MANDINGO 1975

Amazon Instant Video

(20) IMDb 6.1/10
Available in HD

A slave owner in the 1840s trains his slaves to be bare-knuckle fighting champions, unaware that his daughter is having an affair with his top fighter.

Starring:
James Mason,Susan George
Runtime:
2 hours 6 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

MANDINGO

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance
Director Richard Fleischer
Starring James Mason, Susan George
Supporting actors Perry King, Richard Ward, Brenda Sykes, Ken Norton, Lillian Hayman, Roy Poole, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Paul Benedict
Studio Paramount
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Feb 2006
Format: DVD
"The wife of a plantation and slave owner is jealous of her husband's extra-marital affairs with a slave woman named Ellen, so she seduces and becomes pregnant by a slave named Mede. But her husband isn't too happy about that.." A simplistic quote about a this 'lurid historical drama.' This a brutal piece of film work. Sometimes it's quaint in it's portrayal of the deep south but, I have no doubt that it shows the worst kind of treatment of one human to another and the true brutalising nature of slavery. I saw it when it first came out and it's abiity to shock hasn't waned.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon on 6 Oct 2008
Format: DVD
Part Harold Robbins and part Euripedes, this film has brutal depictions of slavery, abhorrent language, and extraordinary cinematography by Richard Kline. The imagery of Falconhurst, the huge but decrepit plantation of a cruel and vicious man (James Mason in a strange and brilliant performance) is fantastic; with peeling paint and filthy mosquito nets, winding staircases of gleaming wood, dark steamy rooms, and lush exteriors with drooping wisteria. The score by Maurice Jarre also adds much to the atmosphere, with Muddy Waters singing "Born in This Time".

Perry King is excellent as Mason's son, broken in body, weak in spirit, knowing what is right and often doing what is wrong; as his wife, Susan George is appropriately annoying and trashy, and as his "wench", Brenda Sykes is lovely. Heavyweight boxer Ken Norton, who won over Mohammed Ali (and broke his jaw) in 1973, made his impressive screen debut as Mede the Mandingo.

This film is a mass of contradictions, which is probably what keeps one glued to the screen, and makes it memorable years after seeing it. It is manipulative yet unpredictable, gratuitous and raw but thought-provoking; some of it might be absurd, but many of the situations shown did happen.
With all the brutality, nudity, incest, and most of all, the repellent language, this is not a film for the young, or anyone squeamish about violence.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. S. Higgs on 6 Oct 2009
Format: DVD
It says on case running time 131 minutes actually 118 minutes.Such a great film on cinema and video has been totally ruined for me with this heavily censored version.Any nudity has been totally blocked out.Waste of time buying this version of the film,wait until the uncensored version comes out on dvd,if it ever does.If this dvd had been the full version of the film i would have awarded it 5 stars.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bowden on 30 Oct 2009
Format: DVD
Mandingo is one of those films like Birth Of A Nation, or Triumph Of The Will, in which one is forced contemplate objectionable content all the while reluctantly allowing mitigating qualities. That's not to say that Fleischer's exploitative film, hardly an artistic landmark, is at anything like the same level as those masterpieces, although he had an interesting and varied career. He was responsible for low budget noirs (Armoured Car Robbery, 1950), Disney classics (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, 1954), intelligent biblical drama (Barabbas, 1962), war epics (Tora! Tora! Tora!, 1970) as well as science fiction (Soylent Green, 1973) each made with equal professionalism. These are films that are still a pleasure to re-encounter, and continue to hold up as solid entertainment. Mandingo stands out as his most controversial work, and in these politically correct times is seen infrequently, even more so the sequel Drum, 1976 - not by Fleischer.

For those used to the cosy image presented of the old American South, Mandingo will come as a slap in the face. Falconhurst, where most of the action takes place, is far removed from the comforting, romantic world of say, Gone With The Wind (1939). So inflammatory is the subject matter of this film that Fleischer apparently refused several times when Dino de Laurentiis asked him to direct. It is reported that Fleischer finally decided to accept the job only on the basis of his film 'telling the truth'.

With, or without, the salve of supposed historical accuracy, Mandingo was a huge hit when it came out, although few critics liked it and tellingly it was never reissued. It still retains a strong camp reputation, dividing audiences between those who value its revisionism and those who smell exploitation.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Nov 2004
Format: VHS Tape
A brutal film to watch in our modern PC world, this film does not wash over the issue of slavery. This film shows images others would not dare to do, thus giving the viewer a real insight to the horrors involved in the slave industry. From the opening inspection of the slaves to the violent conclusion, this film is the perfect material for us in the twentyfirst century to visit a time not to distant ago, in terms of years but a world away in terms of attitudes. The attitude of the disabled plantation owners son towards his slaves and his wife. There is a chance of hope for this young man, as you think his attitudedes would change as he seems to love the young black slave girl, but in the end the horror of the his body reflects the horror of his soul, and there is no salvation or remedy for him
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an interesting take on slavery though now outdone and outclassed by 'Twelve years a Slave'. See them both and then find an American University which will welcome your thesis on the slave trade.
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