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Bomba, the Jungle Boy (1949)

Approved | | Adventure | 20 March 1949 (USA)
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.


Ford Beebe


Jack DeWitt (original screenplay), Roy Rockwood (based on books by)


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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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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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Safari Drums (1953)
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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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Complete credited cast:
Johnny Sheffield ... Bomba
Peggy Ann Garner ... Patricia Harland
Onslow Stevens ... George Harland
Charles Irwin Charles Irwin ... Andy Barnes
Smoki Whitfield Smoki Whitfield ... Eli
Martin Wilkins Martin Wilkins ... Mufti


George Harland and his daughter Patricia are in the African jungle to photograph animals. They discover something altogether different when they find a young white boy living there. When Patricia is separated from her father, she is rescued by Bomba who it turns out, has been living there since the age of 2. They have a number of adventures together with Patricia trying to explain to Bomba about the outside world, something he has difficulty imagining. They come to the rescue of her father and the rest when they are attacked by unfriendly tribesmen. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE ALONE KNEW THE JUNGLE'S SECRET...ITS SAVAGE DANGERS! (original pressbook ad - all caps) See more »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 March 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aarniometsän poika See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monogram Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Producer Walter Mirisch says in his biography that the publicity man from Monogram Pictures invited newspapermen to the Chicago Zoo, where a 16mm projector had been set up in front of its cage so it could watch. The newspaper photographers kept observing the gorilla, looking for a response; they found him either yawning when he was bored with a particular sequence, or jumping up and down when he was excited by another scene. See more »


[first lines]
Andy Barnes: What are the drums saying, Eli? Good news or bad?
Eli: Not good news, Boss. Not bad. Say safari come.
See more »


Followed by Lord of the Jungle (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

"You good. Father bad."
30 May 2015 | by utgard14See all my reviews

With Tarzan behind him, Johnny Sheffield moved over to Poverty Row where he would star in his own series for Monogram. Bomba the Jungle Boy is pretty much just Boy from the Tarzan movies grown up. Although I'm not exactly sure how grown up he's supposed to be as he looks like an adult (Sheffield was 18 at the time) but is treated like a young teen by other characters throughout the series. The movies are all juvenile jungle adventure tales with lots of stock footage. They are nowhere near as good as the Weissmuller Tarzan movies but, if you're a fan of those, these will at least keep your attention. Johnny Sheffield made twelve of them before retiring from movies altogether. This first entry in the series has a renowned photographer (Onslow Stevens) and his daughter (Peggy Ann Garner) coming to Africa to take some pictures of wildlife. The daughter gets lost and is rescued by Bomba, a white boy raised in the wild by a misanthropic naturalist. Most of the movie is about the girl trying to get Bomba to lead her back to her father. But Bomba is wary of outsiders and doesn't trust that her father won't try to hurt him.

Sheffield is fine in the role of Bomba, which is hardly challenging. Garner, who was an exceptional child actor (see Jane Eyre for proof) is better than this sort of thing but such was the state of her career as she grew up. She spends most of the movie in a short leopard-print dress looking very cute. Charles Irwin, sounding positively like Scrooge McDuck, plays a character whose primary function in the movie is to argue with the girl's insufferable father, played by Onslow Stevens. Garner and Sheffield are delightful together and their scenes are the highlights of the movie. It's too bad Garner couldn't have stayed with the series. It might have helped if Bomba had a Jane and nobody would've minded killing off her father. I was kind of expecting him to die given how unlikable he was.

There are some fun moments with monkeys and an amusing scene where the native guide explains the difference between native footprints and those of a white man. The use of stock footage is excessive but what really drags the movie down are the repetitive scenes of Stevens and Irwin. The movie basically breaks down like this: cute scene with Sheffield and Garner then back to Irwin telling Stevens he won't allow him to do something but Stevens does it anyway then back to Sheffield & Garner. Rinse, lather, repeat. It gets on your nerves after awhile.

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