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


14th June 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