Producer: Dino De Laurentiis
Director: Richard Fleischer
Starring: James Mason, Susan George, Perry King, Richard Ward, Ken Norton, Brenda Sykes
Adapted from Kyle Onstott's bestseller (first published in 1957), it exposes the racial and sexual iniquity of early American society by detailing the collapse of a Louisiana slave-breeding family during the 1840s.
The trouble starts when the tyrannical patriarch of Falconhurst, Warren Maxwell (Mason), persuades his only son Hammond (King) to marry cousin Blanche (George) in the hope that they'll give him a grandson. He should be so lucky. When Hammond discovers that his new bride isn't a virgin, he turns to black 'bed wench', Ellen (Brenda Sykes). But Ellen falls pregnant with Hammond's child, prompting Blanche to take a double revenge. First she induces Ellen's miscarriage. Then she beds Hammond's prize-fighting slave, Mede (future WBC boxing champ Ken Norton).
"It's been tagged as sexploitation, blaxploitation and Gone With The Wind on acid. But whatever you call it, this hugely entertaining potboiler deserves credit as one of the first films to look at America's slave trade without rose-tinted glasses." - Channel 4 Film
"Mandingo" is probably lumped into the "cult/camp classic" category because this is a film no one would dare make today, unless the slaves got a major comeuppance at the end. They do not here. This film is a brutal look at slave owners and their slaves which will leave the audience gasping. Some of the lines are so daring by today's politically-correct standards, there's no doubt they'd get a lot of laughs. Kind of how 1977's "Fight For Your Life" gets laughs with all it's over-the-top racism, only not in such abundance. Sure to get some laughs is hearing the English actor who played "Bently" on "The Jeffersons" talk all nasty...The film has a sleazy realism to it. Even the plantation looks like a mess - the outside is all ragged and the inside isn't much better, and this is a rich man's plantation. This is definitely not "Tara."
Not to repeat the plot, but many amazing things happen, and there are plenty of incredible scenes. The big fight scene between Mede and another slave is especially bloody and brutal. The ending certainly won't anyone feel all nice and cozy. There are many familiar 70's movie faces all over the place.
This is a film that has kind of disappeared in the realm of today's political correctness. But seeking it out isn't tough, as it has to be seen by anyone with an interest in non-PC cinema, or any kind of "forbidden" movies." - IMDB Review