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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Odongo (1956)

Set in Kenya, a hunter (Macdonald Carey) and a veterinarian (Rhonda Fleming) clash over the welfare of animals as well as a young boy called Odongo (Juma, who appears to be Arabic or Indian), who loves animals and hates seeing them caged. This wholesome family film benefits from not getting all cutesy like most family films about animals. Still, it's pretty routine stuff though the African locations and wild animals in their native habitat profit from the handsome CinemaScope lensing of Ted Moore (FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE). There's romance for the grown ups, exotic and cute animals for the kids and one would have to work awfully hard to resist the adventurous atmosphere. There's an amusing sequence with a visiting family (Francis De Wolf, Eleanor Summerville, Michael Caridia) and Summerville particularly entertaining as a "fish out of water" amongst the baboons and wild cats. Directed by John Gilling (THE MUMMY'S SHROUD). With Errol John and Earl Cameron.

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