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All ace animal tamer Clyde Beatty (Clyde Beatty) wanted to do was to go
to India to collect some tigers - per dirigible as a publicity stunt. But
the dirigible crashes on an uncharted island between Africa and India,
where there are lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). The only other two
survivors of the crash seem to be Clyde's publicist Larry (Syd Saylor) and
his assistant Sharkey (Warner Richmond) ... and problem is, the latter has
always thought Clyde is only stealing his wind and he is the better animal
tamer (even if there are no facts to substantiate this), so he only needs
an opportunity to get rid of Clyde for good ...
Point is, Clyde and
Larry are separated from Sharkey upon the crash, and they believe him dead
... while he actually finds the hidden city of Kamor, the dying professor
Livingston (Crauford Kent), and a priceless treasure case - and of course,
from here on, all his attention is focussed on the treasure. For some
reason, he also puts on the costume of the sole native guard of the
treasure he killed in self defense ...
Clyde and Larry on the other hand
make friends with Captain Robinson (Edward LeSaint) and his daughter Ruth
(Cecilia Parker) of the ship Livingston has chartered, and with the help
of the ship's crew, Clyde soon captures animal upon animal for his next
circus act. However, eventually some crewmen find the treasure, and when
the other crewmen find out, they all want their hands on it, and thus
they mutiny. However, the sailors are soon split up into several sections,
all at war with one another, and even those in league with one another
don't trust each other. All they really agree on is they are against the
captain, Ruth, Clyde and Larry ... and thus the treasure exchanges hands
several times while our heroes and villains have to counter all sorts of
jungle threats (mostly by Clyde showing off his animal taming skills), and
the situation also leads to many chases, fights, double and triple
Only one of the sailors, Slade (Max Wagner), has actually
hooked up with Sharkey and for a while they work with each other, but the
longer the thing goes on, the more paranoid Sharkey gets, and eventually
he even kills Slade, later wrecks parts of the hidden city only to kill
the Captain and his daughter (he fails), plus he sees to it that the
city's resident gorilla gets several people to maim.
captain, his daughter and Clyde get the sailors back in line, and they
promise all of them their fair share if only they work together to leave
the island as soon as possible ... but then Sharkey gets his hands on the
treasure once again, and while Clyde and Larry go after him, two rogue
sailors (Wheeler Oackman, Lew Meehan) get away to try their luck in
obtaining the treasure for themselves as well. Eventually, Sharkey leads
the sailors into death by gorilla and crocodiles respectively, before
Clyde and Larry, who have up to now been unaware of his very survival, can
get their hands on him and take him back to the captain as a prisoner,
together with the treasure. Oh, and of course, ultimately Clyde gets the
girl, and as many animals as he can handle ...
might not have been much of an actor (as the previous year's The Big
Cage had already proven), but he really knew how to handle wild
animals - which of course made him a perfect serial hero, as serials never
demanded too much and too intensive acting, but needed plenty of escapist
action - and what spells escapist action better than a treasure hunt in
the jungle featuring authentic wild animals the hero actually squares off
Well, of course, the inclusion of a then-famous animal trainer
alone didn't make a serial already, but in The Lost Jungle, most
ingredients seem just right, jungle locations, wild animals, a lost
civilisation, a buried city, many shoot-outs, chases, fist fights, all
held together by a fast-paced directorial effort that also glosses over
many budgetary shortcomings, and - and I know I repeat myself - authentic
That said, the whole thing is not perfect, it's a bit too
simplistic in plot, at times repetitive, at times leaves the most
interesting aspects of the story unexplored in favour of another animal
act ... but it's fun at least.