is the great white hunter leading the party. Gardner is the girl on the prowl for a man, and who has now settled on Gable. To get him she has to offset the sweeter charms of Grace Kelly, the wife, who also has become smitten with the Gable masculinity and is ready to walk out on Donald Sinden, the unexciting anthropologist. For the second time in Metro history, a picture has been made without a music score (King Solomon’s Mines was the first) and none is needed as the sounds of the jungle and native rhythms are all that are required.

1953: Nominations: Best Actress (Ava Gardner), Supp. Actress (Grace Kelly)

Mogambo

Production

M-G-M. Director John Ford; Producer Sam Zimbalist; Screenplay John Lee Mahin; Camera Robert Surtees, Freddie Young; Editor Frank Clarke; Music [none]; Art Director Alfred Junge

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

Clark Gable Ava Gardner Grace Kelly Donald Sinden Eric Pohlmann Laurence Naismith
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