Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested DVDs
Lions, And Tigers, And Dirigibles, Oh My!
Robert I. Hedges | 03/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Clyde Beatty was the "world's greatest animal trainer" and this film makes that point clearly. These serials have been combined and divided into a dizzying array of presentations over the last seventy years, but the bottom line is the Clyde (and his annoying assistant Sharkey) trains animals and goes into the jungle to find animals while trying to keep a romance going with Cecilia Parker over her father's oft-voiced objections.
The shorts (or the film made from them) are comically overacted by people who were more used to the exaggerated physical gestures used in silent movies. Beatty is a particularly bad actor, but these are about the animals and adventure. My favorite feature is the subplot about the ship Captain taking his daughter away on a sailing ship because Beatty hadn't yet proposed to her, foundering on an island full of wild animals of widely disparate types, and Beatty and his rescue mission pursuing them in a dirigible (proving that Beatty isn't the only rigid gasbag onscreen, at least) which breaks in half but leaves Beatty's half floating along before crashing on the same island as his beloved and the Captain. How is that for convenient?
The animals are beautiful. I love big cats in particular, and there is an amazing assortment of them on display here. Some of the male lions are particularly impressive. Beatty is fearless, and there are many genuinely scary moments, as safety standards weren't quite what they are today. Some of these scenes are difficult to watch, as some of the animals appear to have been genuinely injured, and the fighting (both inter- and intra-species) is obviously real and is very fierce. This would never be made today; the methods are far too inhumane. That isn't a direct criticism of the filmmakers or stars, mind you, as these methods were considered quite acceptable in the 1930s.
People who like serials from the 1930s will like these shorts (or the composite films made from them), but other than the animal scenes, a little goes a long way. The acting is wooden and the plot is hackneyed, but this was considered quite pioneering and daring at the time, so it is interesting as a historical artifact.
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears (and leopards and more)
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 01/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I had never watched a movie quite like this one. The animal scenes were quite real and the animals appeared to have been injured in the process. I am a big fan of documentaries, but knowing that the scenes where predators were in close proximity to herbivores was staged offended even my usual open-minded sensibilities.
This movie was a serial, and you need both volume 1 and volume 2 to have the whole thing. The plot is simple. Animal trainer Clyde Beatty (playing himself) heads off after girl friend Ruth Robinson (Cecilia Parker) after she and her father disappear during an expedition. Clyde takes a dirigible across the ocean, but the dirigible encounters a storm, as can be seen by cheesy animated effects.
The dirigible lands on an island. It just so happens that Ruth and her father are on the same island. Sharkey (Warner Richmond) keeps trying to sabotage Beatty's efforts, and he lands on the island by parachute, unbeknownst to everyone else. Sharkey finds Ruth's father and the treasure, and is looking for the captain of the ship so that he can leave the island. Unfortunately for Sharkey, his character meets the stereotypical ironic ending.
In the end, the good guys get the critters, the jewels and the babe. Isn't everyone happy?
This movie is quite anachronistic. We know that no islands exist with the variety of animals shown in this movie. Also, the predator density was too high to be sustained. Lastly, this island had African lions and North American mountain lions, which is a good trick in any era. On the other hand, if you can suspend your common sense and knowledge of the world, and you can ignore the cruelty to the animals in the movie (though the cruelty shown was not considered cruel in that era), this movie is an interesting artifact of another era.