Mister Moses (1965) is an adventure film about a con man blackmailed into persuading an entire African village into relocating for their own safety. It stars Robert Mitchum and Carroll Baker. It was based on the novel of the same name by Max Catto. It was filmed on location in Kenya at Lake Naivasha and the Amboseli National Park.
Beaten and expelled by African villagers for trying to cheat them, the unconscious Joe Moses drifts down a river where he is discovered by the natives of another village. This tribe is being pressured to move by the District Officer (Ian Bannen) as their land will be flooded by the release of waters from a dam; but they refuse to leave their homes. Deeply Christian, the villagers compare Joe Moses to the real Moses due to his discovery in the reeds as was the baby Moses. With a broken leg and no money, Joe Moses is trapped in the village.
Nursed to health by missionary Rev. Anderson (Alexander Knox) and his daughter Julie (Carrol Baker), Moses impresses the natives with his medicine show. He further astounds the locals when he discovers Emily, that he recognises as an Indian elephant in the village. Moses gets her to respond to commands in Hindustani, a language he acquired through his army service in the China Burma India theatre.
The Chief (Orlando Martins) agrees to allow his people to move, but only if they are led by Moses. Reverend Anderson and Julie blackmail Joe Moses through their knowledge of his diamond smuggling in order to lead the people to the "Promised Land". Seeing through Moses's confidence tricks is an educated African, Ubi (Raymond St. Jacques). Ubi initially wishes to team up with Moses to con other Africans, but then attempts to steal Moses's show with a concealed flame thrower that has unexpectedly disastrous consequences for Ubi.
Leading the villagers from atop his elephant, Moses takes them on a journey that has many parallels with the Biblical trek, including a bit where he has to part the waters by entering the dam.
- Robert Mitchum as Joe Moses
- Carroll Baker as Julie Anderson
- Ian Bannen as Robert
- Alexander Knox as Rev. Anderson
- Raymond St. Jacques as Ubi
- Orlando Martins as Chief
- Reginald Beckwith as Parkhurst
The New York Times reviewer A. H. Weiler was unimpressed, writing that it "strains credibility and rarely excites a viewer."
- List of American films of 1965
- Mister Moses at the Internet Movie Database
- Mister Moses at the TCM Movie Database
- Mister Moses at AllMovie