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Emilio Salgari
Jules Verne
 
   
The Mystery of the Black Jungle: Kali before Temple of Doom
 
  A group of religious fanatics in India, the Thugs, prey upon Europeans and natives alike, capturing and offering them up in sacrifice to their frightful goddess, Kali. The Governor of the Province sends Tremal-Naik, a famous Indian hunter, on an expedition to end the savagery. He is accompanied by Major Kennedy and Major Maffertis, the latter with a personal reason for wanting to destroy the Thugs and their sinister leader, Suyodhana. Maffertis, once stationed in the district with his family, is certain that his young daughter was a victim of the cult, but he has no proof and has not heard anything of her since her disappearance years ago. Tremal-Naik also has his own troupe made up of his faithful companions Kammamuri, Aghur and Urti, and his tiger Darma. Later, Tremal-Naik sees and falls in love with Ada a young woman the Thugs are holding captive. She begs him to forget her and warns him of the danger to both of them if he tries to penetrate the mystery surrounding the large banyan tree where he first saw her. Ignoring the warning when his companion Urti is killed near the tree, Tremal-Naik discovers that it is the entrance to the temple where Ada is an unwilling priestess.
  The movie was followed by the sequel: The Black Devils of Kali. It was remade in 1965 as The Mystery of Thug Island. In 1991, Kabir Bedi played Kammamuri in an eight part miniseries based on Salgari's novel.
   
 
 
 
QUICK FACTS
The Mystery of the Black Jungle
AKA I misteri della giungla nera 1954 (Italy)
Directed by Gian Paolo Callegari and Ralph Murphy
Starring: Lex Barker, Fiorella Mari and Luigi Tosi
 
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