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Mainstream - Call Me Bwana - MGM Limited Edition Collection

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Call Me Bwana
Bob Hope, Anita Ekberg, Edie Adams
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Originally released 1963
MGM 2011
101 minutes

Though not the best of Bob Hope comedies, Call Me Bwana is a very enjoyable African jungle farce with a few original twists including a round of golf with Arnold Palmer. Now available in the MGM Limited Edition on demand DVD collection, Call Me Bwana features a very good though not pristine print and, unfortunately, no special features. The movie is widescreen.

Matt Merriwether (Hope) is an armchair explorer whose bestselling books are based on the diaries of his great uncle. This is not something the U.S. government is aware of so when a space capsule lands in Ekele territory somewhere in Africa it calls on Merriwether to go and get the capsule. Hoisted by his own petard, the fake explorer is accompanied by a CIA agent played by Edie Adams and shadowed by a very sexy Russian agent (Anita Ekberg).

Follows a series of silly adventures and accidents as well as funny quips by Hope whose Merriwether is not at all different from any other character he played on the big screen.

There are a couple of jokes that may be lost on a modern audience such as the Kennedy moment and the Kruschev shoe banging moment. James Bond fans will find producer Albert Broccoli borrowed the Dr. No spider scene. The penultimate scene will be echoed in a couple of later Bond films

The ending feels a bit rushed though the space capsule ride on the truck is fun. The closer in Call Me Bwana is not up to the rest of the movie and feels tacked on.

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