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  • Although Bomba And The Hidden City has some oblique references to the real outside world when the late World War II is mentioned, this one has to rate as one of the lesser Bomba The Jungle Boy Features.

    This film finds Johnny Sheffield oddly enough the witness to an assassination in the jungle of the former rulers of the Hidden City which has a Moslem culture. The surviving daughter Sue England grew up like the other twin in The Man In The Iron Mask with no knowledge of her legacy. It's a case of jungle amnesia. If he knew the usurper veteran movie villain Paul Guilfoyle would kill her.

    A lot of the plot here really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, I blame that on the bad editing at Monagram Pictures. And Bomba also has a few escapes that should never have happened.
  • Fourth chapter in Monogram Pictures' faintly-amusing "Bomba" serial, based upon Roy Rockwood's character of a teenage Tarzan who lives in the jungle and communicates with the animals like a high school variation of Doctor Dolittle. This time, Bomba is tracked through the wilds by a photographic expedition team who have gotten the evil Emir from the Hidden City and his army involved; the Emir is about to pick a new maiden for his harem, with only Bomba aware of the selected girl's forgotten childhood (she's actually a Princess!). Husky-yet-boyish Johnny Sheffield literally takes a beating in this episode (knocked unconscious near the opening, he is later stabbed and must be nursed back to health by the village maidens after floating down river on a log). Despite the curious insistence on action scenes (which are an improvement over the stock footage which permeated the first two "Bomba" installments), this B-level matinée item gets bogged down in plot, little of which makes sense. Sheffield is still engagingly sincere, but Bomba has been made too knowledgeable here, which takes away from his purity; he's so matter-of-fact with his information that he comes off indifferent. Sue England gets the role of the requisite pretty girl (with teased hair and lipstick!); she makes a valiant attempt to win Bomba's heart, nearly winning him over even though she can't swim or catch a fish. There's a lovely shot of England falling asleep in a tree, with Sheffield watching her from above, but the rest of the picture doesn't impress. Supporting cast is underwhelming, and the interiors of the Emir's fancy digs are atrocious. *1/2 from ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** Bomba, Johnny Sheffield,gets himself in hot water here by being Johnny on the Spot in witnessing the murder of pretty Zita's, Sue England, parents and living to talk about it. This happened a while ago back in WWII when the person who took over Zita's father leadership of the Hidden City Hassan, Paul Gulpoyle, was working with Gen. Rommel's Afrika Corps as him being a traitor to his people.

    We have to wait until the film "Bomba and the Hidden City" is almost over for Bomba to reveal his big secret which he kept from Zita who from the shock of her parents being murdered had completely lost her memory about that tragic event! But of course Hassan and his top henchman Abudllah, Charles La Torrer, didn't forget what they did and try eventing they can to shut Bomba up before he spills the beans on them!

    Bomba does his usual heroics in the movie swinging on tree vines and saving damsels, or Zita, in distress but of course he needs help from his many jungle friends, monkeys and chimpanzees, to do it. As for the beautiful Zita who's been adopted by her now step father Raschid, Leon Belasco, she has no idea to who she really is which is the only reason keeping that's her alive! That's until a sharp eyed Bomba finds a number of snapshot photos of her and her real parents to jog back her memory. The funny thing about all that is that it was Hassan himself, her parents murderer, who unknowingly provided Zita or Bomba with the incriminating photos!

    ***SPOILERS*** Bomba who was on the run throughout the entire movie from the Hassan Mob finally turns the tables on them with the help of his friends great white hunter Dennis Johnson, Damian O'Flynn, and his faithful native companion Hadja, Smoki Whitfield. It's really that double-crossing and sleazy rat Hassan who ends up really getting the worst of it, of what his gang of cut throats got, in the entire movie. Running for his life from Bomba and his monkey friends in the jungle Hassan ended up, by falling into the river, as food for the local crocodile population! The hungry crocodiles in how many they were and how little Hassan, being of average size and weight, had to offer them just couldn't get enough of the guy.
  • The evil Emir Hassan tries to have Bomba killed. Although he's injured, Bomba manages to get away and is nursed back to health by a pretty village girl named Zita (Sue England). Zita develops a crush on Bomba and follows him into the jungle so she won't have to marry Hassan. Turns out Zita has forgotten her past. In an unbelievable twist, Bomba remembers some things that help him piece together who Zita really is.

    The fourth in Monogram's Bomba series starring Johnny Sheffield is a particularly plot-heavy entry. This is the first one to leave the set and film on location. No, not in Africa. Don't be silly. All the pennies in Monogram's piggy bank couldn't have paid for that. I'm not sure where they filmed at. If I had to guess, I would say the LA Arboretum. This one also has some good action scenes and less cheesy stock footage. Pretty Sue England is fun and has nice chemistry with Sheffield. But since these movies were aimed at little boys, they never allowed much "mushy stuff." It's probably the best of the Bomba movies, going solely by entertainment value and nothing more.
  • Bomba and the Hidden City (1950)

    ** (out of 4)

    Extremely far-fetched but entertaining entry in the Monogram series has Bomba (Johnny Sheffield) witnessing a political assassination and years later the evil ruler (Paul Gulpoyle) plans on marrying a woman (Sue England) against her wishes. It's up to Bomba to try and save the girl as well as help her remember her past. This fourth film in the series is pretty camp and there's no question that it's over-the-top but I found it to be slightly entertaining simply because of all the craziness going at. At just 71-minutes the film doesn't last too long, which is always a good thing but it also manages to be rather fast paced, which was a first for the series. Director Ford Beebe actually keeps the film moving very well and we even get some decent action scenes from start to finish. This includes Bomba taking quite a bit of abuse as he tries to flee from the bad guys who are constantly shooting and throwing knives at him. The entire mystery of who the girl isn't all that hard to figure out and I'm sure the 3-year-old kids in the theater at the time figured out who she was long before it's revealed. Sheffield once again does a good job in his role of Bomba as he certainly fit the part and has no trouble playing it. England is fairly entertaining as the girl but this film clearly belongs to Gulpoyle as the crazy one. The actor really gives it his all and you can just see the glee in his eyes from getting to play a bad guy. With all of that said, this is still a low-budget Bomba movie so the various negative things are still present.
  • Bomba has to help the beautiful Sue England (who has kind of a cute Bettie Page bangs thing going on), who is the rightful heir to the throne, but is instead forced to marry the dastardly Hassan who seeks to steal the kingdom. Silly, low budget, and completely unoriginal, but I will say I enjoyed this one slightly more than the other Bomba films I've seen.
  • "Bomba and the Hidden City" is a slipshod chapter of a very cut rate series of adventure sagas. It was directed, however, by a master of the serial form, Forde Beebe. This kiddie clunker was the kind of thing Beebe could direct in his sleep and judging from what follows the title, that's where he spent most of his time, jungle hammock style, collecting a cool $150 salary while waiting for the bus to another part of the forest.

    The storyline follows our semi-intrepid jungle boy, by now really filling out his French cut Tarzan loin wrap. He galumphs and swings through the eucalyptus trees of the Santa Anita Racetrack Botanic Gardens, searching for some supposed hidden city. This "city" more of a couple of shacks with a forlorn palm-tree and a few added stumps,seems to be known by everyone especially the Arab suits, read villains. The plot is something like "Tarzan's Desert Mystery" or "Tarzan's Nazi Adventure" or "The Return of Somebody with a Name like Schnarzan". Forgive me, sometimes I get carried away with all the excitement. The city, hidden or not, has the sister of another member of the cast who may or may not have been there before. Nobody knows for sure. Also, in the village is somebody called "Ferengi", perhaps an escapee from a space opera, though that is probably doubtful. As can be expected, Bomba makes everything right while hardly having to fling his spear.The bad guys get their well deserved drenching and just when we are sitting on the edge of our thrones with the possibility of the jungle boy getting his first lady friend, the end comes. But one big thing we can be sure of, in the next outing of our titular hero, he still won't have any body hair, a true "child" until all the film runs out!
  • Leofwine_draca28 December 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    Another fun, brief Monogram entry in the long-running BOMBA series. THE HIDDEN CITY involves some sinister Arab characters who murder the ruling family but leave a princess behind to grow up with no knowledge of her background. Amusingly enough, her name is Leah. Bomba knows everything, of course, and must step in to return the throne to her. Stock stuff, with plenty of action and low rent intrigue to sustain the hour-long running time.
  • Another adventure for Bomba, the jungle boy. Here, John Sheffield is the wild jungle dude, who has befriended Zidah. Sheffield had first played Bomba back in 1939, and will play him for another five years before leaving hollywood. The local emir decides to take out Bomba; apparently, Bomba knows that Zidah was the rightful princess. Now, there is a hunting expedition led by Johnson (Damian O'flynn) to try to knock him off. Bomba is injured, but is helped by Zidah (Sue England). adventures, entanglements. Sheffield was only 18 or 19 at this point. it's ok. clearly aimed at the younger audience. directed by Ford Beebe, who had been directing Bomba and other adventure films since 1921 !
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Poor Bomba! He gets hunted, shot at, stabbed and beaten but in the end helps with defeating the evil Hassan Emir and restoring Zidah to her rightful place as ruler of The Hidden City (which consists of a courtyard surrounded by buildings, so not a big budget then). The story is routine and Johnny Sheffield as Bomba is a bit wooden but I enjoyed the acting of Paul Guilfoyle as Hassan and Leon Belasco as the opportunist Raschid. Sue England was lively as the lovely Zidah. Director Ford Beebe finishes off the film with some good action when Bomba picks off Hassan's men one by one. Hassan gets satisfyingly eaten by crocodiles.

    Bomba is not much of a ladies man. When the beautiful Zidah asks him, Don't you like me a little?" Bomba replies matter-of-factly, "No." and is always striving to get away from her. Foolish boy.
  • THE HIDDEN CITY, a/k/a BOMBA AND THE HIDDEN CITY (Monogram, 1950), directed by Ford Beebe, marks the fourth installment to the "Bomba, the Jungle Boy" movie series starring Johnny Sheffield. In one of the better entries in the series, with screenplay by Carroll Young, this edition promises more fast-pace adventure, especially after Bomba finds himself being hunted by someone unknown to him.

    Following some jungle camera tracking along wildlife doing their daily routine, the story begins in a jeep where Hadji (Smoki Whitfield), a tour guide, drives museum photographer, Dennis Johnson (Damian O'Flynn), through the jungle as he uses his movie camera to capture images of animal life. Along the way, Johnson notices a white boy vine swinging from tree to tree. Wanting to take further pictures of the legend of Bomba (Johnny Sheffield), the jungle boy soon disappears from a distance. Later, while in what is described as The Hidden City, the story develops with the introduction of Emir Hassen (Paul Guilfoyle), a corrupt leader of the city who had earlier replaced a good governor who was killed, with Emir next in line to take his place. Hoping to improve his life of poor living, Raschid (Leon Belasco), from the neighboring village of Kampini, offers to sell his foster daughter, Zita (Sue England) as part of Emir's household harem girls. Learning about the jungle boy from Johnson, Emir arranges for Abdullah (Charles La Torre) to hunt Bomba and have him killed. Later injured from a knife thrown to his back, Bomba escapes Abdullah and is later found and rescued by Zita, who treats his knife wound. When Bomba notices one of the visitors of Zita's village to be one of the men who knifed him, he escapes into the jungle. As for Zita, who, after meeting the fearful Emir only to learn she is to go with him to become one of his maidens, she, too, escapes into the jungle for Bomba's assistance. Realizing Zita, who has no recollection of her true identity, might be in as much great danger as himself, Bomba allows Zita to be taken back to the hidden city under Emir's corrupt ruling while Bomba, at the risk of being captured himself, watches for her safety from afar and learn the reason for Emir's evil doings.

    Johnny Sheffield is fine as the teenage spear carrying jungle boy image taken from the character created by Rock Rockwood's "Bomba" books, while Sue England's is agreeable as Bomba's latest female characters out for his help. As with many jungle adventures such as this, there is a villain, here played by Paul Guilfoyle, who gets the most attention here, with Damian O'Flynn as the good guy out to assist Bomba from his dangerous captures. Smoki Whitfield, who earlier played Eli in the first two "Bomba" installments, assumes a different character name here as Hadji,

    Not as well known as the "Tarzan" series of years past, by which Sheffield also participated opposite Johnny Weissmuller through much of the 1940s, THE HIDDEN CITY is a worthy offering in the Bomba series, especially for the Saturday matinee crowd. No known video tape distributions but availability on DVD and cable television exposure over the years, including Turner Network Television (1992), and Turner Classic Movies since 2011. Next installment: THE LION HUNTERS (1951) (**)
  • Though only 19 when this was made, I think that Johnny Sheffield was now becoming just a bit too old to carry off this most preposterous of "Bomba" tales. When he is spotted by a photographer swinging through the trees, the local Emir decides to have him killed as, basically, glorified vermin. Ever indestructible, our young lad is recused, downriver, by the original Princess Leah (OK, slight spelling variation) whom it turns out is the daughter of the rightful Emir who had been unceremoniously overthrown. Needless to say, our chivalrous loincloth-clad Sheffield is up for helping her to reclaim her inheritance. As with the Weissmuller "Tarzan" films, this series has begun to run out of steam. The charm and innocence of earlier iterations have gone; the storylines have become angrier, and the underlying simplicity long since compromised by invasive weaponry and technology (even by 1950s standards). The writing isn't up to much here, either - and there is an annoying romantic sub-plot that bogs it down rather. They are still watchable little features, all of them, but this one - less so.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A silly entry in the Bomba series, this has Bomba ending up rescued by a mysterious native princess who is about as Arabic as Johnny Sheffield is. Bomba's legend has him the subject of a manhunt, and after being supposedly disposed of, floats into the hidden city where he is rescued by Leah, warrior princess, yet suffers the disapproval of her father. Sheffield seems to have added more than muscle since growing up, showing a rather pudgy face, not quite the muscular, lean star of the last Tarzan films and the first few of his own series. Bomba does manage to tackle a wild bull (what's a wild bull doing in the middle of the jungle?) and foil his enemies while aide wimpy princess Sue Englund, badly miscast in this mediocre entry in the series. Bomba seems rightfully annoyed by her presence, and even a twist concerning her doesn't make her character any more endearing. While the first three certainly tested the imagination, this is more amateurish and juvenile than any of the most mediocre of Tarzan, Jungle Jim or previous entries in this series. The presence of some cute monkeys and other wild life makes it a little more than barely watchable, but after an hour, I really found myself counting the last 10 minutes so I could move on. The highlight of the script is the curse, "May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your beard!"
  • SnoopyStyle25 July 2020
    Nature photographer Dennis Johnson is taken with Bomba the jungle boy, a white guy swinging from tree to tree. Dennis arrives in the Hidden City and is invited in front of the Emir who agrees to send a party to join his expedition. The Emir secretly wants to kill Bomba. Bomba is rescued by Zidah who does not want to join the Emir's harem. She escapes into the jungle to follow Bomba.

    I've never heard of Bomba, the book or the series or anything. In here, he's a less than appealing character. He is both clueless and a jerk. He can't get away from Zita fast enough. She's a damsel in distress and he is desperate to leave her behind. Even Dennis Johnson is problematic. He knows enough that the Emir wants to kill the jungle boy but he insists on seeking him out anyways. This is bad Tarzan. The whole premise is that Bomba holds the secret which threatens the Emir when in fact, the secret is nicely kept in a trunk by the Emir so that everybody can discover it at a convenient time. It's a lot writing flaws which eventually overcomes whatever charms that came with these actors and characters.