Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Overlooked Movies: The Jungle

Here's a quiz.  First watch the trailer and then answer: Is The Jungle a movie with SF elements?  You won't know the answer if you watched the trailer, but the truth is revealed very early in the movie, which I remember seeing as a little kid.  Here's something that puzzled me then and that puzzles me now.  Why did they film movies in Sepia?  It's not real color, as far as I'm concerned, and I'd rather watch a B&W film.  Here's something I didn't think of.  Why go to India and not film in Technicolor?  And why use stock footage of animals? I can answer that: budget. I might not be right, but I'd be willing to bet on it.

Rod Cameron is a white hunter who's survived an attack by -- here it comes -- woolly mammoths.  Would it surprise you to learn that nobody believes him?  When elephants begin stampeding for no discernible reason, killing some villagers, Cameron mounts an expedition to find the answer, though he thinks he knows what it is.  And sure enough -- woolly mammoths.  Really, just elephants decked out a bit more convincingly than the dogs in The Killer Shrews, but for a little kid, they were woolly mammoths, all right.

If you watched the trailer, and you really should, you know something about the great lines and the quality of acting, two things I wouldn't have noticed when I was 11 years old.  I didn't even think twice about Marie Windsor as an Indian princess or Caesar Romero as an Indian. 

Two things: (1) You can't go wrong with a knife fight on a narrow wooden bridge over a gorge.  (2) The ending.  It really impressed me as a kid, and it's the main thing I remember about the movie.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I am sure I saw this on TV at some point. Those jungle movies were rampant in my youth.

James Reasoner said...

The gorge needs to have quicksand at the bottom of it.

Unknown said...

How true!