Down and Dirty in Gower Gulch: Poverty Row Films Preserved by UCLA
Screening Dates
  • April 25, 2019 6:30
  • April 29, 2019 8:30
New Restoration

The First All Technicolor Drama!” Mamba, a crazed colonialist drama set in pre-WWI German East Africa (now Tanzania), was Hollywood’s first all-colour feature-length talkie that wasn’t a musical. Made in two-strip Technicolor, it headlines Jean Hersholt—for whom Oscar’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award is named—as a sadistic plantation owner who mistreats his African workers, sexually abuses native women, and is shunned by other European settlers. He buys” the beautiful daughter of a destitute German aristocrat in a stab at respectability, but soon has a rival for his bride’s affections. This fast-paced film, representative of Old Hollywood’s racist depictions of the Dark Continent,” was uncommonly extravagant and ambitious for a Poverty Row production. (Tiffany Pictures, its maker, would soon go bankrupt.) It was thought lost, except for fragments, until an intact print was located in Australia a decade ago.

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund, a unique partnership between the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (SACEM), and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW)

preceded by

Hearst Metrotone News, Vol. 1, No. 269 • USA 1930 • 9 min. Short newsreel

Me and the Boys • United Kingdom 1929 • Victor Saville • 9 min. Musical short with Estelle Brody and Ben Pollack’s jazz band