- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Great adventure Film
- Bill Dougall
I have this on VHS and have watched it many times because it is loosely based on truth. I have read the book about Stanley and it's amazing that he even found Livingston.. If it had not have been for the lowly banana, he would have starved.
This is a long time favorite of mine, even if taking a good deal of poetic license with the facts. Spence as Stanley is marvelously sympathetic, and Hardwicke a believable Victorian Livingstone, if not his best performance. The supporting cast is good, with Nancy Kelly playing the vexing (and fictitious) femme inspirtrice, Eve Kingsley, who unknowingly inspires Stanley to persevere in his search for Livingstone in spite of adversity. IMO this film had a very nice score, with themes by music director Louis Silvers, developed and arranged by 20th-Century Fox music staff, including Edward Powell (who wrote the exotic-sounding "Africa" theme heard only once in the main title as a middle section to Silvers' "March of the Heroes," which is really sort of a paraphrase of "Onward Christian Soldiers"), Cyril Mockridge, David Buttolph, Rudy Schrager, David Raksin, and R. H. Bassett. Silvers also wrote a theme for Eve that conveys to us that she is the film's only "love interest," played as it is in most instances in the style of Frederick Delius, whose music was very popular at that time among Hollywood composers. The big fire sequence on the savannah was written by Robert Russell Bennett.
Correction to my previous comment.
- David H.
Onward Christian Soldiers was actually composed in 1871, when Livingstone had long been in Africa and would not have known the tune he was teaching to the natives in the movie.
My Favorite Movie from 1939
- David H.
This movie is my personal favorite from Hollywood's greatest year. Even though its sometimes over the top ("Don't they know we come in peace!") and at times has a very sound stage appearance; it is still a well done story. Spencer Tracy gives a quality performance as a man changed by his encounter with Livingstone and the rest of the cast is superb. It is well written and the story moves along. The musical score is adequate, although "Onward Christian Soldiers" wasn't composed until about 10 years after the events depicted in the film.
Over the Top Spence!
A film Tracy would have better served if he had passed on this one but, then again, how was he to know that '39 would be Hollywood's Greatest Year! The one bright spot in this film is the ever dependable Walter Brennan - what a character!
Stanley and Livingstone on DVD
- Jeffrey Kenison
I would like this movie on DVD. I like Spencer Tracy. It even has an oustanding supporting cast.
Stanley and Livingstone (1939)
- Jay Higgins
Highly fictionalized but very entertaining, Spencer Tracy is good as always, but he is a bit melodramatic in this one. Nicely filmed, always holds your interest, great supporting cast.