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Tim Tyler's Luck (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Wyndham Gittens (original story) &
Norman S. Hall (original story) ...
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Release Date:
27 December 1937 (USA) See more »
A 12-episode serial in which Tim Tyler goes to Africa in search of his father in gorilla country. He meets up with Lora... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Call Out The Jungle Cavalry See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Frankie Thomas ... Tim Tyler
Frances Robinson ... Lora Lacey

Jack Mulhall ... Sgt. Gates
Al Shean ... Professor Tyler
Norman Willis ... Spider Webb

Anthony Warde ... Garry Drake
Earl Douglas ... Jules Lazarre
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Spud (as William Benedict)

Frank Mayo ... Jim Conway
Alan Gregg ... Brent
Stanley Blystone ... Capt. Clark
Everett Brown ... Mogu (as Everette Brown)
Skippy ... JuJu
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Adams ... Henchman Becker [Ch. 7] (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Ivory Patrol Lieutenant [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
Al Bridge ... Capt. Trowbridge [Ch. 1] (uncredited)

Lane Chandler ... Patrolman Kelly [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
William Desmond ... Dock Official [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
Kenneth Harlan ... Spencer, Trader [Chs. 2-3] (uncredited)
Ethan Laidlaw ... Patrol Guard Rocky [Ch. 9] (uncredited)
William McClain ... Native (uncredited)
Chuck Morrison ... Henchman (uncredited)
Charles Murphy ... Henchman [Ch. 12] (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... The Doctor [Chs. 2-3] (uncredited)
Pat J. O'Brien ... Patrolman Berry (uncredited)
Eddie Parker ... Henchman (uncredited)
Tom Steele ... Ivory Patrolman (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... River Boat Crewman [Ch. 1] / Henchman [Ch. 6] (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Henchman [Ch. 12] (uncredited)

Directed by
Ford Beebe 
Wyndham Gittens 
Writing credits
Wyndham Gittens (original story) &
Norman S. Hall (original story) &
Ray Trampe (original story)

Wyndham Gittens (screenplay) &
Norman S. Hall (screenplay) &
Ray Trampe (screenplay)

Lyman Young  comic strip (uncredited)

Produced by
Henry MacRae .... associate producer
Elmer Tambert .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Jerome Ash 
Film Editing by
Joseph Gluck  (as Joe Gluck)
Louis Sackin 
Alvin Todd 
Art Direction by
Ralph M. DeLacy  (as Ralph DeLacy)
Eddie Parker .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... stunt double (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Saul A. Goodkind .... supervising editor
Music Department
W. Franke Harling .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
William Schiller .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Clifford Vaughan .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Clifford Vaughan .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Oliver Wallace .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Edward Ward .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Franz Waxman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Sherman S. Krellberg .... presenter (re-release)
Mel Koontz .... animal trainer (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:212 min (12 chapters)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

Chapter Titles: - 1. Jungle Pirates - 2. Dead Man's Pass - 3. Into the Lion's Den - 4. The Ivory Trail - 5. Trapped in the Quicksand - 6. The Jaws of the Jungle - 7. The King of the Gorillas - 8. The Spider Caught - 9. The Gates of Doom - 10.A Race For the Fortune - 11.No Man's Land - 12.The Kimberly DiamondsSee more »
Oh, I Love the Jungle NightsSee more »


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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Call Out The Jungle Cavalry, 4 April 2007
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Tim Tyler's Luck is based on a popular comic strip of the day. The strip concerned the adventures of an orphan kid named Tim Tyler who traveled around the world and had all kinds of situations that would be popular in the pulp fiction genre.

For this serial however, Tim acquires a long lost father in the person of Professor James Tyler played by Al Shean. Al's in a place called gorilla canyon studying the primates. But it turns out that the place ain't just a hang out for gorillas, right next door is the fabled legendary elephant's graveyard.

Shean's lost in the jungle and young Tim played by Frankie Thomas is off to Africa to find him. On the steamship up river, Thomas meets Frances Robinson who's looking for the John Dillinger of Africa, a gentleman named Spider Webb (I kid you not) played by Norman Willis. Of course wouldn't you know it, Spider's gang attacks the steamship and Robinson and Thomas escape. That starts a nice round of adventure going for twelve chapters.

Frankie Thomas usually played these nice all American kid types in such films as One Foot in Heaven and Boy's Town. He's got the same character down for the comic strip Tim Tyler. No doubt with his instincts for survival, Tim's spent some time in the Boy Scouts. He certainly has a way with animals, during the course of the twelve chapters Tim acquires animal friends and help from a black panther, chimpanzee, and an elephant.

The primate part may come naturally as Al Shean has learned to talk gorilla. Speaks it quite well, at one point he persuades a dangerous gorilla to drop his son who he's carrying off to God knows what fate. It's kind of hard to take Shean seriously as a scientist though, he's still the vaudeville comedian doing his shtick.

One of many misconceptions about Africa given to America by it's cinema. Gorillas are hardly the dangerous animals that are shown here, aggressively attacking man. They actually are quite shy creatures and will only attack if provoked.

Of course that's nothing compared to the Ivory Patrol. I'm still trying to figure out what part of sub Sahara Africa had this outfit which bears a striking resemblance to the United States Cavalry in many a western. They're constantly riding around and until the very end, never quite catch up with Spider Webb and his whole mob.

So we've got good guys taken from westerns and a bad guy taken from gangster flicks for a jungle movie. Funny thing everyone here has no accent at all, no one sounds like they're from any colonizing European power. The sets in fact could be what Universal studios used for its westerns part of the time.

Oh, and before I forget Al Shean also is a mechanic, he invents some kind of armored vehicle called a jungle cruiser. Looks very much like a modified early tank from World War I. Even more like one of those futuristic vehicles found in Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers. Universal put everything they could into Tim Tyler's Luck.

It's interesting to watch everyone here. Everyone of the adults in the film knows this all nonsense and indulges in a scenery chewing contest. Naturally someone like Al Shean has an advantage here because of years in vaudeville. But Frankie Thomas, God bless him, plays the whole thing absolutely straight.

That in itself might have qualified him for an Academy Award.

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