Cast & Crew
A caravan moves through the jungle, led by Tom Burton, one of the top American big-game hunters. Tom is in search of a boy this time, lured by the prospect of a large reward. When Tom and his men set up camp outside a native settlement, they are observed by Nita, who is particularly alarmed at the sight of a Bengal tiger in a bamboo cage. Tom is then visited by Trader Kirk, a white man who now lives in the jungle. Kirk tells Tom that the killing and trapping of animals is forbidden in the area, and Tom explains that he captured the man-eating tiger in India. Kirk invites Tom to dine with him, and Tom tells him that he is looking for a young man, the son of game hunter Cyrus Ames, who died with his wife in the jungle years before. He explains that he has been hired by the boy's grandfather to find the boy and bring him to America. Kirk warns him that no white man has ever gone to the area known as the Forbidden Jungle and made it back alive. Meanwhile, in the jungle, a lithe young man named Tawa is playing with the wild animals when Nita comes to warn him about Tom. The next day, Tom and his native bearers set out, despite Kirk's prediction that the natives will desert him. Nita brings Tawa to see Kirk, who recalls how he found Tawa when he was very young and reared the boy with the help of Nita, his adopted daughter. Kirk warns Tawa that the hunter plans to take him away from the jungle and instructs him to hide in the gorilla caves, but Tawa is curious about the white man. After several days of searching, Tom spots Tawa, accompanied by a lion. When the lion advances on Tom, he draws his gun, but Tawa, who is able to communicate with the jungle creatures, intervenes and befriends Tom. They spend the day together, and Tom enchants the boy with his descriptions of city life and the thrill of Broadway. Before Tom returns to his quarters, a native poisons his water supply, and Tom is stricken with jungle fever. When he awakes, he is being tended by Nita, who tells Tom that Tawa found him unconscious. While Tawa is visiting Kirk, his mischievous chimpanzee Tamba opens the tiger's cage, and over Kirk's protests, Tawa sets off in pursuit of the dangerous animal. Tawa's attempts to communicate with the tiger fail, and it kills several of his beloved animal companions. Tom shoots at the tiger and misses, but as the animal begins to maul him, Tawa stabs it to death. Later, Tom visits the graves of Tawa's parents and discovers that Tawa's mother was Kirk's daughter. Tom reasons that Kirk has as much right to the boy as his wealthy client does, and he promises to report that the rumor of a boy living in the Forbidden Jungle has no foundation. Tom says goodbye to his new friends and departs, noting that money is no longer the most important thing in his life.
T. T. Triplett
The film opens with a voice-over narration in which the character "Tom Burton" explains what he is doing in the jungle. The reviews of the film were uniformly derisive, complaining about the heavy use of stock animal footage.