Film (1952). Lippert Pictures/Voltaire Theatres, Ltd. Produced and directed by William Berke. Written by Carroll Young and Orville H Hampton (additional dialogue). Cast includes Rod Cameron, Cesar Romero and Marie Windsor. 73 minutes. Black and white with Sepiatone in original prints for the climax, removed from most later prints.
Big-game hunter Steve Bentley returns from deep in the jungles of India as the lone survivor of a hunting expedition which he says was wiped out by surviving mammoths, now terrorizing everyone in the area. Upon hearing of this Princess Maria (Windsor) returns from the west – where she has been learning modern western methods of government – to her subcontinental kingdom. Rama Singh (Romero) is her Prime Minister, left in charge during her absence; his brother was among the killed members of Bentley's party. A military expedition is put together to deal with the problem; both Bentley and the Princess insist on going along, as does Singh. Romantic rivalry develops between Bentley and Singh, resolved when Bentley dies saving Mari from an accidental hand-grenade detonation. The mammoths are proven to exist after the expedition has survived more conventional dangers from wildlife, including a tiger attack. At the climax, a convenient earthquake finishes off the living fossils, and everyone departs satisfied.
The Jungle is an early example of a US/India co-production, reportedly mostly filmed in India. The Tamil-language version is said to run considerably longer than the US version. An unfortunate aspect of this minor film is that nobody seems interested in preserving or studying the mammoths, only in seeing them destroyed. [GFi]
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