Nabonga (Gorilla) (1944)

nabonga 1944

Before she became the sultry singer of the 1950’s and 60’s and played nurse Dixie McCall on “Emergency” (1972-78), Julie London made her acting debut as the eighteen year old queen of the jungle. Buster Crabbe is the good guy out to right a wrong and Barton MacLane is the greedy bad guy. Samson is the gorilla that has to put up with it all.

T.F.Stockwell embezzles jewels and securities and takes off in a chartered plane with his young daughter Doreen. The plane crashes in the jungle during a heavy rainstorm. Doreen wanders off and the pilot spots a box with the loot. He goes to make a call on the radio to get them out of there. Stockwell puts a couple bullets in him. He searches for Doreen and sees her with a gorilla that was wounded by gunfire. She tells daddy to leave him alone.

Years later Ray Gorman (Buster Crabbe) arrives in a native village. Hunter Ken Hurst (Barton MacLane) is there with his girlfriend Marie (Fifi D’Orsay). Ken wants to know what Gorman is up to and searches his room. He finds newspaper clippings about the theft.

Gorman hears the natives talking about a white witch goddess that came down from the sky and rules the animals. Gorman saves the life of Tobo (Prince Modupe) and in between calling him Bwana every five seconds offers to lead him to the area where the white witch rules.

Gorman and Tobo take off the next morning. The night before someone broke into Gorman’s room and tried to steal a map to the area. (This is one of those head scratching scenes where people outside hear a fight going on and knock on the door. Guess they expect the combatants to stop and ask who it is). Ken and Marie put together a safari to follow them. Before Tobo and Gorman can get there, Gorman gets to save his life again by wrestling a rubber crocodile.

Tobo and Gorman find the airplane and Gorman tells the story. He says Stockwell was his father’s business partner. He shared the blame for the theft but was innocent of any knowledge and ended up committing suicide and now he wants to clear his name by recovering the loot. Gorman guards the plane while Tobo searches for food. Samson takes exception and that’s all for Tobo.

Gorman follows Samson’s footprints to a cave and finds a piece of jewelry. Samson isn’t happy but Doreen stops him from tearing Gorman apart. She says Samson has been her guardian ever since her father disappeared into the jungle. He says he wants to return everything to their rightful owners. Doreen’s not going for that. Her father said they’re hers.

They have a dumb conversation where she’s fascinated that Gorman’s white like her father. Outside Marie shows up and Samson tosses her around until Doreen tells him to knock it off. Marie makes Gorman agree to sharing the loot if she shows him how to make a trap for Samson so they can leave.

This movie was fun because of Julie London’s debut along with all the usual stock footage of animals and speeded up fight scenes. Don’t even think about a possible compelling story and just enjoy the unintended laughs and Ray Corrigan doing still another role in a gorilla suit.

Julie London rules the jungle before the album charts

Julie London rules the jungle before ruling the album charts


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in Crime-Mystery-Spy, Jungle Adventure, vintage movies and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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