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Richard Fleischer directed this lurid historical drama based on the novel by Kyle Onstott. The story begins on a run-down plantation lorded over by Warren Maxwell (James Mason) and his son Hammond (Perry King). Hammond travels to New Orleans where he buys a top-of-the-line slave, Mede (Ken Norton), at an auction. Hammond is proud of his purchase, hoping to bring in money by training Mede to fight his other slaves. Hammond returns with Mede to the plantation, where he has to contend with his sex-crazed wife Blanche (Susan George). Hammond looks upon Blanche as damaged goods since he discovered… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Until this moment we cannot be certain that the movie is going to employ every cliche of antebellum melodrama."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Embarrassing and crude."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"This is a deeply depressing film. The main problem is that shock value is the centerpiece, so the theme of slavery is just a vehicle for horrific gore and interracial sex."
‑ Mike Emery, Austin Chronicle
"The performances are overdramatized and unbelievable in a script that suffers from the same weaknesses."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Viewed with fresh eyes, it can credibly be seen as revisionist history of a particularly savage kind."
‑ Sam Adams, AV Club
"Good to see Fleischer returning to the kind of psycho-pathological thriller that he can handle so well."
‑ , Time Out
"At least offers no tears for the demise of the good ole days in Dixie."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"[A] hugely entertaining potboiler."
‑ , Film4
"Mandingo is racist trash, obscene in its manipulation of human beings and feelings, and excruciating to sit through."
‑ Roger Ebert,
"One of the most neglected and underrated Hollywood films of its era."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Mandingo is excessive, yet its excesses invariably reveal the caustic truths of social critique."
‑ Fernando F. Croce, Slant Magazine
"too trashy to be good drama, but too dramatic to be good trash"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
More reviews for Mandingo on Rotten Tomatoes