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The Naked Jungle 1954 NR CC

(250) IMDb 6.9/10
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Charlton Heston is the powerful, brooding owner of a plantation in the wild and treacherous South American jungle.

Eleanor Parker, Charlton Heston
1 hour, 36 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Adventure
Director Byron Haskin
Starring Eleanor Parker, Charlton Heston
Supporting actors Abraham Sofaer, William Conrad, Romo Vincent, Douglas Fowley, John Dierkes, Leonard Strong, Norma Calderón, Pilar Del Rey, Bernie Gozier, Jerry Groves, Leon Lontoc, John Mansfield, Ronald Alan Numkena, Rodd Redwing, Jack Reitzen, Carlos Rivero
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 105 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on November 15, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I once had an unpleasant experience with some fire ants in Florida many years ago, involving my ill-fated decision to take a rest under the shade of a palm tree, only to discover I had sat squarely on a bunch of the red devils, and they seemed none to happy about that (I guess I can't really blame them, as I would probably be upset being squashed by a comparatively giant bottom myself). The lesson learned there was watch where you sit. Watching producer George Pal's The Naked Jungle (1954) brought back memories of my less than enjoyable experience, as soon I begin rubbing at welts long since gone. Wonderfully directed by Byron Haskin (Treasure Island, The War of the Worlds), The Naked Jungle stars an excellent Charlton Heston (Ben Hur, Touch of Evil), Eleanor Parker (Scaramouche), William (TV's Frank Canon, P.I.) Conrad and a whole lotta ants (imagine a column of voracious ants two miles long and twenty miles wide...we're gonna need the industrial size Raid)...or, Marabunta, as they're often referred to within the movie.

The film, which takes place deep in the South American jungle, begins with a rather refined looking lady completely out of place on a funky river barge traveling deep in the heart of the jungle. The woman's name is Joanna Leiningen (Parker), and she's on her way to meet her husband, Christopher Leiningen (Heston), at his expansive cocoa plantation. They've never met before, as Christopher, who's spent the last fifteen years or so building his plantation so deep in the jungle has not had time to find a wife, so he arranged for his brother, who was stateside, to find an appropriate woman to which he could marry by proxy and then she would eventually travel to the plantation and set up residence.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By janet whitcomb on August 11, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Lydia Heston, Charlton Heston's wife, once identified many of his most successful roles as being "heel with a heart" characterizations. "The Naked Jungle" is an excellent example of this theory . . . and also a damn fine movie, adapted from the classic short story, "Leningen vs. the Ants." Christopher Leningen is a determined and very lonely young man who has carved out a plantation (product: cocoa beans) and now is looking for a wife. Through his brother (who we do not see), he finds a wife and marries her by proxy, then has her brought to the plantation. As played by Eleanor Parker (the fine actress of "Caged," known by "Sound of Music" fans as Elsa the arch-villainess), Joanna is just as strong-willed as Christopher . . . resulting in a considerable psychological war-of-the-sexes. The excellent script, superb direction, and wonderful production values all add to make this a terrific viewing experience . . . and don't look now, but there's William Conrad, the classic radio actor and television star! "Elephant Walk," with an also excellent cast of Peter Finch, Elizabeth Taylor and Dana Andrews, was coincidentally released the same year and has a similar theme, but "The Naked Jungle" remains the better movie, not just for the reasons mentioned, but also because the physical enemy is far more unlikely. (Hint: You'll get the urge to itch before the end of "Naked Jungle"!) Don't be mislead by the title; this is not a cheesy, exploitational film, although some nice metaphoric language in the script, plus the tremendous physicality of Heston and Parker, create some obvious erotic tension. Not exactly the ultimate movie about South America, as one reviewer claimed, and not the imperialist fantasy that another reviewer stated, but a great adventure yarn featuring two strong people going up against the elements . . . and themselves.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. Ferrer on October 16, 2004
Format: DVD
The 50's were the great time for Technicolor, exotic adventures and intense stories. This film has all of this ...and more.

A wealthy,dark, handsome plantation-owner, Chistopher Leiningen welcome his mail-order bride. She is sophisticated, elegant and to his great concern extremely beautiful. Sparks fly since the begining and after memorable dialogues, about pianos and perfumes , and second hand roses, our heros must face the ultimate danger: Marabunta.

This is not maybe a very famous film, and probably will never be considered one of the masterworks of the Seventh Art, but is one of those you always watch in delight.

The cast just suits perfectly. Charlton Heston is...well he is Charlton. He is good opening the waters of the Red Sea or fighting against a lot of Chinese in Pekin. As usual he exploits his natural masculinity to create this man who has created an oasis in the middle of the jungle, but about women is a virginal man.

Eleanor Parker is probably one of the most elegant actress of her generation. Only she is able to pass though the jungle with a white gown and look perfectly well. She matches Heston with a woman who has little to lose but only will accept her terms of "surrender".

And William Conrand is excellent. Showing the temperance a good commisioner requires and acting as the amused witness in the developement of the situation.

This one of those films you always enjoy and that proves that a good story and good dialogues are basic to create a film.
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