Call Me Bwana
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Laugh along with this breezy comedy as Bob Hope heads for the African Jungle where he finds himself on an outrageous safari with elephants, hippos, and...spies? Co-stars Anita Ekberg and Edie Adams.
When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
But here's the rub: Merriwhether is a straight-up fraud. He's never set foot in Africa, has, in fact, ransacked his explorer uncle's diary for "research" even as he writes his celebrated African books from the cozy confines of his urban New York crib.
You say it's a dated farce, and I can't muster up a proper argument. The Cold War stuff isn't so relevant today, unless you're one of them old-heads that nurse a hell of a grudge. You say this movie is a series of skits in lieu of a lucid narrative, and I say that about sums up the bulk of Hope's filmography. Were Bob Hope a superhero, he'd be Deadpool for how often he went off-script and broke the fourth wall. And, okay, the storytelling is hampered by behind-the-scenes gaffes. The cast was supposed to have shot their scenes on location in Africa, except that this and that (political unrest?) kept the cast in Britain and what we get are nibblets of location footage filmed by the - I guess, disposable - second unit. Hope's charlatan explorer tangles with two sexy secret agents, except the plot sidesteps any opportunity to play that up. There isn't cattiness or competition or eve much of an interaction between Adams and Ekberg. Word is that Edue Adams was projected to have a larger role but that Ekberg's va-va-voomness stole her shine. And maybe that would've been okay, with better writing. Instead, there's a jarring element with Adams' scenes, especially in the third act when the story simply forgets about her or relegates her off-camera. While Ekberg's voluptuous assets are on evident display, I prefer Adams' more sensible, down-to-earth charms. It's the "Ginger or Maryann" debate all over again.
Call Me Bwana isn't bad, but nowhere close to Hope's classic best. The script could've been snappier, instead of smacking of 11th hour revisions. The movie could've done without the listless direction. And maybe there's a whiff of prejudice from me. I'm not much of a fan of Hope's later pictures. But he's the best thing in this movie. Sure, nowadays, the gags come off as tired and only intermittently funny (the extended bit with Arnold Palmer craaaaaaawled). But Hope comes thru with some sweet zingers. When met by photographers, he quips: "No pictures, please. I feel naked without a lion beneath my feet." My favorite line happens when Hope tips the bellhop and strolls into his hotel room to find it a mess, having just been searched by enemy agents. Hope remarks: "Maybe I over-tipped." Heh.
Hope also sings the title song, but I'm trying not to hold a grudge.
For something similar but superior and more enjoyable, check out John Wayne's own safari comedy, out the year before: Hatari! Duke knew better than to sing the title song.
Call Me Bwana is making its DVD debut thanks to MGM's Limited Edition Collection, which is a series of Manufactured On Demand (MOD) discs. They claim that the transfer is sourced "from the best materials available," but this flick has obviously not received lavish restoration treatment. The color transfer looks a bit flat, with only so-so saturation. However, for a film catalog title of its age it looks remarkably good, with little print damage. Grain is generally kept in check, and I didn't notice any significant compression problems. The mono soundtrack is fine, with dialogue clearly audible. Some of the effects on the soundtrack are obviously canned, but for a film that's nearing its fiftieth anniversary, it sounds fine. As with other MOD titles, Call Me Bwana contains no subtitles or extras.
For Hope fans, Call Me Bwana fills a long-running gap in his filmography on DVD, and it's for his fans that this DVD has probably been released. Perhaps Anita Ekberg or Edie Adams completists will appreciate the film is as well, but for everyone else the film is a dated farce that feels more like a collection of "funny" scenes than a coherent story. Although the lack of extras may be disappointing, this MOD DVD has a strong enough audiovisual presentation to satisfy fans.
Full review at dvdverdict.com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Disc on Demand
- Movies & TV > Disc on Demand
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Comedy
- Movies & TV > MGM Home Entertainment > All MGM Titles
- Movies & TV > MOD CreateSpace Video
- Movies & TV > Movies
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > MGM Home Entertainment > All MGM Titles