Comics Creators

Can anyone identify this adventure movie for me?


Okay, so I was asking about this on Twitter yesterday, but even the finest brains on the web struggling so far.

Here’s what I know…

I went to see this movie somewhere between 1977 and 1980 when I was between 7 and 10. The fact it’s hazy makes me think I could have been closer to 7 than 10 and I’m certain it wasn’t the A-feature or I’d have remembered it. I’m pretty sure I saw it on Hamilton Odeon, which was not a cinema I went to often, which makes me think it was on either with Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger or The Black Hole, both of which I remember seeing in there.

The movie itself had a v evocative ending and, as often happened when a B-movie was stuck to an A-movie, I might just have seen the final 30 mins. Movies like The Humanoid would be stuck before Clash of the Titans around that time or the Spidey TV pilot before Sinbad. It might not even have been a contemporary movie as they’d often just find whatever they had lying around and use it to fill time if the main movie was a little on the short side. But the production values seemed good in that Warlords of Atlantis kinda way where it was clearly shot in a studio, but still looked pretty cool.

So what do I remember? A waterfall and a group of hunters who had been looking for the Elephant’s Graveyard. All the treasure in the world is in this place and they find it at the end by following this dying elephant as it staggers through the jungle, past a waterfall and into this vast place where we see the skeletons of hundreds of them here, a secret place only the elephants know about. I think the movie had a young boy as one of the leads and there even have been a monkey. But the end was a big Planet of the Apes kinda finale where you see this thing.

Does this ring any bells?




I have a feeling it was something like Johnny Quest or Seven Cities of Gold though…


It is the exact ending for Tarzan the Apeman from 1932 - and I think its been homaged a few times. AND remade in 1981!


the 1980s movie doesn’t have that ending. I think it’s either Trader Horn (1973), Tarzan’s Deadly Silence/Tarzan’s Jungle Rebellion(two Ron Ely TV series two-parters shown and re-edited as a theatrical features) or the 1959 remake of Tarzan the Apeman, which is studio-bound.

Tarzan and the Jungle Boy too, perhaps.


It could also be one of those Disney TV specials that were often released in British cinemas.


There’s also Dark Venture which has the similar premise of the search for the Elephants Graveyard


yes, and that’s in colour, but it’s all filmed on location. and way too early.


The only other thing I can find around that time would be the Tarzan cartoon which does have an episode which covers the plot of Tarzan, the Ape Man.


Defo a movie. And it could have been an old movie they just stuck on there. Does Dark venture end with that scene I described?



It does indeed. - it was later renamed “Curse of the Elephants Graveyard”.

I think it’s more likely to be “Trader Horn” - based on everything you’ve said - and fits more with the time period.


Also, DarkVenture got a release through Hammer’s distribution arm Exclusive in the UK


I kind of want to put my eggs in the 1959 Tarzan, the Ape Man though – same ending – technicolour – a combination of stock footage and new footage, matte sets and location shoots, and probably big enough to be on a double bill with something like Sinbad.


yes that was my inkling too. It’s 1959 but they were still making those kind of films into the 70s. And still showing the old ones on matinees.


Yeah - I agree with that – the only thing Im not sure about it is the studio sets which sound more like the 1973 Trader Horn – could be either or I guess.


THey both use the same stock footage I believe too from King Solomon’s Mines with Stewart GRanger.
Tarzan the Ape Man is studio sets too. I remember my local barber was watching it recently on TCM and moaning how he recognised all the stock footage from King Solomon’s Mines and laughed at the stupid sets. It was a cheap cash-in I believe. MGM had the rights of the original 1932 film, but the sequel rights and all the other character-film rights that were owned by the Weintraubs, so it was intended as a one-off cash in.


I believe it is the Tarzan film Tim is suggesting, I have fairly vivid memories of this one from my childhood, too.


Thanks for this. I remember it too but have no idea what it was and now I’m raging that all human knowledge is on the internet yet I can’t figure out what this is.


I uploaded the 1959 Tarzan the Ape Man trailer above - at 1.30 there’s a lovely matte shot of dozens of elephant skeletons in the jungle. It might jog Mark’s head.


Knowing UK cinema double bills at the time though it doesn’t seem they would put up a 1950s film as the b-movie. They may have been a few years late but not that much of a gap.

I remember Hawk the Slayer/Saturn 3. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger played with the TV Spider-Man rejigged as a feature.

The thing is though that while most were paired by the studios/distributors, individual cinemas could also just make their own from time to time which makes it harder to pin down.


I can imagine a cinema doing a “Tarzan and Sinbad - two heroes, one bill” thing.