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Mountains of the Moon (1990)

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The legendary true-story of Capt. Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's tumultuous expedition to find the source of the Nile river.

Director:

Bob Rafelson

Writers:

William Harrison (novel), William Harrison (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Bergin ... Richard Burton
Iain Glen ... John Hanning Speke
Richard E. Grant ... Oliphant
Fiona Shaw ... Isabel
John Savident ... Lord Murchison
James Villiers ... Lord Oliphant
Adrian Rawlins ... Edward
Peter Vaughan ... Lord Houghton
Delroy Lindo ... Mabruki
Bernard Hill ... Dr. Livingstone
Matthew Marsh ... William
Richard Caldicot ... Lord Russell
Christopher Fulford ... Herne
Garry Cooper ... Stroyan
Roshan Seth ... Ben Amir
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Storyline

The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the story of their meeting, their friendship emerging amidst hardship, and then dissolving after their journey. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 February 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Montanhas da Lua See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,011,793
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Patrick Bergin portrayed Victorian poet, linguist, explorer, and anthropologist Sir Richard Burton who had the same real first name and same last stage name as the later famous stage and screen actor Richard Burton. See more »

Goofs

Although Larry Oliphant is portrayed as a homosexual, by all accounts he was in real life heterosexual: the filmmakers changed his sexual orientation to create a more dramatic reason for Speke's betrayal of Burton after all they had gone through together. See more »

Quotes

Arab chief in Cairo: In this wilderness you will find only Allah's terrible whimsy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This motion picture's opening title card reads: "East African Coast 1854". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Kawamba Dance
Recorded by David Fanshawe
From the album "Africa - Witchcraft & Ritual Music"
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Often Overlooked Masterpiece
28 February 2001 | by brandon-1See all my reviews

A great story, beautifully filmed and acted about two Victorian era explorers. Irish-born Sir Richard Francis Burton, one of the greatest explorers in history, is in search of knowledge. English-born dilletante John Hanning Speke joins Burton's quest in search of glory. Together they search for the answer to one of the most elusive geographical questions of their time - what is the Nile's source? The film accurately shows how the Royal Geographical Society and other outside interests played Burton and Speke against each other for their own gain.

The film's tagline really says it all: "Two strangers made friends by a savage world. Two friends made enemies by a civilized world."


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