(aka "Jungle Girl")
by John English and William Witney
DVDs should sometimes be fun. I know if I exclusively watched films like Ikiru, Rosetta and Raise the Red Lantern I might tend to be one morose character. So, occasionally, I drift to DVDs with innocent productions that have inherent simplicity and purity of concept and expression. Jungle Girl is one of those.
I wonder how many 1000's of adolescent fantasies were thrust in the direction of Frances Gifford in the 1940's. Scantily clad swinging on jungle vines often bound to tree trunks with a threatening menace at hand only to be saved in the dying seconds before imminent death. Richard Myers's autobiographical and independent American feature is a personal tribute to Frances Gifford. Yes, she was very sexy and this fact did not escape the producers of the Republic Jungle Girl Serial - in fact they took advantage whenever they could.
Nyoka (pronounced "NI" - "OAK" - "A") is the Jungle Girl. We don't know why or how she is... she just is. Her father, a doctor, fled to the jungle for research and escape association with his criminal twin brother. She swings from vines with more dexterity than Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan but communicates with animals... and swims and dives with the same athletic ability. The impressive stunts were done mostly by Helen Thurston - and believe me the swinging mid-air flips look great even by today's standards. The plot, although stretched out, forces numerous 'catch and chase' scenes with natives, lions and diamond chasing thieves. The characters are pleasantly one-dimensional and the focus is on the cliff-hanger action ending each serial episode. What can you say, either you will see the thrill of this thing or you will not. As serials go - it is definitely one of the better (if not the best). I can't speak for you, but I loved immersing myself in Nyoka, The Jungle Girl! out of
Theatrical Release: June 21st, 1941 - USA
DVD Review: VCI Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||VCI Entertainment Region 1 - NTSC|
|Runtime||approx. 4:45:27 (15 Serial chapters of around 20-30 minutes each)|
Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.84 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)|
This DVD image quality is better than you might expect and even better than my screen captures indicate. For a production over 60 years ago it looks damn fine - sharp and clean - audible sound and a few interesting Extra features. If you are at all keen on this type of Republic serial I wouldn't waste a moment. Buy now before it becomes Out of Print !
I do have one question - my cover is slightly different than other covers of this same DVD I have seen on the Internet. I suspect that mine, if anything, is a later version, as it says on MY box - "Newly discovered - Master Positive Print". I may be wrong and all version may be like this - but why the different cover ?
Regardless this is great 2 disc boxset. out of
My one significant complaint with this DVD is that each Chapter MUST start with the three logos below appearing each time - add to that the credits and the first 2 minutes of the previous episode and our entertainment-quota is thinning pretty fast. I think for those wishing to see all the chapters in a row they should not be inflicted upon seeing this duplicated information over and over... after 15 chapters it was really starting to get on my nerves - or perhaps I was just anxious to get to the next adventure :)