American animal trapper Frank Buck travels with Ali, his "number one boy," on an expedition into the Malayan jungle. From their jungle headquarters just north of Singapore, Frank, Ali and a...
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Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins
American animal trapper Frank Buck travels with Ali, his "number one boy," on an expedition into the Malayan jungle. From their jungle headquarters just north of Singapore, Frank, Ali and a team of native helpers roam the area from Northern Johore to Perak in search of interesting wild animals, reptiles and birds. Hoping to find a tiger, Buck captures a monitor lizard and a black leopard, while another black leopard narrowly escapes an encounter with a giant python and then battles a bigger and stronger tiger. After trapping a spotted leopard, Frank adopts a baby honey bear and a baby elephant. The team catches an orangutan, but the tiger eludes their camouflaged pit. Meanwhile, Frank visits the "bathing festival" of a local tribe and watches as tribesmen kill an intruding spotted leopard with blow darts. The tiger then meets an enormous regal python, who has just crushed a crocodile, and fights to a draw with it. Written by
Fiona Kelleghan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
LIKE COILED LIGHTNING THE PYTHON STRUCK! 30 feet of lashing fury hurled against the giant cat! While monkeys screamed in every tree they settled a grudge that started in the morning of the world! (Print ad- North Shore Journal ((Flushing, N. Y)) 23 July 1932)
This purports to be the visual diary of one of Buck's expeditions to the Malay jungle to collect wild animals for zoos and circuses. Shot wild (without sound) and then narrated by Buck in a studio and with a score added by Frank Rodemich, it will strike the modern viewer as a black-and-white precursor of a Disney Tru-Life-Adventure movie, with enough random fights between top predators to keep people who like that happy. Add in enough eighty-year-old assumptions in the narration to annoy the modern viewer ("His skin was black, but he was white inside"), and you wind up with something of interest mostly for people with an antiquarian taste in movies. In 1932, it was an exciting documentary and there were several sequels.
A lot of the shots are faked; the ones in which Buck's "boys" are carrying a black leopard in a wooden cage seem to lack the leopard. However, I understand that Disney's cameramen staged a lot of their animal antics.
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