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Call Me Bwana (1963)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 14 June 1963 (USA)
A returning moon capsule with vital information goes off-course and lands in Africa, where the little-known Ekele tribesmen find it. Washington orders African expert, Matthew Merriwether - ... See full summary »


Gordon Douglas


Nate Monaster (screenplay), Johanna Harwood (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Hope ... Matt
Anita Ekberg ... Luba
Edie Adams ... Frederica
Lionel Jeffries ... Ezra
Percy Herbert ... First Henchman
Paul Carpenter Paul Carpenter ... Col. Spencer
Orlando Martins ... Chief
Al Mulock Al Mulock ... Second Henchman
Bari Jonson Bari Jonson ... Uta
Peter Dyneley ... Williams
Mai Ling Mai Ling ... Hyacinth
Mark Heath Mark Heath ... Koba
Robert Nichols Robert Nichols ... American Major
Neville Monroe Neville Monroe ... Reporter
Michael Moyer Michael Moyer ... Reporter


A returning moon capsule with vital information goes off-course and lands in Africa, where the little-known Ekele tribesmen find it. Washington orders African expert, Matthew Merriwether - an utter fraud and authority only on feminine pulchritude - to go find it. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hope bags that most elusive of all species...an Ekberg! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 June 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Appelez-moi chef See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Danjaq, Eon Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The control tower footage when the Lufthansa flight arrival in Africa is announced is recycled footage originally used in the James Bond film Dr. No (1962). In Dr. No the footage is used to announce a Pan Am flight arrival in Jamaica. See more »


When Matt boards his flight for Africa it's a 707 jet but after he lands at his destination and disembarks, it's a propeller driven aircraft. See more »


Luba: Matt, I meant what I said last night.
Matthew Merriwether: [Being carried off by cannibals] Oh, swell... You can shed a few tears on my gravy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits of cast and crew are depicted by various monkeys and chimps. See more »


Referenced in From Russia with Love (1963) See more »


Call Me Bwana
Music and Lyrics by Monty Norman
Performed by Bob Hope (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

A Film To Relax and Have Fun
28 January 2011 | by randwolfraySee all my reviews

If you read the other reviews here, you'll be told about how bad this movie is. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I'm not going to argue with the other reviewers. I just want to say that I had fun watching this film, and that's really all the justification I need. (I use movies as a springboard to the imagination anyway). I thought Hope was funny enough, and I liked the supporting players, all memorable to me. The plot was silly, but it wasn't boring. Everyone comes off as a buffoon, the Americans, the Russians, the CIA, the KGB. Even the Africans were funny, but not in a demeaning way. I've seen this three or four times over the years, and I've always looked forward to seeing it again.

I doubt, though, that people born after the 1960s would think much of it. It succeeds for what was intended, but it's very much a movie of its time. I was six when it came out, and I still remember what was going on in that era. I "get" the jokes in the film that were aimed at then-current events and people. On the other hand, just as I can enjoy and appreciate comedies made decades before even my generation, people whose experience is only of today might broaden their horizons and get a kick out this when they simply want to personally relax and have a little fun.

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