# Similar Movies Like Zanzibar
Zanzibar 1940
Description: A pretty young girl organizes an expedition to Africa to find for a sacred skull that is worshiped by the locals.
Released: 08 Mar 1940 Director: Harold D. Schuster Writers: Maurice Tombragel (screenplay), Maurice Wright (screenplay), Maurice Tombragel (story), Maurice Wright (story) Actors: Lola Lane, James Craig, Eduardo Ciannelli, Tom Fadden Genres: Adventure
Trailers and related videos:

See Zanzibar (1949).

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See Street scenes from Zanzibar Un.

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See Road to Zanzibar - Trailer.

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See Magnificent Adventure (1961).

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See SEYCHELLES, TANZANIA & KEN.

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See Maria Jottini, Orchestra Cetra.

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See Road To Zanzibar: African Etud.

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See Zanzibar [National March for t.

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See Road to Zanzibar - Trailer.

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See A Village In Tanganyika, 1940&.

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Zanzibar Reviews:

A movie with a lot of action and a tongue-in-cheek script. Stock footage from "East of Java" and "East of Borneo" is used effectively. Even some of the background melody is borrowed from such flicks as "Bombay Mail" and "Son of Frankenstein". A treat for old-time journey movie fanatics !


Lola Lane was the oldest and least talented of the three Lane sisters; she was also the one with the campiest forename. (The others were Priscilla and Rosemary.) 'Zanzibar' is a B-movie campfest, and Lola Lane was a nice choice for the ludicrous lead role. In some ways, this pull-the-stops-out film reminds me of Tod Browning's 'West of Zanzibar' ... partly because of the title, partly because of both films' equally dodgy backlot versions of darkest Africa, and partly because the heroine of this film is called Browning.Jan Browning (Lola Lane) is a girl big-game hunter; I suppose that such a hero was vaguely plausible to film audiences at this time, as they would have seen Osa Johnson starring in some famous documentaries featuring *genuine* footage of Africa. This is 1940, and Globe Fight Two is going blazes in Europe and the Pacific, but you'd expect Jan to be secure in Oonga-Boonga Land. (The dialogue tells this zone is Zanzibar, but it looks more like Oonga-Boonga Land.) Well, maybe not. It seems that those pesky Nazis are planning to colonise Zanzibar and test the natives for slave labour. Those Nazis just don't know when they're not wanted. The British consul (who has an American accent) orders Jungle Jan to receive svelte in the veldt and come back with the sacred skull of an African tribal chief. (He's already dead, so it's not as if he now needs his skull anymore.) It seems that the superstitious natives worship this Nigerian noggin, so whichever white nation gets keep of it will be regarded as Bwana by the natives.On her quest to search the McGuffin cranium and bring it back alive (or dead), Jan gets tied to a stake (nice bondage scene) and she also has to contend with some stock footage of an erupting volcano, plus stock footage of a shipwreck and some lethargic lions. Watch out! Stock footage!This film has the feel of an old-time journey serial, with perils plaguing the heroine, one at a time, in rapid series. The cast is a notch above what one normally expects from a serial. Eduardo Ciannelli plays a Nazi villain with a Polish name. The Anglo-German hero actor Henry Victor gives one of his quirky performances; Victor was tall, good-looking and a talented actor who might have touched stardom if he should have controlled his erratic accent. The black American actor Clarence Muse, who (in true life) spoke in a cultured voice befitting his education and his high intelligence, is lumbered here with other of the pidgin-English roles that plagued him throughout his long career's struggle vs racist typecasting.'Zanzibar' is campy fun, spoilt by a several racist assumptions. We can't allow those nasty Nazis exploit the African natives, but apparently it's OK for the British to enjoy Bwana if they wanna. Ah, well. It would be unfair to compare this film to 'Citizen Kane' or 'The Battleship Potemkin', but - within the standards of its own category - I'll rate 'Zanzibar' 7 points out of 10. Unga-bunga-boonga!


It's time to enjoy count the pith helmets, something I started at the opening credits that indicated a bunch of white explorers in an exotic setting. And what do you know, Lola Lane, one of the four daughters, comes out, wearing a pith helmet. She's a cute ballsy lady, too, organizing a find party and taking the street to Zanzibar, minus Hope and Crosby. On the way, there's a storm that leaves them stranded, encounters with seemingly cannibal like tribes and chases by some wild animals. An mad volcano tops everything off. The only thing missing is a Maria Montez like jungle queen. Stock footage of different African tribes, wildlife and vintage jungle footage is quite various from the footage filmed with Lane and James Craig, a sort of terrible man's "African Queen". The main plot is fully unrealistic, a fantasy island of 40's cinema that gotta have enthralled adolescent boys. What effects is a severely funny movie that might have intended not to be so funny but ends up hysterical anyway. It's part documentary, part Saturday matinée adventure, and fascinating in spite of being a return to the kind of movies that Frank Buck and the Johnsons had place out a decade before to discover improving movie technology.



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