Zanzibar


1h 10m 1940

Film Details

Also Known As
Rigadoon
Release Date
Mar 8, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Jan Browning, a celebrated explorer and big game hunter, embarks upon her greatest adventure when she is commissioned by the British government to retrieve the sacred skull of Nogoru. The skull is that of the late Sultan Mkawa, and its possessor automatically holds control over the superstitious natives of East Africa. Despite provisions of the Versailles Treaty, which demand surrender of the skull, it is kept enshrined in a temple in the interior of the country of Nogoru. Cancelling her trip home, Jan sails down the African coast, accompanied by Steve Marland, a young American stowaway; Rhad Ramsey, her veteran guide; and Koski, a foreign agent who has bribed the ship's mate, Nate Simpson, to smuggle him aboard. Koski knows the real purpose of Jan's trip, and after killing the captain, he and Simpson take control of the craft. During a storm, the vessel is wrecked along the African coast with only Jan, Steve, Rhad, Koski, Simpson and Bino, a crew member, reaching shore alive. Disregarding danger, Jan leads her party on a shortcut over treacherous mountains toward the Nogoru village where the skull is kept. Bino is slain by a lion, but the rest of the group reaches the village in an exhausted, half-starved condition. They are welcomed by Umboga, a tribal chief who remembers Jan from previous expeditions and trusts her. The sultan insists on providing Jan with native guides to accompany her on the animal hunt she has organized as an excuse for her visit. Scheming to get the skull for himself, Koski arouses the sultan's suspicions of Jan, and when she returns from the hunt, he sets a trap to test her sincerity. That night, while trying to steal the skull from the temple, Jan and Steve are captured and turned over, along with Rhad, to the natives for execution. Umboga, whose life Steve has saved, frees them, and they turn the captured wild beasts upon the natives. In the excitement, the trio race to the shrine and secure the skull after a desperate gun battle in which Koski and Simpson are killed. While the natives struggle to fight off the wild beasts, the volcano Rigadoon erupts, thus fulfilling the prophesy of destruction that results when the skull is disturbed. As the village burns, Jan, Steve and Rhad escape in a river raft. With them, they carry the sacred skull, which they intend to return to its rightful owner to help restore peace among the African tribes.

Film Details

Also Known As
Rigadoon
Release Date
Mar 8, 1940
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Rigadoon. Articles in Hollywood Citizen-News note that radio writer Norman Rose sued Universal for plagiarism, asserting that they stole the plot from a story he broadcast in September 1939 entitled "The Strange Story of the Versailles Treaty's Lost Skull ". He lost the suit.