The daughter of a medical missionary in Africa carries on her father's work after he dies. She befriends two adventurers prospecting for uranium, and before long she finds herself in danger... See full summary »
The daughter of a medical missionary in Africa carries on her father's work after he dies. She befriends two adventurers prospecting for uranium, and before long she finds herself in danger from crooks trying to get the uranium for themselves and a local witch doctor who sees her as a threat to his power. Written by
Jungle Drums of Africa, a 1953 Republic serial, was a last ditch stand to get the youngsters back into the theater for Saturday matinées and away from that "new kid on the block," television. Clayton Moore, on hiatus from "The Lone Ranger", and Phyllis Coates, who had played Lois Lane on TV's Superman were well known to youngsters at that time. The serial line of battling hostile natives and foreign agents seeking to get oil deposits for their country was stretched out to 12 chapters and padded with footage from previous Republic jungle serials. One scene where Phyllis Coates is being sucked through a wind tunnel was taken from "Perils of Nyoka," one of Republic's better jungle serials. In his autobiography, Clayton Moore agrees that the serial was the worst serial he had ever done. Moore had been the hero of "Perils of Nyoka" which had an exotic storyline and fast paced action. Moore blamed television for part of the serial's demise because youngsters did not have to wait until next week to find out how the story turned out. The storyline of Jungle Drums dragged out and there was no tempo. The same artificial scenery of trees and rocks were used in almost every set. The Lone Ranger TV production would experience the same situation as characters always seemed to be meeting in front of the same papermache rock. Although the natives were played by African-American (or to use the Fifties term Negro) actors, Moore said that there was no tension between the races. They were just actors doing a job and there was no need to make an issue about the way the parts were being played. At this time, Republic was producing two new serials each season and re-issuing two of their previous serials to meet contractual agreements of four serials a year.
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