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The Hidden City
Bomba and the Hidden City

USA 1950
produced by
Walter Mirisch for Monogram
directed by Ford L. Beebe
starring Johnny Sheffield, Sue England, Paul Guilfoyle, Smoki Whitfield, Damian O'Flynn, Leon Belasco, Charles La Torre
screenplay by Carroll Young, based on characters by Roy Rockwood, music by Ozzie Caswell

Bomba the Jungle Boy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Bomba the Jungle Boy film 4:

When strolling through the African jungle, Johnson (Damian O'Flynn) and his guide Hadji (Smoki Whitfield) stumble upon a man dressed only in loincloth - Bomba (Johnny Sheffield) of course - swinging from tree to tree on vines, and for some reason they figure they have to capture him ... and ask Emir Hassan (Paul Guilfoyle) of the Hidden City for help. What they don't know of course is that Hassan is evil, and he wants Bomba dead because Bomba is the only one who knows how he usurped his throne ... and after quite a bit of chasing Bomba through the jungle they seem to actually succeed in killing him - much to the dismay of Johnson and Hadji who wanted to capture him alive.

Bomba though survives a fall from some rocks and is found by lovely young Nita (Sue England), who nurses him back to health. Nita's foster father Rasheed (Leon Belasco) though wants to marry her off to none other than Hassan. Nita instead wants to flee with Bomba, but Bomba is less than interested - but tells her he knows the secret of her origin (she is only Rasheed's foster daughter you know and has lost her memory about her previous life). But before he can tell her, she is captured by Hassan, who takes her with him to the Hidden City, to make her his wife for good. Despite not wanting her to accompany him, Bomba doesn't want Nita to fall into the hands of Hassan and follows her to the Hidden City - where he is soon captured though.

Slowly, it dawns on Johnson and Hadji that they have made a terrible mistake when siding with Hassan, and they do everything in their power to free Bomba and Nita, and soon find out Nita's origins - she was actually the daughter of the rightful Emir of the Hidden City but Hassan killed her father and mother to conquer the throne. Soon, with the help of Rasheed, Nita's foster father who has also seen that he was wrong in giving Nita to Hassan, Bomba, Nita, Johnson and Hadji all can escape the city, and ultimately everything leads to Bomba and Hassan going one on one - and Hassan dies, falling off the same rocks he pushed Bomba off towards the beginning of the film.

 

While the first Bomba-films dealt with black African natives, this one is more of a Arabian Nights-tale with Bomba thrown into the mix - and if you can accept the inherent campiness of the story, which is of course mirrored in Ford L.Beebe's direction, you might actually kind of like this one, if only in a trashy way.

One word about the film's title though: The Hidden City fails to make any sense since all the characters seem to know exactly where it is (as opposed to hidden). My theory is that a script with the title The Capital City was commissioned while posters were made bearing the name The Hidden City ... and when this was found out, all the characters changed their lines referring to the city from capital city to hidden city to go along with the film's title - but there is no proof for this and it is merely a suspicion of mine which I made up myself.

 

By the way: Scriptwriter Carroll Young has also written (similarly campy) films for the Tarzan- and the Jungle Jim-series.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD

 

 

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