The Naked Jungle

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The Naked Jungle
Thenakedjungle.jpg
Promotional film poster
Directed byByron Haskin
Produced byGeorge Pal
Written byRanald MacDougall
Ben Maddow
Philip Yordan
based on a story by
Carl Stephenson
StarringEleanor Parker
Charlton Heston
Abraham Sofaer
William Conrad
Music byDaniele Amfitheatrof
CinematographyErnest Laszlo, ASC
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release datesMarch 3, 1954
Running time95 min.
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Box office$2.3 million (US)[1]
 
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The Naked Jungle
Thenakedjungle.jpg
Promotional film poster
Directed byByron Haskin
Produced byGeorge Pal
Written byRanald MacDougall
Ben Maddow
Philip Yordan
based on a story by
Carl Stephenson
StarringEleanor Parker
Charlton Heston
Abraham Sofaer
William Conrad
Music byDaniele Amfitheatrof
CinematographyErnest Laszlo, ASC
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release datesMarch 3, 1954
Running time95 min.
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Box office$2.3 million (US)[1]

The Naked Jungle is a 1954 film directed by Byron Haskin, and starring Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker. Telling the story of an attack of army ants on a Brazilian cocoa plantation, it was based on the short story "Leiningen Versus the Ants" by Carl Stephenson.[2]

Plot[edit]

In 1901, mail order bride Joanna (Eleanor Parker) arrives from New Orleans at a South American cocoa plantation to meet her new husband, plantation owner Christopher Leiningen (Charlton Heston), whom she has married by proxy.

Leiningen is cold and remote to her, rebuffing all her attempts to make friends with him. She's beautiful, independent, and arrives ready to be his stalwart helpmate; however, no one has told him she's a widow. He rejects her.

As she awaits the boat to take her back to the United States, they learn that legions of army ants—the Marabunta—will strike in a few days' time. Leiningen refuses to give up the home he fought so hard to create. Instead of evacuating, he resolves to make a stand against this indomitable natural predator. Joanna joins the fight to save the plantation; their courage and his probable loss of all he's worked for may crack his resolve to send her away.

Production[edit]

The screenplay was co-written by Ranald MacDougall and the blacklisted writer Ben Maddow. The film was produced in Technicolor by George Pal, who also made The War of the Worlds, Tom Thumb, and The Time Machine.

Real Marabunta are not exactly like the ones in the movie. They don't lie dormant for 27 years and they don't eat large vertebrates. They are also accompanied by Antbirds and various other birds that eat some of what they can't.

William Conrad, who had starred as Leiningen in a 1948 adaptation of Stephenson's story for the radio program Escape, appears in the film as a district commissioner.[3]

The unique "sound" of the ants devouring everything in their path was created by swirling a straw in a glass of water with crushed ice, which was then amplified.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954', Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955
  2. ^ Bosley Crowther review nytimes.com. Retrieved: August 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Radio drama escape-suspense.com. Retrieved: August 8, 2013.

External links[edit]

Streaming audio