Now this might be a bit interesting. See, today’s movie is a movie serial from the 30’s, which is kind of cool except that the total length of the serial is around 4 hours. Now, the copy I have is on the Sci-Fi Classics box set, and I just don’t see them putting the entire serial on here. Sure enough, I start the movie and it has a run time of a little over an hour. Now there are two options here. Either they only put a couple of chapters of the serial on this disk, or the used the feature film version. Personally, I feel like the feature film version would be a bit longer but let’s find out as I watch today’s movie, The Lost Jungle.
The plot: At the winter grounds for a circus, a trainer named Sharkey is being rough with one of the leopards until the head trainer, Clyde, punches him and tells him he will be fired if he mistreats anymore of the animals. Clyde’s girlfriend Ruth and her father, Captain Robinson, show up to talk to Clyde, as her father is preparing to sail to the South Seas with Prof. Livingston, and Ruth is being forced to accompany him unless she is married, or engaged to be married. Ruth tries to talk to Clyde but when a new lion arrives, he is forced to deal with it, and Ruth leaves without telling him about the trip. As Clyde is preparing to break in the new lion, Sharkey is holding onto the rope and purposefully trips and lets go of the rope, The lion enters the training area and Clyde is forced to try and fend off the lion and scares it off by firing blanks at it. As Clyde leaves the cage, his publicist, Larry Henderson, tells him about Ruth sailing with her father, and Clyde heads for the dock but gets there just after the boat leaves. Some time later, Clyde is doing a press rehearsal for his animal act, involving lions, tigers, bears, leopards, panthers, and cougars. Though there are problems with the new lion and one of the tigers, by the time the first performance occurs, he is able to have the animals perform their act flawlessly. Meanwhile, Ruth’s ship is damaged during a massive storm and they are forced to land on an island in an attempt to repair the ship. While unloading supplies, one of the men is killed by a lion and when Prof. Livingston sees both a lion and tiger on the island, he believes they have landed on the island of Kamor. While Captain Robinson has his men build a stockade, Ruth and Prof. Livingston send out some carrier pigeons in the hopes that one will reach a nearby island and help will come. When a carrier pigeon is found, news spreads about the expedition, and when he hears about it, Clyde joins the rescue mission, taking Larry and Sharkey along with him. Back on the island, Prof. Livingston is preparing to explore the jungle but Captain Robinson is worried that the men might mutiny if they stay on the island much longer. While Prof. Livingston crosses a log bridge, a lion kills the man with him and cuts the guide rope used to cross the bridge. Meanwhile, the dirigible carrying the rescue mission gets caught in a storm and breaks apart, but Clyde, Larry, Sharkey, as well as one of the captains and another passenger, manage to be on part of the ship that stays afloat. After several days of drifitng, they spot an island and attempt to let out some of the gas so they can land on it but the valve breaks and too much gas is released. Meanwhile, Sharkey had hidden a parachute and uses it to jump out of the dirigible and watches as it crashes. Clyde and Larry regain consciousness and find the bodies of the two other men, but no sign of Sharkey. Meanwhile, Sharkey had landed in a tree and after some exploring, finds the buried city of Kamor. Inside, Sharkey discovers Prof. Livingston, who explains that he found the treasure of Kamor but was attacked by a man. HEaring about the treasure, Sharkey leaves Prof. Livingston on the ground and begins searching for it. Meanwhile, Clyde and Larry spot the expedition’s stockade and begin making their way to it. Inside the stockade, the first mate, warns the captain that the crew plans to leave the next day, whether the professor is there or not. Ruth is playing with a captured lion cub but when it runs off, she chases after it and ends up being chased by a lion they call Sammy. Clyde hears her screams and chases off Sammy and Ruth is glad to see him but when she learns that he came to the island to capture some more animals, and not just rescue her, she grows angry with him. Hearing about the problem Captain Robinson faces, Clydes builds some traps to capture some of the animals and succeeds in trapping a tiger. Meanwhile, Sharkey has found the treasure and makes his to the stockade, but when he sees Clyde there, he decides to sneak in. Seeing the caged tiger, Sharkey releases it in the hopes that it will kill Clyde. Clyde lures the tiger back into the pit, where Larry is able to rescue him. While everyone is distracted by the tiger, Sharkey grabs a rifle and prepares to head towards the ship, but Sammy enters the stockade and attacks him. Hearing the cries, Clyde manages to capture Sammy but they are too late to save Sharkey. When they find Livingston’s diary on Sharkey, the men prepare to load the captured animals on the ship then look for Livingston, while Clyde finally admits that he loves Ruth.
This wasn’t a bad movie but it did feel shorter than the actual run time. That’s probably because it was made from several parts of the serial. The acting was ok for the most part. Warner Richmond really made a good bad guy with Sharkey. The plot was pretty decent and I liked all the scenes with the animals though I will admit that it is a little hard to watch some of the animal training scenes and not think about animal cruelty. It’s not a bad movie but it honestly made me want to watch the whole serial.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5