Timbuctoo (film)

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For the 1959 American film, see Timbuktu (1959 film).
Directed by Walter Summers
Arthur B. Woods
Produced by Walter Summers
Written by Walter Summers
Starring Henry Kendall
Margot Grahame
Music by Idris Lewis
Cinematography James Wilson
Distributed by British International Pictures
Release date
April 1933
Running time
72 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Timbuctoo is a 1933 British comedy film, co-directed by Walter Summers and Arthur B. Woods for British International Pictures, and starring Henry Kendall and Margot Grahame. Although BIP had a reputation for churning out films quickly and cheaply, in this case they allocated enough of a budget to finance location filming in Africa.[1]


The film's slight storyline concerns a man (Kendall) who has a violent quarrel with his family over his fiancée (Grahame). Feeling totally upset, he wants to get away from all the conflict and decides to travel overland to Timbuktu with its legendary reputation as one of the most remote and mysterious places in the world. As soon as his fiancée learns of his departure, she vows to do the same thing and challenges herself to arrive in Timbuktu before him. Much of the film is essentially taken up with travelogue sequences of African natives and habitats.



Timbuctoo does not appear ever to have been shown on television in the UK, nor has it been made available commercially; however, unlike many quota quickie productions of the 1930s, the film has survived and is available to view by appointment at any of the Mediatheques run by the British Film Institute.[2] Although the film is billed as a comedy, it contains a sequence of a hippopotamus being hunted and killed which some modern viewers have found extremely unpleasant and distressing.


  1. ^ Walter Summers Wood, Linda. BFI Screen Online. Retrieved 19-10-2010
  2. ^ Mediatheque films British Film Institute. Retrieved 19-10-2010

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