Stanley and Livingstone (1939)

101 mins | Drama | 18 August 1939

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Henry M. Stanley . According to pre-production news items in HR , Fox intended to produce this film for its 1937-38 schedule, but postponed production in order to allow Osa Johnson time to film backgrounds. Another pre-production news item in HR adds that Tyrone Power was to play the role of "Gareth Tyce" but scheduling prevented him from doing so. Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library note that in 1939, Fox bought the rights to David Livingstone , a 1936 British "quota" film produced by James A. Fitzpatrick, to keep it out of the American market and out of competition with this film. According to news items in HR and Fox publicity materials contained in the Production Files at the AMPAS Library, in 1937, Osa Johnson and Otto Brower led a camera crew through Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda, following the footsteps of Livingstone. They returned with 100,000 feet of exposed film. Articles in NYT add that the filming was beseiged by fever, mutiny and attacks from African tribes. Another item in the NYT notes that six versions of the story were written before Spencer Tracy and the studio approved it. American locations were shot at Sun Valley, ID and Victorville, CA.
       Another news item in HR notes that this picture, budgeted at $2,000,000 with $125,000 allotted for music, had one of the largest music budgets to date. Paul McVey served as a technical advisor for the background jungle music and native chants. ... More Less

The working title of this film was Henry M. Stanley . According to pre-production news items in HR , Fox intended to produce this film for its 1937-38 schedule, but postponed production in order to allow Osa Johnson time to film backgrounds. Another pre-production news item in HR adds that Tyrone Power was to play the role of "Gareth Tyce" but scheduling prevented him from doing so. Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library note that in 1939, Fox bought the rights to David Livingstone , a 1936 British "quota" film produced by James A. Fitzpatrick, to keep it out of the American market and out of competition with this film. According to news items in HR and Fox publicity materials contained in the Production Files at the AMPAS Library, in 1937, Osa Johnson and Otto Brower led a camera crew through Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda, following the footsteps of Livingstone. They returned with 100,000 feet of exposed film. Articles in NYT add that the filming was beseiged by fever, mutiny and attacks from African tribes. Another item in the NYT notes that six versions of the story were written before Spencer Tracy and the studio approved it. American locations were shot at Sun Valley, ID and Victorville, CA.
       Another news item in HR notes that this picture, budgeted at $2,000,000 with $125,000 allotted for music, had one of the largest music budgets to date. Paul McVey served as a technical advisor for the background jungle music and native chants. An Apr 1939 item in HR adds that production on the film was suspended for ten days while a new sequence, budgeted at $100,000, was prepared to expand Spencer Tracy's role. According to a news item in HR , M-G-M agreed to loan Tracy to Fox for this film after the studio postponed the production of Northwest Passage and Walter Brennan was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn's company for this picture.
       Materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library disclose that Ernest Pascal and Edwin Harvey Blum worked on a treatment and continuity and Sheridan Gibney wrote revisions, but their contribution to the final film has not been confirmed. The Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department also at the UCLA Library add that the film credits were to have read "based on the diary and Autobiography of Henry M. Stanley," but this statement was deleted because the studio feared a lawsuit by the owners of the Stanley diaries. Contracts contained in the Legal Files disclose that Blue Washington was to have played the role of Mombay, Darby Jones was to play a man with a scar, and Harry Strang was to play the role of the Captain. Their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. The film was dubbed into Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. The picture was included in FD 's "ten best" list of 1939. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Aug 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Aug 39
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 37
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Apr 38
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 37
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 37
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jan 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 39
pp. 5-6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 39
p. 3.
Life
14 Aug 39
p. 60.
Motion Picture Daily
3 Aug 39
p. 16.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Jul 39
p. 41.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Aug 39
pp. 84-85.
New York Times
19 Feb 1939.
---
New York Times
30 Jul 1939.
---
New York Times
5 Aug 39
p. 18.
Variety
2 Aug 39
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck's production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Safari episodes dir by
Safari episodes tech dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Historical research and story outline
Historical research and story outline safari episo
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Safari episodes photog
Process photog
Asst cam
Spec eff
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst props
Asst props
COSTUMES
Cost
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus adv
MAKEUP
Hair
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr clerk
Scr clerk
Chief white hunter
Best boy
Unit casting
Asst casting
Secretary
SOURCES
MUSIC
"The Departure" by David Buttolph.
SONGS
"Onward Christian Soldiers," music and lyrics by A. S. Sullivan.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Henry M. Stanley
Release Date:
18 August 1939
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 5 August 1939
Production Date:
1 February--16 April 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
18 August 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9333
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
101
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5040
SYNOPSIS

In the 1800's, Henry M. Stanley, a reporter for James Gordon Bennett, Jr. of the New York Herald , emerges from the snowbound Comanche country bearing an exclusive interview with a rampaging Indian chief. Back in New York, Bennett impresses Stanley with the importance of finding long-missing British doctor David Livingstone in Africa, the biggest news story in the world. Stanley accepts the assignment and, accompanied by Indian scout Jeff Slocum, voyages to Zanzibar, where he meets Eve Kingsley. Fearful of the ravages that Africa has visited upon her late mother and enfeebled father, Eve urges him to give up the mission. Stanley ignores Eve's advice and assembles a safari. Pushing westward, the safari is beset by hostile native attacks and ravaged by fever, but just as things seem hopeless, natives bring word of Livingstone's location. With renewed hope, Stanley pushes on until he finds the doctor living in a native village, practicing medicine and preaching the gospel. To the reporter's surprise, Livingstone insists upon remaining in Africa to carry on his good works, and he gradually converts Stanley to his discipline. Believing that the curtains hiding Africa must be opened, the doctor shows Stanley maps of his previous explorations. After Livingstone is stricken with fever, Stanley returns to London, where he creates a world sensation with his stories of Livingstone's works. However, the British Geographical Society, influenced by the publisher of the London Globe , which has printed news of Livingstone's death, refuses to accept Stanley's evidence. As the society rejects Stanley's claims, word comes that Livingstone has died of fever, and as his last request he asked ... +


In the 1800's, Henry M. Stanley, a reporter for James Gordon Bennett, Jr. of the New York Herald , emerges from the snowbound Comanche country bearing an exclusive interview with a rampaging Indian chief. Back in New York, Bennett impresses Stanley with the importance of finding long-missing British doctor David Livingstone in Africa, the biggest news story in the world. Stanley accepts the assignment and, accompanied by Indian scout Jeff Slocum, voyages to Zanzibar, where he meets Eve Kingsley. Fearful of the ravages that Africa has visited upon her late mother and enfeebled father, Eve urges him to give up the mission. Stanley ignores Eve's advice and assembles a safari. Pushing westward, the safari is beset by hostile native attacks and ravaged by fever, but just as things seem hopeless, natives bring word of Livingstone's location. With renewed hope, Stanley pushes on until he finds the doctor living in a native village, practicing medicine and preaching the gospel. To the reporter's surprise, Livingstone insists upon remaining in Africa to carry on his good works, and he gradually converts Stanley to his discipline. Believing that the curtains hiding Africa must be opened, the doctor shows Stanley maps of his previous explorations. After Livingstone is stricken with fever, Stanley returns to London, where he creates a world sensation with his stories of Livingstone's works. However, the British Geographical Society, influenced by the publisher of the London Globe , which has printed news of Livingstone's death, refuses to accept Stanley's evidence. As the society rejects Stanley's claims, word comes that Livingstone has died of fever, and as his last request he asked that Stanley carry on the work that he began. Honoring Livingstone's dying wish, Stanley gives up his job to return to Africa. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.