PYGMY ISLAND (1950)
(a.k.a. JUNGLE JIM IN PYGMY ISLAND)
Article #1593 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-25-2005
Posting Date: 12-22-2005
Directed by William A. Berke
Featuring Johnny Weissmuller, Ann Savage, David Bruce
Jungle Jim tries to help an expedition from the United States acquire the secret of an extra-strong and resilient rope that can’t be burned. The rope is the secret of a tribe of white pygmies, and foreign agents are also after the secret. There seems to be a tribe of bush devils on the loose as well.
I really liked this Jungle Jim movie at first. The story is different than the usual jungle movie storylines, the pygmies are fun if unconvincing, and there’s one hell of an elephant stampede sequence to liven things up. This held my interest for the first half of the movie, but it began to flag somewhat in the second half when the story ran out of steam, and we end up with endless scenes of people skulking through the bush. It starts to repeat itself as well; it was very entertaining to see the pygmies swinging through the jungle on vines Tarzan-style, but they repeat the footage too much before the movie is over. Still, the fight with the gorilla is still a highlight, and it was interesting to see Ann Savage (the femme fatale in DETOUR) as well. And they should have hired a proofreader for one of the newspaper headlines. Remember, “I” before “E” except after “C”; I “beleive” that’s the rule.