Cast & Crew
In the jungle of the African Congo, the natives worship the rare okongo, a cross between an antelope and a zebra. Greedy white hunters also covet the beast, whose glands can convert the mandro leaf into a powerful narcotic. One afternoon, guide Jungle Jim notices a small airplane circling overhead before it crash-lands in a nearby lake. Jim swims out and rescues the pilot, Ronald Cameron, an inspector with the Territorial Police, who is searching the jungle for Professor Dunham, the Dean of Cairo University, who disappeared while studying the okongo. After Jim offers to help Cameron, the two make their way to a nearby native village, which appears deserted. When a native woman hurls a knife at Jim and Cameron, the men follow her to a nearby cave, where they are captured in a net by a throng of native women. As soon as Jim gives the women a recognized tribal sign, they are freed, and their leader, Leta, explains that the village men have been taken by a band of white hunters to help track down the okongo. Cameron doubts that Dunham would be involved, as he knows and respects native traditions. Leta agrees to guide the men through the jungle toward the okongo herd, after they agree to help free the native men. At the white hunters' camp, Dunham, who has been kidnapped and forced to process the drug from the captured okongo, resists threats by his captors, Grant and Barnes, and their henchman, Magruder. When one of the natives, Nadja, purposely releases an okongo, Magruder shoots him, but Nadja survives and escapes into the jungle. Meanwhile, Cameron claims he is suffering from heat exhaustion and stops to rest while Leta and Jim go ahead. Leta spots Nadja and calls to him, alerting Cameron, who shoots and kills Nadja. Confronted by Jim and Leta, Cameron insists he fired in self-defense, raising Jim's suspicions. Back in the hunters' camp, the natives decide to risk sending a man out to seek help from the white police. The man successfully escapes, but just as he nears Jim's party, he is attacked by a leopard. Jim kills the animal, but the native dies as a relieved Cameron looks on. Jim tracks the man's route back to the hunters' camp, but on the edge of a strip of desert that separates the jungle from the sacred okongo breeding grounds, a sandstorm besets the group. In the midst of the storm, an enormous desert spider attacks Jim, who kills it after a brief struggle. At the native village, Mahara, with no word from Leta, arms the women and makes plans to search the sacred territory. At the same time, as Grant pressures the natives in camp to capture as many okongo as possible, Dunham smashes all the bottles of the drug extract and escapes. Magruder follows and fires at Dunham, which draws Jim's attention. Jim leaves the dazed Dunham with Leta and Cameron, while he sets off after Magruder. When Dunham revives and accuses Cameron of being the leader of the drug plot, Leta dashes away to tell Jim. Two hunters follow her, but the native women, who are making their way into the desert, come to her rescue. Jim finds the hunters' camp, but evades capture, until nightfall when he releases the bound natives. Their subsequent attack on the camp halts with Cameron's threat to kill Dunham unless Jim agrees to help them track okongo. The next day, Jim reluctantly leads them toward the sacred okongo grounds, but slips away into the trees. An enormous okongo herd then stampedes and the natives use the diversion to turn against the hunters. Jim attacks Cameron and at the peak of the battle, the native women arrive to help. Jim fights with Cameron, who is caught in the okongo stampede and killed. With peace now restored, the natives invite Jim to join them in a celebration feast.
Ira H. Morgan
The film opens with an extensive voice-over narration and montage detailing the characteristics of the "okongo," a fictitious creature made up for the film. Modern sources indicate that "Tamba" the chimpanzee was played by Peggy, the same chimpanzee who played "Bonzo" in Universal's Bedtime for Bonzo. Peggy died later in 1951 in a zoo fire. For more information on the "Jungle Jim" series, please see the entry for Jungle Jim in ^AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 and consult the Series Index.