Sanders Of The River

  • 1935
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Adventure

Edgar Wallace wrote a series of stories about a British man in Africa which (along with his novel of the same name) served as the basis for this spectacular film which starred two Americans, Robeson and McKinney. Banks is the Brit who is on his way back to England to be married, leaving the territory where he rules as commissioner. While he's away, his...read more

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Edgar Wallace wrote a series of stories about a British man in Africa which (along with his novel of the same name) served as the basis for this spectacular film which starred two Americans, Robeson and McKinney. Banks is the Brit who is on his way back to England to be married, leaving

the territory where he rules as commissioner. While he's away, his temporary replacement is slain. Two trouble-makers spread the word that he's been killed. Banks had been running the area with impartiality, and although he is respected, he is not feared. For 10 years, everything has been running

smoothly and, now that the word is out that Banks is dead, trouble erupts. Banks has only gotten as far as the coast when the news reaches him, and he returns to his domain. Robeson is a minor chief who has had trouble with the law in the past, but Banks realizes he is a good man and enlists his

aid to quell the rebellion begun by Wane, the old king who wants to regain his power. With Robeson as his aide, Banks breaks up the cabal, and Robeson is installed as the new king with his wife, McKinney, at his side. Lots of authentic native rites and rituals and a trio of songs almost make this

adventure into a musical. (Given Robeson's powerful voice, how could they have cast him without finding something for him to sing?) McKinney, who scored in HALLELUJAH, also does a song, so it begins to look like KING SOLOMON'S MINES with tunes. The movie was popular in England, where the colonial

rule of Africa was accepted. In the U.S., however, it failed to get more than a passing glance from any theaters other than art houses, as it was the equivalent of showing THE BABE RUTH STORY in London. The working title was, for some reason, "Kongo Raid." It was Robeson's second film, after his

triumph in THE EMPEROR JONES. His subsequent visits to the Soviet Union and his acceptance of some leftist ideologies made him a pariah in later years, thereby cutting his film career to just a few movies. His passport was revoked by the State Department in 1950, and it was eight years later that

he went again to Russia to accept the Stalin Peace Prize he'd been awarded in 1952.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Edgar Wallace wrote a series of stories about a British man in Africa which (along with his novel of the same name) served as the basis for this spectacular film which starred two Americans, Robeson and McKinney. Banks is the Brit who is on his way back to… (more)

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