I came across an amazing movie from 1934 called “Beyond Bengal.” It is the record of an expedition into the Malayan jungle by American “explorer” Harry Schenck.

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The film was made with the assistance of the Sultan of Perak.

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In the film, Schenck heads into the jungle and sees tigers. . .

tiger

. . . snakes. . .

snakes

. . . a herd of wild elephants. . .

elephants

. . . monkeys (one of which almost gets eaten by a snake). . .

monkey

. . . and crocodiles.

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This is where the movie gets really crazy. Schenck travels with a group of “natives,” and in the “crocodile scene” some natives fall out of their boats and try to swim ashore while being pursued by crocodiles.

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One native, unfortunately, gets bitten by a crocodile. . .

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To add yet more drama to the film, viewers are introduced to Ali, a Malay boy who is part of the expedition, and a Malay girl who he falls in love with.

Ali also gets bitten by a crocodile.

girl

His girlfriend witnesses the attack, and is distressed.

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But “the natives” pray to the supreme being, and Ali is saved.

natives

I would love to know how this film was made. In 1934, how exactly did one go about filming Malays getting attacked by crocodiles? Surely computer graphics were not an option.

So could it be the case that someone actually convinced Malay boys to swim in a crocodile infested river until they were bitten? How did he/she/they succeed in doing that?

The full movie can be viewed here.