Mountains of the Moon

Overview

Director Bob Rafelson fulfilled a lifelong dream when he finally received backing to complete Mountains of the Moon. The film recreates the exploratory adventures of 19th century visionaries Sir Richard Burton (Patrick Bergin) and John Henning Speke (Iain Glen). The heart of the film is the effort by Burton and Speke to discover the true source of the Nile river. This occurs well into the film, after several torturous scenes involving the injuries sustained by the protagonists during other expeditions and their ...
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Overview

Director Bob Rafelson fulfilled a lifelong dream when he finally received backing to complete Mountains of the Moon. The film recreates the exploratory adventures of 19th century visionaries Sir Richard Burton (Patrick Bergin) and John Henning Speke (Iain Glen). The heart of the film is the effort by Burton and Speke to discover the true source of the Nile river. This occurs well into the film, after several torturous scenes involving the injuries sustained by the protagonists during other expeditions and their growing friendship (which, the film intimates, goes far beyond friendship). Rafaelson's fascination with this story, and his insistence upon painstaking historical accuracy, unfortunately compromises his ability to make an interesting film. There are so many starts and stops during the first half that we sincerely hope Burton and Speke will chuck it all and set up a pub in Bristol or something. What saves Mountains of the Moon is the rapport between its stars and the brilliant, epic-like cinematography of Roger Deakins.
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Special Features

Featurette: "The Making of Mountains fo the Moon"; Original theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Bob Rafelson achieved fame as a director in the early 1970s with Five Easy Pieces, and he had tried ever since to bring the story of explorers Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke to the screen. He finally realized that ambition in 1990 with the epic adventure Mountains of the Moon. Given its scope, the film was a rather unusual release: The director's previous two films were the decidedly lower-scale films noirs The Postman Always Rings Twice and Black Widow. Mountains plays like a cross between a big-screen epic and the smaller character studies more common in Rafelson's previous work. He's aided by the striking cinematography of Roger Deakins (who would go on to shoot Fargo and Kundun), and the surprisingly effective performances of Patrick Bergin and Iain Glen. The screenplay by Rafelson and William Harrison is based on Harrison's biographical novel, as well as the actual diaries of Burton and Speke.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/16/1999
  • UPC: 013023014091
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital
  • Time: 2:20:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Patrick Bergin Capt. Richard Francis Burton
Iain Glen Lt. John Hanning Speke
Richard E. Grant Laurence Oliphant
Fiona Shaw Isabel Arundell Burton
John Savident Lord Murchison
Peter Vaughan Lord Houghton
Anna Massey Mrs. Arundell
Roger Rees Edgar Papworth
James Villiers Lord Oliphant
Bernard Hill Dr. David Livingstone
Leslie Phillips Mr. Arundell
Delroy Lindo Mabruki
Paul Onsongo Sidi Bombay
Peter Eyre Norton Shaw
Omar Sharif
Roshan Seth Ben Amir
Doreen Mantle Mrs. Speke
Pip Torrens Lt. Hesketh
Frances Cuka Lady Houghton
Richard Caldicot Lord Russell
Celestia Fox
Bheki Tonto Ngema Ngola
Adrian Rawlins Edward
Matthew Marsh William
Christopher Fulford Herne
Garry Cooper Stroyan
Jimmy Gardner Jarvis
Roger Ashton-Griffiths Lord Cowley
Craig Crosbie Swinburne
Leonard Juma Jemadar
Martin Okello Veldu
Philip Voss Col. Rigby
Esther Njiru Lema
Alison Limerick Sorceress
Ian Vincent Lt. Allen
Ralph Nossek Doctor
Stewart Harwood Attendant
George Malpas Lead Actor
Robert Whelan 1st Reporter
Bill Croasdale 2nd Reporter
Renny Krupinski Reporter
Rod Woodruff Fencer
Wilson Ng'Ong'A Bearer
Patrick Letladi Bearer
Konga Mbandu Bearer
Michael Otieno Bearer
Asiba Asiba Nubian Servant
Zam Zam Issa Somali Girl
Pineniece Joshua Somali Girl
Fikile Mdleleni Bearer
Norta Muhammed Somali Girl
Rocks Nhlapo Bearer
Fatima Said Somali Girl
Technical Credits
Bob Rafelson Director, Screenwriter
Jenny Beavan Costumes/Costume Designer
Christine Beveridge Makeup
John Bright Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry Cordwell Set Decoration/Design
Roger Deakins Cinematographer
Eleanor Fazan Choreography
Maurice Fowler Art Director
David Harris Special Effects
William Harrison Screenwriter
Fred Hole Art Director
Alf Joint Stunts
Mario Kassar Executive Producer
Daniel Melnick Producer
Thom Noble Editor
Norman Reynolds Production Designer
Andrew G. Vajna Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Chapters
1. Opening Credits [3:03]
2. Searching for an Introduction [2:30]
3. The Greatest River [1:39]
4. Moving Inland [1:33]
5. Attack at Night [5:47]
6. Escape [2:49]
7. Homecoming [3:38]
8. Burton and Isabel [7:47]
9. Oliphant's Influence [4:48]
10. "By Candle" [4:23]
11. A Second Expedition [4:24]
12. Rescue of a Slave [7:23]
13. Bartering [2:19]
14. Perilous Journey [6:47]
15. Tale of the Valley [4:06]
16. Test of Friendship [5:49]
17. "The Meeting Place of Waters" [4:41]
18. "We Come As Friends" [9:19]
19. "We're Not His Guests" [8:12]
20. Death of a Friend [9:03]
21. Speke's and Burton's Return to England [3:53]
22. Lovers' Reunion [1:54]
23. Burton's Thoughts [1:19]
24. Speke Sings [3:29]
25. Burton's Decline [2:39]
26. Battle Scars [3:36]
27. The Truth About Burton's Report [1:56]
28. Debate/Hunting Accident [10:21]
29. "Wasn't Strong Enough"/End Notes [6:27]
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Menu

Side #1
   Play Movie
   Featurette
      Trailer
      Making of Mountain of the Moon
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