Jungle Mystery
The Jungle Mystery.jpg
Poster of chapter 1
Directed byRay Taylor
Written byElla O'Neill
Basil Dickey
George H. Plympton
George Morgan[1]
Based onThe Ivory Trail (a novel) by Talbot Mundy
Produced byHenry Mac Rae
Carl Laemmle
StarringTom Tyler
Noah Beery Jr.
William Desmond
Cecilia Parker
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 12, 1932 (1932-09-12)
Running time
12 chapters (240 min)
CountryUnited States

Jungle Mystery is a 1932 American pre-Code Universal 12-chapter movie serial directed by Ray Taylor. The serial was based on a book called "The Ivory Trail" by Talbot Mundy.[2] A 1935 feature version was also released, edited down to 75 minutes.


Various expeditionary parties head to Zanzibar to search for a legendary cache of ivory and a missing explorer named Jack Morgan. Tom Tyler played the hero, Kirk Montgomery, and Cecilia Parker played the heroine, Barbara Morgan, who is searching for her missing brother Jack. Boris Shillov and his henchman Comrade Krotsky are also searching for the ivory. The "jungle mystery" pertains to a half-man, half-ape creature named Zungu.



The film is noteworthy for its extensive use of stock footage of various jungle animals, many of them repeated frequently throughout the serial. (There's even a shot of tigers, which are not native to Africa.) Apart from one sequence filmed in Bronson Canyon, it was shot entirely on the Universal backlot and soundstages.

Although it had been believed lost for many years, the original nitrate negative was in fact still in the Universal vaults. It was preserved in 2016 (along with the edited 1935 feature version which ran only 75 minutes) and officially re-premiered at the Cinecon Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, CA during the 2016 Labor Day weekend.

Chapter titles

  1. Into the Dark Continent
  2. The Ivory Trail
  3. The Death Stream
  4. Poisoned Fangs
  5. The Mystery Cavern
  6. Daylight Doom
  7. The Jaws of Death
  8. Trapped by the Enemy
  9. The Jungle Terror
  10. Ambushed!
  11. The Lion's Fury
  12. Buried Treasure



  1. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 206. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  2. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "2. In Search of Ammunition". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 11. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  3. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 206. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
Preceded byHeroes of the West (1932) Universal Serial Jungle Mystery (1932) Succeeded byThe Lost Special (1932)