Wednesday, 16 October 2013

White Pongo (1945)

White Pongo chronicles the "adventures" (I use the term loosely) of a safari searching for a fabled white gorilla. It has two aspects of value, other than its amusing title.

  1. it offers a good overview of the techniques of microbudget studio filmmaking in the post-war period;
  2. its script serves as a reminder of how pervasive and accepted overt racism was at the time (seriously: the leader of the African bearers on the safari is named 'Mumbo Jumbo', while the movie blithely states that white gorillas are more intelligent than ordinary black-furred ones)

You will notice that neither of these aspects is "good writing", "good acting" or "is enjoyable to watch".  The film feels a lot longer than its 71 minutes of actual run time, probably because so little actually happens.

There's a 10 minute version of this, too.  I suspect that it is no more interesting, but it does have the merit of saving an hour of your time.

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