HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

MOGAMBO -- Movie Review by Porfle

In MOGAMBO (1953), Grace Kelly's third film (for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role), she plays Linda Nordley, the timid, pampered wife of anthropologist Donald (Donald Sinden), with whom she has traveled to the wilds of Africa in search of gorillas to study.

Their guide is a rough, uncouth big-game hunter named Vic Marswell (an aging but still great Clark Gable) who traps animals for circuses and zoos.

Vic is currently semi-involved with the darkly beautiful Eloise Y. Kelly (a gorgeous young Ava Gardner), a soiled-dove city gal marooned in Vic's wilderness compound after being dumped there by a duplicitious maharajah.

But the arrival of the Nordleys creates a heated love triangle between Vic, Eloise, and the unhappy-in-marriage Linda--whose skittish vulnerability prompts burly Vic to become hopelessly smitten--turning their gorilla-country expedition into a jungle soap opera.

Along with the slow-moving and only mildly engaging melodrama, virtuoso director John Ford gives us plenty of breathtaking African scenery in glorious Technicolor.

Authentic African tribespeople and locations lend the production an air of authenticity that helps offset the hokey "forbidden love" story, as does our simple enjoyment in watching the appealing Gable and Gardner injecting a little life into things.

Grace Kelly, meanwhile, inhabits her flighty character to a tee, which viewers will probably find either endearing or annoying. Your reaction to this remake of the 1932 Clark Gable-Jean Harlow film RED DUST may fall along similar lines.

Personally, I prefer the similarly-themed Howard Hawks comedy-adventure HATARI!, but found MOGAMBO to be a passable time-waster which, thanks to Africa and Ava, looks terrific. Gable and Kelly, however, are hardly a romantic screen couple for the ages.

Read our review of the GRACE KELLY COLLECTION


No comments: