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I caught this movie on AMC several years ago and have been trying to find a copy of it ever since. I understand that RKO used footage from this film for decades in it's jungle scenes. Amazing, real captures a whole herd of elephants, a man-eating tiger, and just about every other jungle creature you can think of. If you can find a copy of this film, make sure you watch it. This is one of the most amazing documentaries I've ever seen.
Frank Buck made his living capturing wild animals for zoos and circuses. His previous "documentary" was titled, "Bring ThemBack Alive". This self-aggrandizing advertisement was made in 1934, when we still believed the entire planet to be our own private reserve, to destroy at our whim. He did enormous damage to wild populations during his lifetime. Amazingly, the narrations of his films include an occasional reference to a species being over-hunted or rare but he never makes the obvious connection between his own role and the endangerment of a species. His ignorance of the true nature of his prey is astounding. To him, they are a paycheck. Nothing more. The original cut of this film includes footage of his employees forcing the young captive elephants to the ground to be tied in place and then viciously beating them for several days. In his narration, he states the beatings "do not hurt the beast" and are necessary to "show them who's boss". We now know the beatings inflicted on captive elephants are routine and intended to break their spirits and permanently damage their minds. In that same original film, Buck states that half or more of his victims will die in transit which is the reason he chooses to capture many more than he has been contracted for. Both segments are cut from the film we see today, probably because his crass statements would be seen as the lies they are. He lived another 14 years after this advertisement was filmed and was responsible for the needless and cruel deaths of thousands more animals. My biggest regret is that he wasn't killed during the filming of this so-called documentary. In short, Frank Buck symbolizes everything that is wrong with human beings' insensitive and barbaric "use" of other animals for their own entertainment. If the film has any redeeming value, its that we can see our own ignorance of the past and perhaps learn from it in time to save the future of countless other species.
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