The Jungle


1h 14m 1952

Brief Synopsis

A great white hunter and an Indian princess trek into the Indian jungle to investigate a number of wild animal stampedes which have resulted in the deaths of many people. On their journey, they discover a herd of prehistoric wooly mammoths are responsible for the terror!

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 1, 1952
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Voltaire Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Lippert Pictures, Inc.
Country
India and United States
Location
The Modern Theatres Ltd., Salem, India; Salem, India; Hogonikkal Falls, India; Mysore, India; Bombay, India

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White, Black and White (Sepiatone) (original release)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

While the ill Maharaja of India recuperates in England, he sends his daughter, Princess Mari, home to act as his regent. Although reporters at the airport imply that there are troubles in the villages, Mari's advisor and suitor, Rama Singh, protects her from the rumors. As they drive to the palace, however, a gunshot from the hills almost forces the royal car off the side of the cliff, and Mari realizes that some factions still object to her father's progressive policies regarding education, women's rights and industrialization. At the palace, Mari assembles her ministers and, after warning them that she intends to continue her father's works regardless of the personal danger, demands to know what is happening in the villages. The head minister informs her that troupes of rampaging elephants have been causing damage, and blames the continuing problem on Rama Singh's mismanagement. Later, in Mari's quarters, Rama Singh explains that he hired the famed American hunter Steven Bentley, a friend from the war in Burma, to capture the elephants, but Steven took ten hunters on his expedition and returned as the only survivor, with a story too fantastic to repeat. Mari summons a now-bitter Steven, who reluctantly recounts that the other hunters were killed by a group of wooly mammoths, which are frightening the local elephants and driving them through the villages. Because mammoths have been extinct for millions of years, Steven has been roundly ridiculed and labeled a coward who deserted his men. After Mari dismisses Steven, Rama Singh admits that one of the hunters was his brother, and she grants him permission to investigate the deaths. That night at dinner, Rama Singh watches carefully as a dancer circles close to Steven, and grabs the knife from her hand before she can stab him, prompting Steven to wonder why he would bother saving his life. Soon after, another elephant attack occurs, and Mari and Rama Singh prepare to travel into the jungle to investigate for themselves. When Steven insists on joining, claiming that his hand grenades are all that can stop the mammoths, Mari agrees to let him come along as Rama Singh's gun bearer. They reach the most recently ambushed village, where the untouched food supplies prompt Steven to note that the elephants probably were not looking for food, but Mari remains scornful of his theories. Nearby, one of the rebels who shot at Mari's car earlier is inciting the villagers to believe that the elephants were sent by God to punish them for their new, progressive ways. Rama Singh has the man beaten, and the safari continues on deeper into the jungle. Soon, a leopard kills one of the servants, and after Rama Singh shoots at it and misses, Steven leaps in front of Mari to protect her and kills it, causing her to question her assumption that he is a coward. After they set up camp that night, Mari finds Steven sitting by himself and they banter. When Steven notes that Rama Singh has already spoken for Mari, she insinuates that she has not promised him anything. A group of circus entertainers performs, and after everyone has gone to sleep, the trainer looses the dancing bear into the tent of Mari's beloved Aunt Sumira, who is mauled. Mari, Rama Singh and Steven run into the tent to save Sumira, and after Steven finds a scorpion in her bed and Rama Singh readily identifies it as one of the deadliest types, Steven grows suspicious. They send Sumira back to the palace and travel on, soon stopping in a village of hunters. While Mari and Rama Singh talk to the village leader, Steven scares off a rebel laying in wait for the pair, but Rama Singh believes Steven actually wants to kill them to save his own reputation. Soon after, the group sets up camp near the area where Steven earlier saw the mammoths. Steven joins Mari for a swim, and on their way back to camp, when they come across a bear fighting a tiger, she jumps into his arms for protection. Later, they find gigantic hoof prints and hear nervous elephants trumpeting in the nearby jungle, then watch as a boar and leopard fight. At night, Mari tells Rama Singh that Steven is so courageous that the rumors about him must be untrue, and although Rama Singh wants to embrace her, he sees that she is reading a book about mammoths, and stalks off jealously. In the morning, the elephants stampede their camp, and Rama Singh wants to kill them but Steven points out that they were just racing to the river to get away from a predator. He requests to take six soldiers into the hills where he saw the mammoths, but Rama Singh insists that they all go. They reach the bridge where the ten hunters died, and Rama Singh finds his brother's body with a gunshot in his back. Assuming Steven shot him, Rama Singh pulls a knife on the American, and they fight their way over a narrow log bridge. Steven finally overcomes Rama Singh and reveals that his brother, panicked upon seeing the mammoths, was shot to keep him from putting the other hunters in danger. Just then, the mammoths appear, while at the same time, a rebel destroys the bridge, their only escape route. Rama Singh kills the rebel, and the whole party races into the hills for protection. Mari watches proudly as Steven tries to stop the mammoths with hand grenades, and when a monkey grabs one of the grenades and drops it at Rama Singh's feet, Steven jumps on it, saving Rama Singh's life but mortally wounding himself. The explosion causes an avalanche, which kills the mammoths and most of the hunting party. In the aftermath, Rama Singh and Mari hold Steven while he dies.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 1, 1952
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Voltaire Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Lippert Pictures, Inc.
Country
India and United States
Location
The Modern Theatres Ltd., Salem, India; Salem, India; Hogonikkal Falls, India; Mysore, India; Bombay, India

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White, Black and White (Sepiatone) (original release)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The opening credits begin: "This picture was photographed entirely in India in the cities, the villages and... The Jungle." The opening credits also contain the line: "Produced with the facilities of The Modern Theatres Ltd., Salem, India." The copyright registration number for the film is LP1837; the Copyright Catalog incorrectly lists it as LP1913.
       A June 1952 New York Times article adds the following information about the production: Producer-director William Berke wrote to T. R. Sundaram, proprietor of the Modern Theatres, Ltd. studio in India, and agreed to furnish the film's American stars, screenplay and director of photography in exchange for the use of local studio space, crew, supporting cast and facilities. Berke secured a distribution deal with Robert L. Lippert before beginning production. The Jungle appears to be the only film released by Voltaire Productions, Inc., which May have been jointly owned by Lippert and Berke. Locations included Hogonikkal Falls and the Maharajah's palace in the state of Mysore. Two Indian versions of the film, one dubbed in Hindustani and one in Tamil, were made and ran more than twice as long as the American version, in keeping with typical running times of Indian films. A December 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that portions of the film would be shot in Bombay.