Here's a repost of my MANDINGO article from 2010 :
Neil Diamond version of THE JAZZ SINGER (1980). What a diverse career!
Getting back to MANDINGO...we now meet Ken Norton's character, Mede - he's a "Mandingo" slave who is being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Mede gets his junk fondled by a perspective buyer. She's from Germany after all.
But Hammond is the winner of the auction, and Mede's new owner. Have I mentioned how HOT Ken Norton is?
Back at Falconhurt, Hammond is now married to a woman named Blanche (Susan George), but he doesn't know what to do with a white woman in bed since he's only had sex with "wenches." He's disappointed to discover that she is not a virgin.
So then Hammond the gets HIS junked fondled by a whore in a surprisingly graphic fashion.
But he gives the matching necklace to his wife Blanche. Blanche is not pleased - but she is pregnant! And so is Ellen!
I'm not gonna give it away - but one baby lives and the other one...not so much.
As for Mede, let's just say there is not a happy ending to this sordid soap opera about lust between the races.
In conclusion, I am glad I finally watched MANDINGO, though I felt real dirty doing so. I'm not sure why it even was made. It's like Dino DeLaurentiis said (in his Italian accent) "Let's a take the GONE WITH THE WIND and the Blaxsploitation movies and a throw in a some of that soft-corn porn over there and let's a sell it to Paramount, okay?"
If they were going for the story of how horrible human beings can be to each other, I guess they did a commendable good job. Perry King's character is supposed to be the "hero" of the story, but yet he says and does such ghastly things because, I assume, that's how white people acted towards people of color in those days. When I watch movies like this I always wonder what the actors were thinking. Not only people like James Mason, but all the actors who played the slaves. Did they just think of it as a paycheck or did they think they were participating in an accurate portrayal of American history as it really happened?
As a film, I'd give it a 6 outta 10 - mostly because of Susan George's over-the-top performance as Blanche. But as a slice of pop culture history I gotta admit it's pretty far out there. So, if you dare to sit through some pretty squeamish stuff to see Perry King get a reach-around through his knickers and James Mason as one of the most despicable characters ever captured on film, I say go for it. $3.99 at Marshalls.