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Deepest Africa: Partrick O'Brien (Arthur Sinclair) and his daughter
Kathy (Anna Lee) are perpetuall looking for ways to become rich quick by
finding treasures, gold- or diamondmines or the like, but so far they have
not only not succeeded, they are pretty much broke and literally have to
beg big game hunter and explorer Allan Quatermain (Cedric Hardwicke) to
take them with his treck to the next city ... then though the party
stumbles upon a dying explorer and his (quite alive) guide Umbopa (Paul
Robeson), who claim to know the way to the legendary diamond mines of King
Solomon. The next day, O'Brien and one of the wagons of the treck are
gone, and their trail leads straight through the desert, right to the
(supposed) location of King Solomon's mines ...
Kathy desperately wants to go after her dad, but to her dismay, Quatermain
has no intention to play life-saver for a foolish,
diamondhungry adventurer. So Kathy has an idea to trick Quatermain's
clients Sir Henry (John Loder) and Cmdr Good (Roland Young) into giving
her another of the treck's wagons, and off she is after her dad together
with Umbopa, who claims he is after the diamonds and nothing else, but
it's not difficult to realize he has an agenda all of his own ...
Eventually, Quatermain and company catch up with Kathy and Umbopa,
but once again Kathy gets her will when she uses all of her charm to
persuade Sir Henry and Cmdr Good to accompany her, and since Quatermain is responsible for his clients' well-being, he just can't stay behind.
Eventually, Kathy, Umbopa, Quatermain, Sir Henry and Cmdr Good master
an excrutiating walk throught he jungle and actually make it to the mines,
when they bump into a tribe of natives, who at first grant them access to
the mines, with the sole purpose of walling them in, and when that trick
doesn't work, they plan to sacrifice them ... which is when Umbopa shows
his true colours - he is the son of the tribe's rightful king who has
returned to reclaim his throne from evil king Twala (Robert Adams), who is
keeping the natives in his power thanks to witchdoctor Gagool (Sydney
Fairbrother), and soon enough it turns out that all that could save our
heroes would be magic more powerful than Gagool's ... but where to take it
Fortunately for our heroes, there is to be a total eclipse of the sun
that very day Quatermain is able to sell to the natives as his own
doing, so he scares them shitless, and only Umbopa is able to calm them
down - and thus resume his family's throne. Twala is chased away, but he
soon returns with two neighbouring tribes as his army to regain the throne
... in a big battle, he is however killed and his army beaten.
Ultimately, Kathy, Quatermain and company enter the mines to discover
it really is full of diamonds - but also has an entrance to a cavesystem
full of lava, where our heroes find Kathy's dad with a broken leg ... but
when they try to save him, witchdoctor Twala walls them in, then also lays
a fire in the mine to destroy its wooden support columns. Only thanks to
Umbopa are our heroes saved while Gagool walks into her own fiery trap. In
the end, the lava floods the mines, burying King Solomon's treasure for
good, but still, heroine Kathy at least gets the man - Sir Henry that is.
Very entertaining adaptation of H.Rider Haggard's classic, profiting
greatly from a straightforward screenplay, Robert Stevenson's slick
direction, footage shot in authentic African settings, and not to forget
Anna Lee's spunky performance, who, though only fourth-billed, carries
most of the film. The only aspect that seems a bit odd in the context of
the film are Paul Robeson's many songs that pop up every now and again and
which, despite being well-sung, seem pretty much out of place here. This
though, is not nearly enough to destroy this very enjoyable adventure