US poster for Mandingo
|Directed by||Richard Fleischer|
|Produced by||Dino De Laurentiis|
|Written by||Kyle Onstott (book)
Norman Wexler (screenplay)
|Music by||Maurice Jarre|
|Cinematography||Richard H. Kline|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Mandingo is a 1975 film, based on the novel Mandingo by Kyle Onstott. The film was directed by Richard Fleischer and featured James Mason, Susan George, Perry King, Lillian Hayman, boxer-turned-actor Ken Norton, and bodybuilder and pro wrestler-turned-actor Earl Maynard.
On Falconhurst, a run-down plantation owned by the widowed Warren Maxwell (James Mason) and his son Hammond (Perry King). A "Mandingo" slave, Mede (Ken Norton), is trained to fight other slaves. Hammond neglects his wife Blanche (Susan George), whom he rejects on their wedding night after discovering she was not a virgin. Hammond instead ravishes his slave Ellen (Brenda Sykes), while Blanche seduces Mede.
Upon its release in 1975, critical response was mixed although box office was strong. Roger Ebert despised the film and gave it a "zero star" rating. The movie critic Robin Wood was enthusiatic about the film, calling it “the greatest film about race ever made in Hollywood”. Quentin Tarantino has cited Mandingo as one of only two instances "in the last twenty years [that] a major studio made a full-on, gigantic, big-budget exploitation movie", comparing it to Showgirls.