Famed explorer-documentarians Martin and Osa Johnson devoted two years to the production of their 1935 Baboona. Covering 60,000 miles by air, land and water, the Johnsons ventured deep, deep into the darkest jungles of Africa. The images range from the spectacular (a huge herd of elephants filmed from overhead, an enormous flock of birds literally blanketing an inland lake) to the dangerous (a charging rhino, a battle between a warthog and a leopard) to the touching (a family of baboons looking out for one another in the midst of marauding predators). As usual, Martin and Osa seldom let the facts get in the way of a good story: If a scene can be “hypoed” with slick editing and contrived close-ups, the Johnson never miss the opportunity. Co-edited by newsreel specialist Lew Lehr (ironically best known for his short-subject series “Monkeys Iss the Cwaziest People”), Baboona was released in the U.S. by Fox Studios.
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