The Naked Jungle (1954)

Article #1219 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-16-2004
Posting Date: 12-13-2004
Directed by Byron Haskin
Featuring Charlton Heston, Eleanor Parker, Abraham Sofaer

A woman marries a plantation owner by proxy, but when she arrives on his plantation, they have trouble getting along.

If this were your typical jungle movie, it would be marginal at best in terms of belonging to the fantastic genres. And given the above plot description, you might well think it’s even more marginal than the usual jungle movie. Don’t worry; though it’s not a horror movie, the horrific content that manifests itself in the last third of this movie (when Leiningen attempts to defend his plantation against an onslaught of soldier ants) is the very stuff of nightmares. The last third of the movie is absolutely gripping, but real credit has to go to all involved for making the first two thirds of the movie interesting as well, especially when you consider that the romantic relationship that takes center stage throughout the movie is fairly cliched. It’s interesting to note that THEM! wasn’t the only scary ant movie of 1954.


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