Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


THE LION HUNTERS (1951). Writer/director: Ford Beebe.

Yes, Bomba (Johnny Sheffield) is back in his fourth adventure, discovering that a lion has been injured and left to die in agony. At first Bomba blames the Masai tribe, but then learns that certain hunters are capturing the noble beasts presumably to put in zoos and circuses. Bomba doesn't feel that any animal should lose his freedom, and a young lady named Jean (Ann Todd) comes to agree with him. Jean is the daughter of the kind-hearted Tom Forbes (Morris Ankrum of Rocketship X-M), but his business partner and fellow trapper Marty (Douglas Kennedy of Flaxy Martin) isn't quite so benevolent. Meanwhile Bomba sneaks through Forbes' encampment and frees all of the lions. In another development the Masai chief's son goes out to kill a lion as a rite of passage but panics, with Bomba trying to prevent further bloodshed. An all-out lion attack caps the action. This is not a bad Bomba adventure, and the stock footage is very cleverly integrated into the new action. Ann Todd, aka Ann E. Todd, is not to be confused with the British actress of the same name. She was a nice actress and had many film credits but this was her last film. She then became a regular for many episodes of The Stu Erwin Show. Sheffield, now twenty-one, makes a very appealing hero exhibiting both a strong and sensitive nature.

Verdict: The lions are beautiful. **1/2.

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