The Lost Volcano Film Details
Overview: When a young boy is kidnapped by hunters who believe he knows the location of a great treasure, Bomba the Jungle Boy seeks to rescue him from them and from a volcano which is about to erupt.
Tagline: MIGHTIEST VOLCANIC ERUPTION EVER FILMED!
Review: THE LOST VOLCANO (Monogram, 1950), written and directed by Ford Beebe, the third installment in the “Bomba the Jungle Boy” series, as based on the character created by Roy Rockwell, is a well-made programmer. While done mostly in studio bound sets or back-lots, fine production values are very much evident here, especially with some intense scenes with characters inside an active volcano. The story gets underway as Paul Gordon (Donald Woods), a zoologist, along with his assistant natives, taking a rest stop after trapping and caging wild animals. Observing them through their long journey home is Bomba (Johnny Sheffield), a teenage jungle boy, awaiting the opportunity to free the animals while the men sleep for the night. The next morning Gordon finds his captured animals gone. He’s told by one of his tribesmen that they were released by Bomba, whom Gordon dismisses as some sort of myth. Returning to his cottage where his wife, Ruth (Marjorie Lord) and son, David (Tommy Ivo) are staying with Nona (Elena Verdugo), their native housekeeper, Gordon becomes even more disturbed when David claims to know Bomba and that he’s for real. Even though Nona has witnessed David and Bomba’s activities together, Gordon still refuses to accept his son’s imaginary friend. Hoping to remove David’s influence on Bomba, the Gordons agree to send David to a boys school in Capetown to overcome his loneliness. Entering the scene is Doctor Charles Langley(Grandon Rhodes) from the Cairo Museum, traveling with his guides, Barton (John Ridgely) and Higgins (Don Harvey). Langley, searching for a missing ancient city believed to be buried somewhere near an reactivated volcano, hopes that Gordon could lead them there. It is then learned that a golden knife with precious stones David acquired from Bomba happens to be part of that lost treasure. As a favor to the Gordons, Barton and Higgins agree to drive David by jeep to the Capetown school, though actually they use him to show them the way to the treasure inside the lost volcano. Because David refuses to honor their demands, mainly for keeping Bomba’s place a secret, the men hold him hostage until he does. Sensing David in great danger, Nona warns the Gordons and Langley. When Bomba learns what has happened to David, he swings into action, racing against time to rescue the boy from the bad men who’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. Playing like a Saturday matinée serial, THE LOST VOLCANO, is an improvement over the previous two “Bomba” entries. Though routinely done, a familiar theme about a lonely child seeking companionship is hardly original yet great storytelling from a child’s point of view. It brings about frustrations for a youngster who’s not believed or taken seriously when talking about his special friend. This basic element is reminiscent to Val Lewton’s classic tale of THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (RKO Radio, 1944) where lonely child (Ann Carter) finds love and companionship from a woman, Irena (Simone Simon), who happens to be a ghost. Her father (Kent Smith) refuses to believe her story, and punishes her for telling such tales. At least Bomba is not a ghost. He’s categorized simply as a imaginary friend made up by David. When David is unable to produce Bomba in the flesh, he’s forbidden by his father to ever to speak of him again. While Bomba could have made his presence known, he chooses not to in fear of being put to captivity like a caged animal. Tommy Ivo, the boy in question, shows to be having a great time with his role, especially when playing jungle boy wearing only leopard skin loincloth provided him by Bomba. Bomba not only shows David the ropes of vine swinging, but methods of jungle survival as well. Ivo’s David is that or an ordinary kid who hero worships Bomba as a hero and role model. For Bomba, he looks upon David as a little brother he never had who fulfills his time of jungle living solitude. As an added bonus, there’s typical jungle suspense grabbers of Bomba wrestling a crocodile, a large python wrapping itself around a villain, an earthquake and volcano eruptions. The supporting players of familiar faces helps, Donald Woods and John Ridgely for example, along with Marjorie Lord, best known as Danny Thomas’s wife, Kathy, in the TV series “Make Room for Daddy.” THE LOST VOLCANO, one one of the few “Bomba” adventures distributed to home video and DVD, is often listed at 67 minutes. The print presented on Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere December 3, 2011) is clocked at 75 minutes. Either way, THE LOST VOLCANO is acceptable viewing for young and old alike. Next in the series: BOMBA AND THE HIDDEN CITY (1950). (**1/2)
Duration: 76 min
Also known as: The Lost Volcano,Bagliori sulla giungla,Bomba og den glemte vulkan,Bomba og den forsvunne vulkan,Le volcan perdu,El volcán perdido,Vulkanens hemlighet,O Tesouro do Vulcão,Sto hameno ifaisteio,Bomba und der tote Vulkan,Bomba ja kadonnut tulivuori,El tesoro del volcán,Bomba dans le volcan en feu