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The Royal African Rifles (1953)

A shipment of Vickers machine guns is stolen from a British warship in Bombasa Harbor, Africa, in 1914, and Denham is assigned to track them down. He poses as a hunter and follows a trail ... See full summary »


Lesley Selander




Credited cast:
Louis Hayward ... Denham
Veronica Hurst Veronica Hurst ... Jennifer
Michael Pate ... Cunningham
Angela Greene ... Karen Van Stede
Steven Geray ... Van Stede
Roy Glenn ... Cpl. John
Bruce Lester ... Saxon
Barry Bernard Barry Bernard ... Eakins
Robert Osterloh ... Carney
John Warburton ... Col. Burke
Patrick Aherne Patrick Aherne ... Capt. Curtis
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Don Blackman Don Blackman ... Native chief
Louis Polliman Brown Louis Polliman Brown ... Native bearer
Naaman Brown Naaman Brown ... Native
James Craven James Craven ... Commander


A shipment of Vickers machine guns is stolen from a British warship in Bombasa Harbor, Africa, in 1914, and Denham is assigned to track them down. He poses as a hunter and follows a trail that leads him to Cunningham, a trader, who intends to sell the rifles to the Germans, and whose daughter, Jennifer, Denham loves. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Soldier of Fortune and Woman of Mystery...Trapped in Africa's Raging Tide of Barbarism! See more »




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Release Date:

27 September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Complot dans la jungle See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was Allied Artists first widescreen product. See more »

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User Reviews

Adventure/warlike film in low-budget , dealing with African war between British and German army
24 March 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

An agreeable , though mediocre adventure/wartime movie because of it contains action , sensational outdoors and outlandish exciting situations abound ; besides there is too much use of stock footage . This story of smuggling and war begins when a shipment of Vickers machine guns is robbed from a British warship in Bombasa Harbor , Africa , Spring 1914 . The high command orders the dangerous mission to Denham (Louis Hayward) and posing as an animal hunter is assigned to track them down , before rifles to be sold the German army . Denham follows a clue that leads him to Cunningham (Michael Pate) , a gunrunner , who intends to sell the machine guns to the Germans . Trader Cunningham escapes with the stolen machine guns , being relentlessly pursued by Denham across the lush jungle . But problems grow when Denham falls in love for Jennifer (Veronica Hurst) who results to be Cunningham's daughter .

It's a quickie with lack luster and short budget but it manages to be at least an enjoyable adventures movie because packs thrills , evocative landscapes and an exciting finale when takes place a spectacular confrontation among contending groups using machine guns . It's made on the sets and leftover from previous movies , using stocks originally shot since former films . As we are watching several African animals though the most seem to be taken from an excessive utilization of stock-shots , thus : Gnus , Elephants, Thomson Gazelle , Crocodiles , Snakes , lions , Buffalos and a stampede . The starring is Louis Hayward , a famous actor of B movies though at the beginning his career the played A films . His first American film role was in The Flame Within (1935) . After several supporting roles in 1936 , he got his real break starring in the extended romantic prologue of Warner Bros.' ¨Anthony Adverse¨ (1936) . Through the remainder of the 1930s he would have ample opportunities to vary that class of character, starting with some early "B"-tier efforts . The familiar British Simon Templar character was brought to the screen by Hayward in ¨The Saint in Nueva York¨ (1938) to cap his "B" picture career . He was destined for plenty of sword point adventure . The stylish ¨Iron mask¨ (1939), the third volume in the Alexandre Dumas musketeer trilogy , gave Hayward the opportunity to play the good and evil royal twins, which he did with impressive flair . However, his swashbuckling efforts did not pan out as well as they did for Errol Flynn . ¨The torch¨ (1940), with Hayward paired with Joan Bennett again , as they were in "Iron Mask" ; in addition , ¨The prisoner of Zenda¨ (1937) rip-off that fell flat . Another sort of bad break was his 1941 casting in a pivotal role in Orson Welles' ¨The magnificent Amberson¨ (1942), his part was edited out of the final print .

The movie is well set in Africa , though being shot in Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden , Arcadia, California . Cinematography is evocative but worn-out , as a perfect remastering being necessary . The picture obtained limited successful but turns to be enough agreeable . It's a passable stuff for young people and exotic adventures lovers who enjoy with the extraordinary danger in the dangerous jungle . This quickie was produced by the same Louis Hayward and middlingly directed by Lesley Selander , a craftsman working from the 30s . Selander is generally considered to be the most prolific director of feature Westerns of all time, with at least 107 to his credit between 1935 and 1967 . He realized his first feature in 1936, a horse opera , genre in which he would not only excel but one where he would spent much of the rest of his career . He began in this genre with series starred by Buck Jones and ¨Hopalong Cassidy¨ series starred by William Boyd such as ¨Silver on the sage¨ , ¨Three men from Texas¨ and ¨Wide open town¨. In Republic production he directed his better movies such as ¨Panhandle¨and ¨Stampede¨ starred by Rod Cameron and in RKO he directed Tim Holt in 20 films such as ¨Rio Grande patrol¨ and ¨Overland telegraph¨. He subsequently shot B-movies such as ¨Fort Vengeance¨, ¨Arrow in the desert¨, Shotgun¨, ¨Town tamer¨ and his last picture ¨Texas Kid¨. Although Selander couldn't be deemed an "A"-list director, his movies had a professionalism and a verve that many of those made by his fellow B directors lacked . He also filmed detective thrillers , action/adventure motion pictures and even a horror film or two . Rating : 5 . Acceptable and passable .

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