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Theatrical poster to Ingagi
|Directed by||William Campbell|
|Produced by||William D. Alexander|
Nat Spitzer (executive)
|Written by||Adam Shirk|
|Starring||Charlie Gemora as Ingagi|
|Music by||Edward Gage|
|Distributed by||Congo Pictures|
|Box office||$4 million|
Ingagi is a 1930 Pre-Code exploitation film. It purports to be a documentary about "Sir Hubert Winstead" of London on an expedition to the Belgian Congo, and depicts a tribe of gorilla-worshiping women encountered by the explorer. The film claims to show a ritual in which African women are given over to gorillas as sex slaves, but in actuality was mostly filmed in Los Angeles, using white actresses in blackface in place of natives. It was produced and distributed by Nat Spitzer's Congo Pictures, which had been formed expressly to make the film. Although marketed under the pretense of being an ethnographic film, the premise was a fabrication, leading the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association to retract any involvement with the film.
The film trades heavily on its nudity and on the suggestion of sex between a woman and a gorilla. Its success motivated RKO Radio Pictures to invest in the 1933 film, King Kong. RKO owned several of the theatres where Ingagi was shown, including one of the first, the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, where it opened April 5, 1930.
The three Prints owned by the Library of Congress aren't available to the general public. All 8 Vitaphone disc have been found by fans and are now available on YouTube. 96-seconds of the film are included in Documentary Charlie Gemora: Uncredited.
- Berenstein, Rhona J. "White Heroines and Hearts of Darkness: Race, Gender and Disguise in 1930s Jungle Films", in Film History Vol. 6 No. 3 (Autumn 1994), Exploitation Films, pp. 314–339 (Published by Indiana University Press); Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3814926
- Doherty, Thomas Patrick. Pre-Code Hollywood: Sex, Immorality, and Insurrection in American Cinema 1930-1934. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-231-11094-4
- Ingagi on IMDb
- Ingagi at AllMovie
- Connection of the film to King Kong
- Erish, Andrew (2006-01-09). "Illegitimate dad of 'Kong'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-04-03. Alt URL
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