Victor Marswell runs a big game trapping company in Kenya. Eloise Kelly is ditched there, and an immediate attraction happens between them. Then Mr. and Mrs. Nordley show up for their gorilla documenting safari. Mrs. Nordley is not infatuated with her husband any more, and takes a liking to Marswell. The two men and two women have some difficulty arranging these emotions to their mutual satisfaction, but eventually succeed.
This movie is the remake of Red Dust, a 1932 MGM movie also starred Clark Gable.Clark Gable plays Victor Marswell, the rough-edged owner of a safari guide company that specialises in capturing and selling wild animals to zoos and circus.The company's formal owner, a maharajah named Bunganor, had met a less-than-reputable beauty Eloise Kelly (Ava Gardner) in New York and invited her to join him in Africa. But Eloise arrived on the safari only to find that the maharajah had gone back to India and that she had to wait a week for the next boat.During the week, Victor started a short-lived romance with Eloise, although he didn't think much of her to take her seriously. Eloise was already in love with Victor but decided to leave as planned.The same boat also brought in Victor's client – an anthropologist named Donald Nordley had hired Victor has a guide for his research on gorillas. Accompanying Donald was another beautiful woman – his wife Linda (Grace Kelly).Eloise's boat was nearly shipwrecked and would take four weeks to repair, so returns Eloise the Vamp to battle with Linda the Damsel in Distress for Victor's affections.Victor decided to take Eloise with the Nordleys on their tour and drop her off at Kenya Station, where transportation could be easily arranged. Upon reaching Kenya Station, they found that the natives have revolted against the British over ivory poaching and the commanding officer was injured. Eloise now had no choice but to follow the group into gorilla country until Victor can make other arrangements.Unlike Eloise, Linda was brought up in a sheltered upper-class circle and did not adjust to the jungle life well. The excitement and fright she felt about her new surrounding intensified Victor's appeal, and Victor found himself falling in love with Linda. The two started an affair and Linda decided to leave Donald. A broken-hearted Eloise looked on and tried to talk senses into the lovers; her efforts were appreciated by Victor, and snubbed at by Linda.After a talk with Donald, Victor saw how much Donald loves Linda and that she can never survive his safari lifestyle. Eloise helped Victor staged an act to break off the affair and decided to leave Victor for good. As they said goodbye Victor proposed, and a tearful Eloise jumped off the canoe and walked right into Victor's arms.