Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) has been summoned by Reverend Holcom (Nelson Leigh) to his missionary settlement. The Reverend asks Jim to take on a mission that will send him to an area of the jungle he has never been in before. With the Reverend is Chief Mahala (Rick Vallin). After Mahala’s father died he was sent to the West to be educated. He is now returning to his tribe to take his rightful place as chief.
According to Mahala there is a woman who lives in the jungle that the locals call the Wild Girl of Lake Pagangi. No one knows who she is or where she came from. There is speculation that she is Joan Martindale, the daughter of two archeologists that were killed looking for an area known as The Lagoon of the Dead. It is an ancient sacrificial lake used by witchdoctors. The location of the lagoon is a secret known only by the witchdoctors. The Reverend thinks that the Martindales may have found the lagoon and were killed. This would explain the Wild Girl’s hatred for witchdoctors and especially the chief witchdoctor of his tribe Hakim (John Denher).
Jim is asked to find the girl before Hakim does and kills her. The wild girl is said to be in the company of a pet tiger and seems to have a kinship with the jungle animals. She never bothers the natives of Mahala’s tribe but vents her anger on the witchdoctors and specifically against the main medicine man Hakim. While Mahala has been away Hakim has been ruling the tribe and is in no hurry to relinquish his throne.
Also slinking around the jungle is Barton (Buster Crabbe), a treasure hunter looking for the Lagoon of the Dead. He believes that the witchdoctors sacrificed gold, precious jewels and jade as part of their ceremonies. He wants it and is willing to kill anyone that gets in his way. Hakim, on the other hand, plans on sacrificing anyone that comes between him and being chief of the tribe.
“Jungle Jim: Captive Girl” was released in 1950 and was directed by William Berke. It is a jungle adventure movie and is the fourth film in a series of sixteen Jungle Jim movies that starred Johnny Weissmuller.
The film sports two men who, at one time, played Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe. In addition to playing Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, Crabbe played the jungle man in the twelve chapter serial “Tarzan the Fearless” 1933. In addition to this film both Weissmuller and Crabbe previously starred together in “Swamp Fire” 1946. Crabbe and Weissmuller were also both Olympic swimmers. Although “Captive Girl” was Anita Lhoest’s only film she too was a swimming champion.
The film boasts several white people in blackface and a strangely interesting monkey stampede toward the end. The parts of the film that aren’t stock footage of animals are those filmed at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. I don’t know who the tiger was but he was really cool and of course out of place since tigers are native to India. Also blown off course is a white South American cockatoo. In addition to Jungle Jim’s usual companions of Kaw-Kaw the crow and Skipper the dog we have Timba the chimp who just shows up and automatically has a name. He and skipper provide the comic relief.
As with most of the Jungle Jim films the plot is standard and Jim gets to swim and rassle a crocodile. In this film he even gets to swing on vine. Also as with most of the Jungle Jim films the movie is fun and campy. Something for a Saturday afternoon with the kids or the grandkids.