Friday, September 24, 2010

Why Laurie Loves Republic Pictures: JUNGLE GIRL!!!

About a year or so ago I started to attend a weekly film forum in Long Beach. Every Friday night the group shows a classic film, accompanied by a few cartoons and sometimes a short movie or a serial. The first night that I attended, I was introduced to JUNGLE GIRL, a fifteen-chapter serial released by Republic in 1941. I haven't been the same since.

JUNGLE GIRL starred Frances Gifford as Nyoka Meredith, a white woman who was raised in the jungle with her father, who had fled civilization for reasons....well, you'll just have to view it. JUNGLE GIRL was officially based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Jungle Girl novel, but it bore almost no resemblance to the novel, which was about an Asian princess, not a white woman living in Africa. JUNGLE GIRL was directed by William Whitney and John Witney.

As the weeks in the film forum continued last year, we all (me included) became totally enamored with JUNGLE GIRL. People clapped when the credits for Frances Gifford appeared and hissed when the villians were shown. Many times we enjoyed the serial more than the headliner movie, whatever it was. When the directors of the forum decided to take a break from JUNGLE GIRL one week, you should have heard the groans of disappointment. We were all truly sad when the last episode aired.

So here's to JUNGLE GIRL, to Frances Gifford and the rest of the cast, and for REPUBLIC PICTURES for again giving us so many hours of pure escape and entertainment.

Here, for your Friday night movie enjoyment, is the first episode of JUNGLE GIRL. It appears to be slightly abridged, but not so much that you can't enjoy it. And talk about a cliffhanger ending!!

You can buy the entire 15-episode series of JUNGLE GIRL. This is one version sold at amazon.

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Walker Martin said...

Jungle Girl is great and you should check out The Tiger Woman starring Linda Stirling, the Queen of the serials. She also played a masked woman wielding a whip in a Zorro serial plus several other serials and B-westerns.

Evan Lewis said...

Hm. I'd never heard of a Burroughs novel called Jungle Girl, so I looked it up. Seems that by the time I got around to reading it (in an Ace edition) the title had reverted to the one used in Blue Book: The Land of Hidden Men.