Call Me Bwana

1963


Gordon Douglas
Director

Danjaq
Production Company

Eon Productions
Production Company

United Artists
Studio

American moon probe ends up landing in the African jungle, and the US government convinces the great African explorer Matthew Merriweather to retrive it. Unfortunately, they don't know he is a total fraud. Meanwhile, the Soviets send their African expert Luba to retrieve it as well. She isn't a fraud.

Limp, slightly racist, comedy is more interesting in its background and production than anything taking place onscreen. This was the only non-James Bond film produced by Eon Productions, which explains the presence of so many Bond veterans in the cast and crew, not to mention the presence of Bwana's poster in a key scene in From Russia With Love.

There are two main problems with this film, which has glimmers of, well, not greatness, but at least adequacy. First, by the Sixties, Hope was no longer funny, especially without Crosby and Lamour backing him up. It doesn't help here that his character is a pathetic lying wretch. Second, it is painfully obvious that the film crew never got closer to Africa than Pinewood Studios. Location shooting in Kenya was scotched by the Mau Mau Rebellion, and it shows. Jeffries and especially Adams are good, but can't save this mess. An interesting curio, and that's it.

-Dave W.




4th April 1963
Cinema



102 mins
1.85:1



HyperLink

Bob Hope
Matthew Merriweather

Anita Ekberg
Luba

Edie Adams
Frederica Larsen

Lionel Jeffries
Dr. Ezra Mungo

Arnold Palmer
Himself

Percy Herbert
First Henchman

Paul Carpenter
Colonel Spencer

Bari Jonson
Uta

Orlando Martins
Chief of the Ekele Tribe

Al Mulock
Second Henchman (Al)

Peter Dyneley
Williams

Mai Ling
Hyacinth

Mark Heath
Koba

Robert Nichols
American Major (Farber)

Neville Monroe
Reporter

Michael Moyer
Reporter

Richard Burrell
Reporter

Robert Arden
First CIA Man (Conroy)

Kevin Scott
Second CIA Man (Scott)

Unknown
Air Force Officer at Tracking Station

John McLaren
American General
(uncredited)

Unknown
American Officer at Briefing

Pat Halpin
American Officer at Briefing

Harold Sanderson
American Officer at Briefing
(uncredited)

Lloyd Pearson
Khrushchev (uncredited)

Andre Mikhelson
Soviet Advisor
(uncredited)

George Pravda
Soviet General
(uncredited)

Charlie Price
Student at Luba's Lecture
(uncredited)

Unknown
Lieutenant Jones

Doreen Dawne
Air Hostess (uncredited)

Bill Edwards
Airline Passenger
(uncredited)

Camilla Thompson
Wife on Plane
(uncredited)

Ronnie Brody
Tom, not Fred
(uncredited)

Unknown
Pilot

Hyma Beckley
Reporter (uncredited)

Unknown
Reporter

Unknown
Reporter

Ilario Bisi-Pedro
First Porter (uncredited)

Danny Daniels
Second Porter (uncredited)

Lionel Ngakane
Gas Attendant
(uncredited)

Norma Foster
Girl on Golf Course
(uncredited)

John Blythe
Man on Golf Course
(uncredited)

Willie Payne
Witch Doctor
(uncredited)

Miles Malleson
Psychiatrist (uncredited)

Unknown
Patient

Roland Brand
Marine Guard

Frederick Keen
First Academician

Malcolm Russell
Second Academician

David Healy
Voice: American Officer

Robert Rietty
Voice: Khrushchev

Nikki Van der Zyl
Voice: Luba

Nosher Powell
Stunts

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes