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Lord of the Jungle

Lord of the Jungle(1955)

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In the African jungle, Bomba, a young white man who was reared by natives and animals after his parents died many years earlier, is displeased to find three hunters stalking a herd of elephants. One of the hunters, Paul Gavin, is Bomba's friend, and introduces him to the others, Jeff Wood and Kenny Balou. Paul explains that Bomba, whose real surname is Hastings, regards the animals as his friends, but tells him that they have been ordered by the government to exterminate a rogue herd of elephants, which have been trampling villages and killing natives. Bomba theorizes that only one of the elephants is a rogue and is leading the others astray, but Jeff insists that they must kill all one hundred animals. Bomba protests that as the herd is on his land, they cannot be killed, and Jeff agrees to accompany him to the station run by Deputy Commissioner Andy Barnes to settle the matter. While Bomba has been arguing with the hunters, Londoner Mona Andrews, Barnes's niece, has arrived in the jungle and been taken by her guide, Elisha, to the hut of native Molu and his wife. Molu sends a drum message to Barnes that Mona is there, and Bomba, who hears the message, sends another that he will escort Mona to Barnes's station. Bomba meets Mona, who hates Africa, even though it is her first visit, and is contemptuous of advice to be wary of the wildlife. Bomba and Mona irritate each other, as Bomba considers Mona to be spoiled, while Mona thinks Bomba is arrogant. While they are trekking to the outpost, they find the herd of elephants, and it is only Bomba's quick thinking that prevents Mona from being trampled. The encounter raises Bomba's suspicions that one of the bulls, Raju, is the rogue, and when the couple reaches Barnes's station, he explains the situation to Barnes. Barnes is surprised to see Mona, who reveals that she has come because she has quarreled with her fiancé Lewis. While waiting for Jeff, Bomba and Mona again argue when Mona reveals that Lewis, a medical student, wants to turn down a lucrative practice in London to become a missionary doctor in Africa. Bomba explains that there are two sides to every issue, and that perhaps Mona should listen to Lewis, but she angrily storms off. At the house, Jeff arrives and Bomba reiterates that he will not allow anyone to kill animals on his land. To decide the issue, Barnes radios headquarters in Nairobi, but Commissioner Henderson is temporarily out of the country and the deputy, Banning, will not authorize Wood to enter Bomba's land unless an emergency arises. Bomba then dashes off to make sure that the animals stay on his property, and after he leaves, Paul staggers in. He explains that the elephants have stampeded and killed four natives. While Barnes calls Banning again to receive authorization for the hunters to exterminate the elephants, Bomba finds Kenny trapped in a tree and rescues him. Bomba takes Kenny to Molu's hut, but once there, Kenny levels his rifle at Bomba and orders Molu to tie him up so that he can go after the elephants without interference. Not wanting Molu to get in trouble with the government, Bomba urges Molu to comply. Barnes, who had been alerted by Bomba about Kenny's injuries, rushes with Jeff and Mona to Molu's hut, but before they arrive, the elephants go on another rampage and demolish the hut. Bomba manages to escape harm, but Molu and his young son are killed. Barnes decides to leave Bomba tied up while the hunters go after the elephants, but Mona, now sympathetic to Bomba, unties him. Bomba sends Nakimba, his chimpanzee friend, to locate the hunters' camp, and that night, steals their rifles, including those of Barnes and Mona, who have joined the others. In the morning, Bomba drums a message requesting that Barnes meet him in the jungle alone, although Mona sneaks after him. Barnes warns Bomba that he is in serious trouble with the law, but Bomba asserts that Raju is the only rogue, and that if Barnes kills him, the other elephants will revert to their normal, peaceful behavior. While Mona becomes lost in the jungle, Bomba's elephant friend Kobu helps him find Raju. Raju trumpets to the others in the herd and begins a stampede, and as he races down the trail, Raju almost tramples Mona. Bomba swings down on a vine to save her, and Barnes successfully kills the bull. The other elephants immediately begin to act normally, but although Barnes now believes that Bomba was correct, he states that the hunters will require more proof before they decide to countermand their orders. Bomba promises that if Barnes will assemble the men at the station the following morning, he will bring them the proof they require, and Barnes acquiesces. In the morning, Bomba leads a procession of the peaceful elephants to the station, and Jeff, Paul and Kenny are convinced that there is no reason to kill them. Mona then tells Bomba that she and Lewis have reconciled and that she supports his desire to become a doctor in Africa. Bomba happily states that Lewis is the luckiest man in the world, then waves goodbye to Mona before returning to the jungle.