Safari leader Vic Marswell (Clark Gable) becomes involved in an explosive romantic triangle with an American showgirl named “Honey Bear” Kelly (Ava Gardner) and Linda Nordley (Grace Kelly), the wife of English anthropologist Donald Nordley (Donald Sinden) who Marswell is taking on an African expedition to gorilla country.
There are scenes of native ceremonies and uprisings, encounters with wild beasts and a thrilling climax in which the safari enters gorilla country and Vic saves Linda’s husband from the charge of a maddened gorilla who has escaped from the net in which it has been trapped.
Essentially a remake of the 1932 film Red Dust (also starring Clark Gable) with the locale changed from Indochina to the African Congo, Mogambo was filmed over four months on location across 10,000 miles of largely unexplored territory in Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, and French Equatorial Africa, much of it never photographed before.
Members of the Samburu, Wagenia, Bahaya and M’Beti tribes appeared throughout the film, and MGM hired armed guards to protect the cast and crew in the event of an attack by Mau Mau terrorists.
Ava Gardner was accompanied on location by her current husband Frank Sinatra. Their marriage was on the rocks at the time and the pair spent most of their time on location fighting and making up.
Assistant director John Hancock was killed during filming when his jeep crashed.
Eloise “Honey Bear” Kelly