Film Reviews, Short Review

Mogambo (1953)

2.5/4

It’s a John Ford film that isn’t a Western, so that Mogambo isn’t awful is already a success. Then remind yourself that it’s a 1950s Hollywood film set in Africa – making casual racism almost guaranteed! – and that there are clearly scenes of animals being grossly mistreated during the production shoot, and it’s actually a wonder Mogambo is halfway decent at all. In fact, if you strip away the African setting (and the implicit colonialist/Western gaze that goes with it), what you ultimately have here is a fairly decent romantic love-triangle pot-boiler of a film. When that love triangle happens to feature Clark Gable, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardner (the former two being some of the finest human specimens ever placed in front of a camera, the latter a damn fine actor herself), and is being directed by John Ford, well…Mogambo could have been much worse is all I’m saying.

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One thought on “Mogambo (1953)

  1. Paul S says:

    It has its faults but I enjoy Mogambo, for its stunning scenery, formidable acting and a sultry but simultaneously amusing love triangle. Hollywood beauties come and go and they didn’t come much more beautiful than Ava Gardner. Still, I say that Grace Kelly is the Queen (or should I say princess) of celluloid beauty in this film.

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