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Ingagi

Ingagi(1930)

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NOTES

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The production credits for Ingagi were taken from a print in the AFI Collection at the Library of Congress and from from materials contained in the film's copyright files. According to a June 24, 1930 New York Herald Tribune article within the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Congo Pictures, Ltd., the company that produced Ingagi, filed a suit for $3,365,000 against the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors Association (MPPDA) and its officers, Will Hays and Carl Milliken, on the grounds that the MPPDA ordered its members to cease from distributing and exhibiting Ingagi. The MPPDA challenged the film's authenticity, claiming that much of Ingagi had been shot in Los Angeles, rather than Africa and employed local actors to portray the natives. A September 1930 ^Photoplay article supported the MPPDA's charges by revealing that an actor hired to play one of the gorillas in the film was suing Congo Pictures for his salary, claiming that the company offered him $6.50 per day to play an African native in the film and later promoted him to the "gorilla division." By October 1930, a detective hired by the MPPDA convinced actor Charles Gemora, who was well known for portraying gorillas in films, to sign an affidavit swearing that he played the lead gorilla in Ingagi. The detective also uncovered the fact that the scenes with the gorillas were shot in a Los Angeles zoo built by filmmaker William Selig for the filming of jungle pictures.
       An January 8, 2006 Los Angeles Times article elaborated on the production history of Ingagi: According to the article, the film, which by May 1930 had broken box office records in every theater it played, was a an amalgamation of footage from older films, including large sections taken from the short 1915 documentary Heart of Africa, assembled by Lady Grace Mackenzie, who was recognized as the first white woman ever to conduct an expedition into Africa. By the end of July 1930, according to the article, Byron Mackenzie, the son of Grace Mackenzie, sued Congo Pictures for unauthorized usage of his mother's film. Several months later, Mackenzie was awarded a $150,000 judgment against the company. The article added that charges by the MPPDA prompted an investigation by the national Better Business Bureau which discovered there were no such persons as Sir Hubert Winstead or Capt. Daniel Swayne, whose adventures Ingagi were purportedly documenting. Also uncovered was the fact that Nat Sptizer, the president of Congo Pictures, was the real producer and narrator of ngagi. In 1933, the Federal Trace Commission issued a conditional cease and desist order against Ingagi, ordering Congo to stop representing the film as a factual record of an expedition in Africa.
       Although it is probable that the 1937 film Love Life of a Gorilla (see below), which also included a character named Sir Hubert Winstead, incorporated various scenes from Ingagi, the 1940 film Son of Ingagi (see below) is unrelated to Ingagi.