Cast & Crew
After killing her companions, two white sailors follow Li Wanna, a native woman, hoping that she will lead them to Dzamm, a legendary African hidden city. The sailors are attacked and killed by a lion, but Jungle Jim rescues Li Wanna, who has come to ask for his help. Jim and Li Wanna travel across the mountains to Dzamm, where Zoron, Li Wanna's father, explains that his peaceful city is being threatened by white fortune hunters from the coast, who intend to steal the diamonds that the people of Dzamm use to decorate religious objects. Zoron gives Jim a bag full of diamonds and asks him to use the jewels to buy peace for his people. The white men, led by Calhoun and Captain Rawling, have learned of Dzamm's riches from Chot, Li Wanna's brother, who brought several of the objects as gifts for Norina, Calhoun's niece. Chot warns Norina and Calhoun that Jim is on his way to the coast with a peace offering. Still determined to learn the location of Dzamm, Calhoun follows Chot when he leaves the village, but Jim sets a trap for him, and Chot is able to return to Dzamm undiscovered. Back at the coast, Jim presents the diamonds to Calhoun and Rawling. The bribe is unsuccessful, however, and first Norina and then Calhoun try to learn Dzamm's location from Jim. Chot is now resolved never to leave Dzamm again, but Li Wanna is concerned about Jim and goes in search of him. In the meantime, Calhoun overhears Norina beg Jim to take her away, and he kills her. Li Wanna is captured by Rawlings and Calhoun and held captive on Rawling's ship. Jim swims to the ship and rescues Li Wanna, but while Jim battles a shark, Calhoun recaptures Li Wanna. By threatening Li Wanna, the fortune hunters force Jim to lead them to Dzamm, but the jungle animals, led by a gorilla whose life Jim saved, come to Jim's aid. Chot is killed during the battle, but the animals help the people of Dzamm overcome the white men, and later, Jim returns to the jungle.
George J. Lewis
Ira H. Morgan
The Lost Tribe
The Lost Tribe (1949), filmed under the less-than-inspired working title "Jungle Jim's Adventure," was the second of 13 movies Weissmuller made in the series. (He also played the character in a 26-episode TV show that ran in 1955-56.) In this one, Jim fights to save the lost jungle city of Dzamm from greedy, pillaging white men who are out to loot the residents of their diamonds. The plot was barely indistinguishable from the previous entry and little more than an excuse for the hero to battle rubber alligators, men in gorilla suits, and a shark.
The movie was filmed (in less than two weeks) at the Corriganville Movie Ranch, owned by actor-stuntman Ray "Crash" Corrigan, no stranger to gorilla suits himself, having played major ape characters at least nine times in his career. He purchased the property in the foothills of the Santa Susanna Mountains in California's Simi Valley area in 1937 and quickly turned it into a money-making venture providing location filming for Westerns, sci-fi pictures, jungle adventures, even the occasional biblical epic. It was also a popular tourist attraction, open to the public on weekends and holidays from 1949 to 1965, when he sold the property to Bob Hope. The ranch continued to be used for film production through the mid-1970s while also housing some of Hope's development projects, including a subdivision called Hopetown. The ranch is now a public park and wildlife corridor owned and operated by the Rancho Simi Park and Recreation District.
Producer Sam Katzman entrusted this second installment to William Berke, who also directed the first Jungle Jim movie and five others later in the series run. Berke's busy career in B pictures included a number of projects as producer, writer, or actor (under the name William Lester).
The cast includes several performers doing double duty as actors and stunt doubles. Also on hand once again was Paul Stader, who doubled for Weissmuller, often performing the star's high dives, in 26 films, including nine in the Tarzan series and all of the Jungle Jim movies, as well as some of the television series.
Stuntman-actor Gil Perkins, a champion athlete in his native Australia whose career stretched from 1929 to Raging Bull (1980), late in his life related the story of an on-location accident during the production of The Lost Tribe. Stuntman Billy Jones, dressed in an absurd and heavy gorilla suit, was set to leap on a group of stunt doubles from the top of a ten-foot archway. The doubles were supposed to break his fall but, according to Perkins, had imbibed too much alcohol during lunch and failed in their duties. Jones sustained injuries that kept him out of work for several weeks, and he vowed never to work with any of those men again.
Director: William Berke
Producer: Sam Katzman
Screenplay: Arthur Hoerl, Don Martin
Cinematography: Ira H. Morgan
Editing: Aaron Stell
Art Direction: Paul Palmentola
Cast: Johnny Weissmuller (Jungle Jim), Myrna Dell (Norina), Elena Verdugo (Li Wanna), Joseph Vitale (Calhoun), Ralph Dunn (Capt. Rawlins).
by Rob Nixon
The Lost Tribe
The film's working title was Jungle Jim's Adventure. For more information on the "Jungle Jim" series, see entry above for Jungle Jim and consult the Series Index.