Queen of the Jungle (1935)

Article #752 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-6-2003
Posting Date: 9-3-2003
Directed by Robert Hill
Featuring Reed Howes, Mary Korman, Dickie Jones

A little girl gets lost in the jungle as the result of a tragic hide-and-seek accident, and becomes the leader of a primitive tribe. Years later, her childhood friend sets out to find her.

One of the first things you notice about this old serial is how loudly it creaks. Then you notice a curious phenomenon; some of the scenes appear to be shot at a different speed than the others. You then notice that the scenes that are in fast motion have no dialogue. It was here a quick check on IMDB confirmed my suspicions; a goodly portion of this movie is made up of footage from an old silent serial called JUNGLE GODDESS. This isn’t the only time a talkie used a goodly amount of silent footage; a horrible little movie called THE WHITE GORILLA tried it a decade later, and did a very bad job of it. This one is somewhat more successful; it actually looks like they took the trouble to cast actors and actresses that resembled the characters in the silent footage, so that only the speed of the footage really gives it away. It manages to pull off its trick for a while, but as the serial progresses, the story deteriorates; there’s at least one cliffhanger where the follow-up episode appeared to actually omit the escape footage, so I don’t know how they got out of the peril. The final episode looks largely like a bunch of cliffhangers edited together to finish up the movie. It ends up all having a bit of charm to it, but don’t expect much; it’s largely just a curio.


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