Grace Kelly and Clark Gable on the set of Mogambo, 1953.
I remember a Christmastime in East Africa many years ago. We were all getting a bit glum and gloomy at being away from home at this time. Frank decided to take Christmas in hand. He disappeared into Nairobi and returned with just about every Christmas ornament the city contained—and one Santa Claus suit. He came back to the bush where we were all on safari [shooting Mogambo]. At Christmas Eve we gathered in a clearing under a starry African sky. There in the center was a huge mantelpiece with all the ornaments. Frank even talked John Ford into reciting ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to us. And this wonderful evening ended with sixty Congolese Africans, barefooted and with their blankets wrapped around them, singing French Christmas carols to us. It was a wonderful Christmas.
-Grace Kelly on her Christmas in Africa with Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, John Ford, and Frank Sinatra in 1952 during the shooting of Mogambo. Ava is shown decorating a pole inside one of the tents.
Grace and Clark Gable on location in Africa, 1953
Grace on the set of “Mogambo”.
Grace and Clark Gable on the set of Mogambo