Kongo (1932)

86 mins | Melodrama | 1 October 1932

Writer:

Leon Gordon

Cinematographer:

Harold Rosson

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Walter Huston reprised the role of Flint from the Broadway stage. A pre-production news article in HR refers to the film as Conga , however, it is possible that this was a typographical error rather than an alternate title of the film. A HR news item on 12 Aug 1932 noted that cameraman Merritt Gerstad was being "borrowed from Jack Bachman" to photograph the picture, but this may also have been an error as Gerstad was not listed in any other source for Kongo and began photographing M-G-M's Payment Deferrred (see below) during the same week. According to other news items and reviews, actress Virginia Bruce married M-G-M star John Gilbert on 10 Aug 1932, in a bungalow on the M-G-M lot, and subsequently expressed the desire to get out of her contract with the studio "to become a wife." This was her last film until 1934, the same year as her divorce from Gilbert, when she returned to the screen in Monogram's Jane Eyre (see above) as the title character. In 1935, Bruce returned to M-G-M, where she appeared in many films throughout the late 1930s. The Chester De Vonde and Kilbourne Gordon play was also the basis the 1928 M-G-M film West of Zanzibar , directed by Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; ... More Less

Walter Huston reprised the role of Flint from the Broadway stage. A pre-production news article in HR refers to the film as Conga , however, it is possible that this was a typographical error rather than an alternate title of the film. A HR news item on 12 Aug 1932 noted that cameraman Merritt Gerstad was being "borrowed from Jack Bachman" to photograph the picture, but this may also have been an error as Gerstad was not listed in any other source for Kongo and began photographing M-G-M's Payment Deferrred (see below) during the same week. According to other news items and reviews, actress Virginia Bruce married M-G-M star John Gilbert on 10 Aug 1932, in a bungalow on the M-G-M lot, and subsequently expressed the desire to get out of her contract with the studio "to become a wife." This was her last film until 1934, the same year as her divorce from Gilbert, when she returned to the screen in Monogram's Jane Eyre (see above) as the title character. In 1935, Bruce returned to M-G-M, where she appeared in many films throughout the late 1930s. The Chester De Vonde and Kilbourne Gordon play was also the basis the 1928 M-G-M film West of Zanzibar , directed by Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6161). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
17 Nov 32
p. 7.
HF
13 Aug 32
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 32
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 32
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 32
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
26 Nov 32
p. 31.
New York Times
17 Nov 32
p. 22.
Variety
22 Nov 32
p. 16.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Conga
Release Date:
1 October 1932
Production Date:
4 August--early September 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Dsitributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
6 October 1932
Copyright Number:
LP3305
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
86
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

"Deadlegs" Flint, an embittered paraplegic who lives in the Kongo, controls the natives by using cheap tricks that appear to be magical. His mistress Tula assists him in his magic tricks, as do two thugs, Hogan and Cookie, and the loyal native Fuzzy. Flint has spent the last eighteen years planning revenge against a man named Gregg who stole his wife and took her away from the jungle. Flint has built an eighty-mile, fortified encirclement of his compound that prevents anyone from entering or leaving without Flint's consent. Having learned that Gregg's daughter is now grown, Flint sends Hogan to bring her back from a convent school in Cape Town. There the girl, called Ann Whitehall, willingly goes with Hogan, because Hogan is dressed like a missionary and says that he will take her to her father. Two years later, Ann has become a prisoner at Flint's camp. After spending months confined to a brothel in Zanzibar, Ann has become a hardened alcoholic, who does Flint's bidding for whiskey, and has no idea why he has brought her to his camp. When a cynical, drug-addicted doctor named Kingsland arrives at the camp, he and Ann fall in love. Flint, who needs Kingsland to be free from drugs in order to perform an operation on his legs, places the doctor in the swamp so that leeches can suck all of the drugs' poison out of his system. Flint also tolerates Ann's relationship with the doctor and its purifying effect, even while he ridicules her. Some time after the operation, Gregg arrives at the camp, summoned by Flint, who has stolen a large shipment of ... +


"Deadlegs" Flint, an embittered paraplegic who lives in the Kongo, controls the natives by using cheap tricks that appear to be magical. His mistress Tula assists him in his magic tricks, as do two thugs, Hogan and Cookie, and the loyal native Fuzzy. Flint has spent the last eighteen years planning revenge against a man named Gregg who stole his wife and took her away from the jungle. Flint has built an eighty-mile, fortified encirclement of his compound that prevents anyone from entering or leaving without Flint's consent. Having learned that Gregg's daughter is now grown, Flint sends Hogan to bring her back from a convent school in Cape Town. There the girl, called Ann Whitehall, willingly goes with Hogan, because Hogan is dressed like a missionary and says that he will take her to her father. Two years later, Ann has become a prisoner at Flint's camp. After spending months confined to a brothel in Zanzibar, Ann has become a hardened alcoholic, who does Flint's bidding for whiskey, and has no idea why he has brought her to his camp. When a cynical, drug-addicted doctor named Kingsland arrives at the camp, he and Ann fall in love. Flint, who needs Kingsland to be free from drugs in order to perform an operation on his legs, places the doctor in the swamp so that leeches can suck all of the drugs' poison out of his system. Flint also tolerates Ann's relationship with the doctor and its purifying effect, even while he ridicules her. Some time after the operation, Gregg arrives at the camp, summoned by Flint, who has stolen a large shipment of his rival's ivory. Flint hopes to have the ultimate revenge against Gregg by showing him his daughter Ann, then having him killed and Ann burned in a native sacrifice. Flint taunts Gregg until Gregg finally recognizes Flint for the man he once knew as Rutledge. Years before, when Gregg was known as Whitehall, he ran away with Flint's wife after kicking Flint in the back and leaving him for dead. From that time, Flint plotted his revenge against the girl whom he thought was Gregg's daughter. When Gregg proves, however, that Ann is actually Flint's daughter, Flint is stunned, and begs Gregg not to leave the compound or he will be killed. Gregg does not listen to his old enemy and leaves, after which the natives kill him. Now desperate to save Ann from the natives' fire, Flint arranges for her and Kingsland to escape though an outlet in the swamp that only Fuzzy knows. Just before Flint dies trying to keep the natives at bay, he prays that Ann will get away safely with Kingsland. Some time later, Kingsland and Ann are on a boat sailing away from Africa, about to be married by the ship's captain. +

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

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