|Jungle Drums of Africa|
Original poster for the serial
|Directed by||Fred C. Brannon|
|Produced by||Franklin Adreon|
|Written by||Ronald Davidson|
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
|12 chapters / 167 minutes (serial)
100 minutes (TV)
|Budget||$172,840 (negative cost: $167,758)|
Jungle Drums of Africa is a 1953 12-episode, American serial film, shot in black-and-white, which was an original commissioned screenplay by Ronald Davidson produced by Franklin Adreon and directed by Fred C. Brannon for Republic Pictures. The story is set in Kenya, and involves the efforts of an American uranium processing company's representative and a woman medical missionary, to thwart the efforts of agents of a "foreign power", abetted by a disaffected native witchdoctor, to gain control of a large uranium deposit on lands owned by the latter's tribe. This serial features black American actors in major roles, including that of a college-educated chieftain.
The daughter of a medical missionary in Africa carries on her father's work after he dies. She later befriends two adventurers prospecting for uranium. But it isn't long before she finds herself in danger from crooks trying to get the uranium for themselves and a local witch doctor, who sees her as a threat to his power.
Special effects created by the Lydecker brothers.
Jungle Drums of Darkest Africa's official release date is 21 January 1953, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.
This was followed by a re-release of Adventures of Captain Marvel, re-titled as Return of Captain Marvel, instead of a new serial. The next new serial, Canadian Mounties vs. Atomic Invaders, followed in the summer.
Jungle Drums of Darkest Africa was one of twenty-six Republic serials re-released as a film on television in 1966. The title of the film was changed to U-238 and the Witch Doctor. This version was cut down to 100-minutes in length.
Harmon and Glut describes this serial as "an uninteresting arrangement of stock footage and clichés."