Odongo


1h 25m 1956

Brief Synopsis

A veterinarian falls for a big game hunter whose job she hates.

Film Details

Also Known As
Odongo an Adventure of the African Frontier
Genre
Romance
Drama
Action
Release Date
Nov 1956
Premiere Information
London opening: 3 Jul 1956
Production Company
Warwick Film Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
London, England, Great Britain; East Africa; East Africa

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

Odongo, a young native of Kenya, works on the farm owned by Steve Stratton, a big game hunter who sells his quarry to zoos and circuses. Odongo has a great affinity for his charges, whom he names and treats like humans. After Steve's longtime veterinarian retires, his replacement arrives, and Steve is shocked to discover she is a woman, Pamela Muir, from Pittsburgh. Steve clashes with the outspoken Pam, then announces that he plans to replace her with a male vet. Soon after, Steve fires Walla, a worker at the farm, for mistreating the animals. Walla blames Odongo for his predicament, and when he strikes the boy, the animals come to Odongo's defense. When Steve insists that Odongo keep his mischievous chimpanzee friend, Uglypuss, on a chain, Odongo protests, and although Pam tries to explain the boy's feelings to Steve, Steve remains unconvinced. After Uglypuss releases the monkeys from their cages, Steve threatens to send the chimp to a zoo unless Odongo restrains him. When Pam insists on accompanying Steve on a hunting trip, he agrees, hoping that the rigors of the wild will send her scurrying home to Pittsburgh. Odongo joins the expedition, but when Steve orders the boy to shoot an impala for dinner, Odongo aims high, deliberately missing the animal. Pam's defense of Odongo's devotion to his animal friends sparks an argument with Steve, but they are interrupted when Leni, one of the natives, comes to ask for help in delivering his wife's baby. After Pam delivers a healthy infant, Leni's father rewards her with a rare animal coveted by Steve. Pam gradually earns Steve's admiration, and when he wakes up one morning and finds her tent empty, he becomes alarmed and follows her. As Steve watches Pam, he is enchanted with her guileless interaction with the animals, and after he saves her from a charging rhinoceros, they kiss. Upon returning to the farm, they are greeted by George Watford, a wealthy British client who has come to Africa to buy animals with his wife Celia and son Lester. One day, Pam goes to town to buy some supplies and is accosted by the resentful Walla. Hassan, one of the farm workers, comes to Pam's defense and soundly thrashes Walla. Soon after, Uglypuss falls critically ill and Hassan warns Odongo that his beloved friend may die. Although Pam tries valiantly, she is unable to save the chimp's life, and Odongo then blames Steve for Uglypuss' death, charging that chaining the chimp causes him to perish from loneliness. After Steve cruelly lashes out at Odongo, Pam, furious at his attitude, quits. That night, as Odongo sleeps, Walla sneaks into his room and steals the boy's spear. Walla then releases all the animals and sets fire to their pens. As the animals charge through the compound, Hassan tries to restrain Walla, but is knocked unconscious by a lunging leopard. With all the animals gone, the Watfords depart, and soon after, Steve finds Odongo's spear in one of the pens and accuses the boy of freeing the animals. Offended, Odongo runs away, and when Hassan regains consciousness he testifies that Walla released the animals. Remorseful, Steve goes to search for Odongo and is joined by Pam. Meanwhile, Odongo, accompanied by his cheetah friend Missy, roams the bush. When night falls, Odongo ties Missy to a tree while he searches for food. Upon returning, he finds that Missy has wandered off, leaving Odongo frightened and alone. The next day, Steve spots Missy running through the brush and soon after, the game warden radios Steve that some natives have reported seeing Odongo in the area. As Pam and Steve continue their search, Walla sneaks up from behind some rocks and takes Odongo hostage. After joining forces with the game warden and a group of friendly natives, Steve finds a scrap from Odongo's shirt snagged on some twigs. In the distance, they see Walla and Odongo at the river's edge, and as Steve runs toward them, Walla pushes Odongo off a cliff and into the rapids, where some hungry crocodiles slither after him. While Steve dives into the water to save Odongo, Pam fends off the beasts with her rifle. Once Steve carries Odongo to safety, the natives chase Walla, and from the rocks above, Missy lunges and prevents him from fleeing. Some time later, the vet sent for by Steve arrives, and after Missy chases him away, Pam and Steve kiss and then hug Odongo.

Film Details

Also Known As
Odongo an Adventure of the African Frontier
Genre
Romance
Drama
Action
Release Date
Nov 1956
Premiere Information
London opening: 3 Jul 1956
Production Company
Warwick Film Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
London, England, Great Britain; East Africa; East Africa

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's title card reads Odongo An Adventure of the African Frontier. The opening and closing onscreen cast credits differ slightly in order. Although an October 1955 Daily Variety news item states that Sigmund Miller was to write a draft of the screenplay, the extent of Miller's contribution to the released film has not been confirmed. The Hollywood Reporter review notes that location filming was done in East Africa. Although Juma's onscreen credit states "introducing Juma," he did not make his screen debut in the picture. He had previously appeared in the 1956 film Safari .