Bring ‘Em Back Alive was rare for its time because of it’s lack of plot. This was unsurprising given that Van Beuren had intended for it to be a series of thirteen shorts rather than a single feature film. The only thread linking these varied filmic studies of these animals, staged or otherwise, was Buck’s narration.
Check out this description of Buck’s centrality in the film:
A wide-shouldered, ruddy-faced stocky man merely throws off the garments of the metropolis to trek six thousand miles by land and sea in search of a Royal Bengal tiger. His weapons…his two hard hands. His props, a couple of native boys. His cages are hand-made right down in the heart of the tiger country. No nails to hold the bars in place…no forged steel bars wedged in cement…but roughhewn poles tied together with things made from the dried bark of native trees. A mounting stampede of intensely interesting action follows the inaugural of this quest as shown in ‘Bring ‘Em Back Alive’
Everything else, including his native assistants who were considered ‘props’, were secondary.
However, this Straits Times reporter was insistent on highlighting the other stars of the film, leading to this rather amusing trace in the newspapers:
Experience this plotless exciting thriller for yourself at the NUS Museum on 13 March, 7pm.