Hey That Guy was on Star Trek! Marplon & Zarabeth in the Jungle…

Found another one! It’s Drums of Africa (1963), an exciting tale of love and slavery in the darkest continent!  that is, A teen dream musical with Frankie Avalon!  What I mean to say is, it’s marvelous  really a marvelous piece of crap!IMG_8932

Let’s see…A guy goes to Africa in the 1910’s to survey a railroad site for his boss, brings along his boss’s lightweight teen son and goes on safari, employing ‘the best guide in Africa’ and falling for the lovely young missionary woman who works with the guide.  Unfortunately, there are greedy slavers loose in the jungle, and his lady love is their main target!   Sounds exciting right?  Well…

Here’s our hero, David Moore (Lloyd Bochner, right) and teen-sidekick-that-he-didn’t-want-to-bring-along Brian Ferrers (Frankie Avalon) seeking out their guide. IMG_8942

With all this nice manliness on screen, the film inexplicably gives viewers a major beefcake valentine of…Marplon! (Torin Thatcher as Jack Cuortemayn ) IMG_8935IMG_8937

(Okay, Sorry about that — I better cleanse your memory palate here…)


Much better.

Anyway, Marplon spends the rest of the movie proving his virility to the other two guys by insisting on keeping his shirt unbuttoned…


And on the way out of his office, who should come screaming out of the jungle and into the arms of our hero but Zarabeth.(Mariette Hartley as Ruth Knight)IMG_8940

She’s being chased by slavers who  find her pure whiteness a  perfect target for their evil trade.   Zarabeth’s  Ruth’s fresh faced beauty has  the three  men gaga for her and pitching woo.  Of course for Frankie, that means–IMG_9252

Aaaaugggh!   And what a sappy number it is (The River Love)

This was a step down for Hartley’s career. She had recently finished the brilliant  Ride the High Country and compared this  job to going from president to janitor in two days. Of course she’s virginal and sweet here, and has been too busy in her young life to know love.  In one of queasiest moments of dialogue, Marlpon confides in Zarabeth that the only problem with their relationship is that they’re friends.  Ugh! IMG_8946

But Zarabeth isn’t into a May-December with Marplon, or a  December-May with Frankie, and despite the awesome gorgeousness of Marplon’s man-servant Kasongo (Hari Rhodes)…


…she can’t help but find herself attracted to bland white bread David (no surprise there).  But first she has to do an obligatory Dove soap commercial… IMG_8950


He meets her after she’s squeaky clean, of course, compares trunks with a baby elephant, and she admits that his kiss ‘brought her world alive!”  Please.   Little does she realize that years later, her lover will change his name to Cecil Colby and die while copulating with Edith Keeler (In her Alexis Karrington years) on Dynasty!  But that’s another post…

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After much inter-cut animal action from King Soloman’s Mines, the pair live happily ever after in the jungle.  Did the railroad come through? Did Marplon ever button his shirt?  Did Frankie find Annette?  Can’t remember, think I fell asleep…  All in all 2 stars our of 5.

4 thoughts on “Hey That Guy was on Star Trek! Marplon & Zarabeth in the Jungle…

  1. Because of the way you keep showing us shots of Mr. Nimoy in other roles, I’ve finally started watching the two seasons of “Mission: Impossible” that he was on. And I thought about your “Hey, that guy was on Star Trek” posts, because I’m on episode 15 of Season 4 (the first season that Mr. Nimoy was in M:I), and I think there’ve only been one or two episodes out of those fifteen that didn’t have a Star Trek guest star in it!

    The guy who was Garth in “Whom Gods Destroy,” the woman who was Marlena in “Mirror, Mirror,” the guy who was Claudius in “Bread and Circuses,” the woman who was Losira in “That Which Survives,” the guy who was Commodore Mendez in “The Menagerie,” the guy who was Rael in “Wink of an Eye,” the guy who was Galt in “Gamesters of Triskelion” — and on and on and on! A lot of those folks really got around.

    Anyway, because of your “Hey that guy was in Star Trek” posts, I think of you every time I spot one, which means that I’ve been thinking of you pretty much every time I see M:I. Just thought you’d like to know. 🙂

  2. Thanks for this comment, Cory. Yeah, since M:I and Trek were both filmed at Paramount, there was a LOT of Trek-to-M:I guest star crossovers! I may do a piece on that someday, but for now, I’m keeping an eye out on TCM, where a LOT of Trek guests came from the golden age of Hollywood! Also nice to see another comment on this post that isn’t spam! (The spam comments often show up on articles I posted a while back–Auuuugggh!) Thanks for thinking of me too! 🙂

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