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Safari Drums (1953)

Approved | | Adventure | 21 June 1953 (USA)
A bunch of movie makers arrive in Africa to make a film about jungle wildlife. One of their party kills a geologist and Bomba the Jungle Boy must find out whodunnit. He does, while helping ... See full summary »

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It's Bomba the Jungle Boy to the rescue when the evil Arab chieftain Ali Ben Mamoud steals a golden idol from the Watusi tribe.

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Elephant poachers Joe Collins and Bob Warren plan to steal a load of ivory which the natives want to give to the missionary, Miss Banks, but Bomba the Jungle Boy calls on friendly elephants to trample them to death.

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George Harland and his daughter Pat are photographers who discover a wild boy in the jungle. When Pat become lost, Bomba brings her back, overcoming plagues of locusts, forest fires and fierce wild animals.

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Movie actress Linda Winters has gone into the jungle to find her lost husband Fred. Bomba the Jungle Boy helps in the rescue effort. A major obstacle facing them is a killer leopard which specializes in tearing people limb from limb.

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Against stock footage of lions, elephants and wildebeasts, Bomba the Jungle Boy captures a pair of nefarious diamond smugglers.

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Bomba the Jungle Boy informs ne'er-do-well lion hunters that the lions were meant to roam the jungle freely. Since they pay him no attention, Bomba must save the lions (and Jean, incidentally).

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bomba (as John Sheffield)
...
Brad Morton
...
Peg Jethrow
...
Larry Conrad
Paul Marion ...
Steve
...
Deputy Commissioner Barnes
Smoki Whitfield ...
Eli
...
Sgt. Collins
...
Colin
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Storyline

A bunch of movie makers arrive in Africa to make a film about jungle wildlife. One of their party kills a geologist and Bomba the Jungle Boy must find out whodunnit. He does, while helping them complete their movie. A lion finishes off the culprit. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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Adventure

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Release Date:

21 June 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bomba - Rache im Dschungel  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Nearing the end of the film, Brad is seen in the stalled truck with both hands on the steering wheel when suddenly we hear the sound of the failed starter and ignition. See more »

Quotes

Commissioner Andy Barnes: Money means nothing to Bomba. He's, well, I suppose you'd call him a jungle boy.
See more »

Connections

Follows Elephant Stampede (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Bomba Leads the Way
12 July 2015 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

SAFARI DRUMS (Allied Artists, 1953), Produced, Written and Directed by Ford Beebe, the first of four "Bomba" adventures under the new Allied Artists banner, following its previous eight installments for the then folded Monogram Studios, is an agreeable story helped somewhat by a better-than-average script. A far cry from the Johnny Weissmuller/ Tarzan adventures produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the 1930s, SAFARI DRUMS, in reference to drum beat code messages sent across the jungle, resumes John Sheffield, formerly Johnny Sheffield of Boy fame in the Weissmuller/Tarzan series, in leopard skin loincloth and spear weapon carrier, for another fun-filled 71 minute adventure for the Saturday matinée crowd, to predictable results.

Based on the Roy Rockwood character created in the "Bomba" books, the story, set in Africa, begins with a motion picture crew, headed by Larry Conrad (Emory Parnell), watching footage of animals captured on film by Steve (Paul Marion). Unhappy with such amateurish production, Conrad takes the suggestion of Deputy Andy Barnes (Leonard Mudie) to hire Bomba, the Jungle Boy (John Sheffield) to join their party and assist them in getting some authentic and realistic action shots. Bomba, living many miles away in a cave at the side of a volcano with his pet monkey, N'Kimba, hears the safari drum message asking him to assist the crew. Bomba's drum beat reply happens to be "No." Conrad, refusing to take no for an answer, decides to journey out and meet with Bomba. Accompanied by Brad Morton (Douglas Kennedy) and his secretary, Peggy Jethro (Barbara Bestar), the crew, headed by Eli (Smoki Whitfield), the crew journeys four days before encountering the the jungle boy, whose answer is still no, in spite of some pleading by the young and attractive Peggy. Only after receiving another drum message from Barnes that one of the members of the expedition robbed and killed his good friend, Stapleton, does Bomba agree to guide the crew long enough before the police, hired by Sergeant Collins (Russ Conway), to come make an arrest. The problem is, which one of the crew members is wanted for murder? And what's in the back of the truck that Bomba is not allowed to see?

With volcano eruptions and some frightful lion and tiger fights being common ground in the series, SAFARI DRUMS makes good use of murder mystery with a killer being among the production crew. As with the Tarzan of the movies, Bomba fears for his animals and doesn't trust outsiders invading his territory. His only human friends are Deputy Barnes and safari guide, Eli. Naturally Bomba encounters broken promises where one of the members shoots a lion against his wishes. And like The Lone Ranger, Bomba disappears before being thanked for his services. Other common factors found here as with others in the "Bomba" series is the extensive use of animal footage obviously from newsreels inserted into the story, and Bomba's pet monkey for comedy relief, but not as extensive as Tarzan's very own Cheta.

Not quite as legendary as Tarzan, the Bomba series did have television exposure in the sixties and seventies on commercial television before turning up on cable television, only in recent years from Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: January 28, 2012). Next installment: THE GOLDEN IDOL (1954). (**1/2)


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