Movies by Martin and Osa Johnson
“Martin Johnson’s greatest merit, therefore, is that he has produced a thrilling and popular picture of African wildlife that is also true to the facts. His animals are wild animals–not specimens borrowed from a zoo; and they are photographed in their native haunts–not tied to convenient bushes in the vicinity of the zoo. And what he says about them is sound natural history. His pictures are thrilling, not as they satisfy the blood lust of the savage within us, but because they portray the novel and fascinating truth.”
Carl E. Akeley, naturalist, former director of the American Natural History Museum
“…the Johnsons collaboration produced a body of work that challenged old stereotypes about wildlife, documented the existence of vanishing tribal cultures and helped shatter the tiresome image of Africa as the ‘dark continent.'”
Dick Houston, Smithsonian Magazine, November 1986
Some of the Johnsons’ films & documentaries about the Johnsons are available on DVD for educational loan and purchase.
Two new DVD loans, “The Adventure Lovers” and a segment of the History Channel Program “This Week in History”, both showcase the Johnsons’ story. They have been very beneficial to educators around the world and are now available for loan.
“The Adventure Lovers” (“Les Amants de l’Aventure”), is the first documentary on the lives and careers of Martin and Osa Johnson. Shot on location in Chanute, Kenya and New York, the movie includes hundreds of original Johnson photographs and much original Johnson film footage. The film premiered on French and German Public Television after winning Grand Prize, and being named Documentary of the Year, at the Jules Verne Film Festival in 1999. A copy of the film is available for viewing in the Safari Museum®’s Snark Theatre.
To reserve either of these programs or to receive a current list of all available Johnson film resources, please contact: the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum Education Department at 620-431-2730 or by email.
The Johnsons’ Filmography
Titles available in the Osa’s Ark Museum Store and for research purposes are noted.
|1909||PÊCHE À LA DYNAMITE DANS LES ÎLES SALOMON (Fishing with dynamite in the Solomon Islands)|
|1913||"Jack London's Adventures in the South Sea Islands"|
|1918||"Among the Cannibal Isles of the South Pacific"
"Cannibals of the South Seas/Captured by Cannibals"
|1919||"On the Borderland of Civilization" (10 single-reel films)|
|1921||"Jungle Adventures" (Exceptional Pictures Corporation)|
|1922||"East of Suez"
"Bessie the Adventuress" (single reel film)
"Martin Johnson's Voyages" (17 single reel films)
"Head Hunters of the South Seas" (Associated Exhibitors)
|1923||"Trailing African Wild Animals" (Martin Johnson African Films, Inc.)|
|1928||"Simba" (The earliest surviving Johnson feature film.) Available in DVD format only in the Museum Shop.
"As They Really Are At Home" (single reel film)
|1929||"Highlights of the Johnsons' Travels of the Past Fifteen Years" (single reel film)|
|1930||"Naked Man Versus Beast" (single reel film)
"African Lion Hunt" (single reel film)
"Across the World with Mr. and Mrs. Johnson" (The Johnsons' transition film between silent and sound film, it opens with the Johnsons showing home movies in their New York apartment. Available in the Museum Shop.
|1931||"Wonders of the Congo" (lecture film)|
|1932||"Congorilla" (Fox Film Corporation. The first sound film made entirely in Africa.) Available in the Museum Shop.|
|1934||"Wings Over Africa" (lecture film)|
|1935||"Baboona" (Fox Film Corporation. The Johnsons' famous "African Flying Safari.") Available in the Museum Shop.|
|1937||"Children of Africa: educational film" (single reel film)
"Jungle Depths of Borneo" (lecture film)
"Borneo" (20th Century Fox Film Corporation. This was the Johnsons' last adventure together. It was narrated by journalist Lowell Thomas after Martin's death in a plane crash in California as he was en route to edit and premiere this film. Available in the Museum Shop.
"Jungles Calling" (lecture film)
|1940||"I Married Adventure" (Columbia Pictures Corp. Osa stars in this screen version of her best-selling book of the same title.) Available in the Museum Shop.|
|1941||"African Paradise" (lecture film) Available in the Museum Shop.|
|1943||"Tulagi and the Solomons" (lecture film)|
|1950s||"Big Game Hunt" (television program series of 26 episodes) Available in the Museum Shop.|