The Lost Jungle (1934)

(Feature Version of Serial)
Article #1560 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-22-2005
Posting Date: 11-19-2005
Directed by David Howard and Armand Schaefer
Featuring Clyde Beatty, Cecilia Parker, Syd Saylor

A noted animal trainer goes to an island that features animals from both Asia and Africa to bring some specimens back alive and reunite with the woman he loves.

Yep, it’s another feature version of a serial. Still, in terms of that particular type of movie, it’s not badly done. It doesn’t attempt to squash the whole serial into its 68 minute running time; rather, it emphasizes the first few episodes and then winds up the loose ends with bits and pieces of footage from the later episodes. It actually does a decent job of it; if you watched it without knowing, you might not be able to tell it was originally a serial at all. Still, as a movie, the story isn’t much. It’s heavy on the exposition, spends too much time with the comic antics of Syd Saylor, and it’s rather dullish. Still, I do admire the fact that they actually took the trouble to make it feel like a real feature.

Addendum: Rich Wannen was kind enough to inform me that much of this feature version of the serial consisted of new footage shot specifically for this version. This goes a long way towards explaining why this one flows so much smoother than your average feature version of a serial. I also want to take this opportunity to thank anyone out there who has been kind enough to share their own research as part of this series; in doing one movie a day, I rarely have the chance to do any intense research on any one of them individually.

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