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

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Johnny Sheffield as Bomba and Donna Martell as Lola
ELEPHANT STAMPEDE (1951). Writer/director: Ford Beebe.

"If I was thinking of myself, I wouldn't have come to Africa." -- Miss Banks

Some evil men have come to Africa to, naturally, get some ivory, and, also naturally, don't care who gets hurt as they take after some tusks. Bob Warren (John Kellogg) and Joe Collins (Myron Healey of Varan the Unbelievable) murder Deputy Commissioner Mark Phillips (Guy Kingsford), with Warren pretending to be the dead man so he can ingratiate himself with some villagers and their white teacher, Miss Banks (Edith Evanson of Life with Henry). The villagers know of a secret cache of ivory that can pay for their continued schooling, but the bad guys have other plans. Enter the almost mythical Bomba (Johnny Sheffield), who routs the villains, saves the ivory, and breaks the heart of pretty little native girl, Lola (Donna Martell of Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff), who teachers Bomba how to read but gets swimming lessons in return instead of kisses. Dumb Bomba! Leonard Mudie is back as the official, Andy Barnes, and Martin Wilkins plays Chief Nagala. The elephants create a minor ruckus at the end of the film,. but it can't really be called a "stampede" -- the budget for this Monogram cheapie was too low. The film has a kind of bittersweet coda involving the non-lovers.

Verdict: Sheffield and Martell make an appealing almost-couple. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

This was on TCM a couple months ago, and I watched and enjoyed it.
Our Boy really grew up, didn't he? But his loincloth stayed the same for me, though!

William said...

Right! Sheffield got a little chunny and full in the face, but was still a nice-looking guy. But Bomba was the end for him.