GRAPHICS LOADING
Of all the movies of people threatened by insects, from the giant ants of THEM ( 1954) to the killer bees of THE SWARM (1978), THE NAKED JUNGLE is probably the best, and certainly the most realistic film of all.



SYNOPSIS:


This action adventure film is set at the turn of the century in the Amazon jungle, where Charlton Heston has carved a plantation empire. As the film opens, Eleanor Parker, a New Orleans woman who has married Heston by proxy, arrives at the plantation to meet her new husband. Heston is cold and remote to her, rebuffing all her attempts to make friends with him. An emotion packed confrontation happens when Heston realizes that Parker is not wearing the perfume he bought her. He grabs the bottle of perfume and pours it all over her in an outburst of rage. Parker, in his arms, turns to him with her soft eyes towards his face just staring at him. Heston instantly begins to melt, but regains his composure and storms out of the room. Then, when she lets it slip that she was married before, he is terribly unset and refers to her as "damaged goods" and decides to send her packing. Before Parker can leave, William Conrad, the province commissioner, comes to dinner. Conrad tells Heston about strange happenings in the jungle, animal migrations, and when Heston asks him what he thinks is causing them, Conrad says the dreaded word, "MARABUNDA"--the massive movement of a huge swarm of soldier ants, twenty miles long, two miles wide, traveling six miles a day, devouring everything in its path!!! Conrad tells Heston that the only intelligent course is to get out of their way, but Heston has fought the jungle too long and too hard to simply walk away. Parker argues that if Heston sends her away in the face of this threat, the native workers will also flee and Heston won't have a chance of fighting the ants, an argument that impresses Heston. He begins preparing his plantation for the onslaught of 'army ants'. The ants, though, cross the water via leaves or by building bridges with their own bodies. Parker "stands by her man" and helps Heston with his attempts at saving his home. This brings them closer together and Heston melts to her 'charms'. He begins to let his pent up emotions for her to surface and turns to her for comfort and begins to show his true feelings of love towards her. Meanwhile,  Heston no sooner manages to stop the threat from one quarter of his plantation, when the assault is renewed on another. Many of the natives flee in panic and it looks as though Heston is beaten.  In a desperate valiant attempt to save his plantation, Heston---alone, heads for the last hope---to blow up the bridge holding back the Amazon River from his beloved  plantation. He smears his body with oil and heads out for the bridge, battling swarms of ants everywhere. He is covered from head to toe with the little beasts as he reaches the bridge. Heston sets fire to the dynamite planted under the bridge and runs with all his might for safety before it blows up. As the bridge blows up and tons of water comes crashing down on Heston, he is pushed violently down the riverbed. The ants are washed away and and Heston emerges from the muddy deluge to fall into the waiting arms of Parker. They hold each other knowing that with their new-found love they can rebuild the plantation into a 'home.'
 
This amazing action packed adventure features some incredible special effects of billions of ants ravaging the countryside. Chuck plays the ultimate  'heel' to Eleanor's sweet, feminine but tough persona.  Chuck is quoted as saying about his character, " My wife (Lydia) describes the character as 'one of those hero-heels you do'--and it was the first of them, and perhaps it's one of the reasons I was cast in similar roles in the future." This was not an easy role for Chuck to play. It required him to be smeared with syrup and then covered with real ants which crawled over his body to achieve the realism that George Pal was famous for in his movies. THE NAKED JUNGLE garnered favorable reviews and from the financial standpoint, proved to be Chuck's most successful picture since THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.



MY COMMENTS:


Chuck gives an outstanding performance in this film. This is a movie which you 'love to hate' him as the heel of a husband to Eleanor. He does a lot of his stunts in this movie and has to be admired for putting up with those ants crawling all over his body during re-take after re-take without complaints. Eleanor's acting is very good as a woman strong enough to stand up to all the abuse her husband can heap upon her, but still  is able to win his respect and love by the end of the movie. The electricity Chuck and Eleanor creates on screen during the 'perfume' scene is incredible! The pure animal magnetism which Chuck expresses is enough to make any women swoon. The special effects are some of the best and most realistic I have seen for a movie made in the '50s. THE NAKED JUNGLE is a cross between a battle between the elements and emotions. By the end of this film, both the jungle and the character: Leiningen's emotions have become 'naked' to the truth.
CHUCK AS CHRISTOPHER LEININGEN
THE NAKED JUNGLE
THE NAKED JUNGLE
Director: Byron Haskin, 1953

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CHUCK AS CHRISTOPHER LEININGEN:THE NAKED JUNGLE('53)
CHUCK & ELEANOR PARKER
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CHUCK IN NAKED JUNGLE ('53)
CHUCK WITHOUT HIS SHIRT ON
CHUCK, ELEANOR & Wm CONRAD
CHUCK & ELEANOR
CHUCK & ELEANOR
CHUCK & ELEANOR
CHUCK IN NAKED JUNGLE
CHUCK & ELEANOR PARKER-AUTOGRAPHED
CHUCK & ELEANOR
CHUCK IN NAKED JUNGLE
CHUCK & ELEANOR
CHUCK & ELEANOR
CHUCK, ELEANOR & JOHN MANSFIELD
CHUCK WITH THOSE PESTY ANTS!
CHUCK & ELEANOR PARKER-AUTOGRAPHED
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MORE INFORATION ON
                                   THE NAKED JUNGLE:

Country of origin: U.S.
Genre: Adventure
Color or b/w: Color
Production Co(s).: Paramount
Released By: Paramount
MPAA rating: NR
Parental rating: Acceptable to Children
Running time: 95

CAST:

Charlton Heston- Christopher Leiningen
Eleanor Parker- Joanna Leiningen
Abraham Sofaer - Incacha
William Conrad - Commissioner
Romo Vincent - Boat Captain
Douglas Fowley- Medicine Man
John Dierkes - Gruber
Leonard Strong- Kutina
Norma Calderon - Zala
John Mansfield- Foreman
Ronald Numkena
Bernie Gozier
Jack Reitzen
Rodd Redwing
Pilar Del Rey
John E. Wood
Jerry Groves
Leon Lontoc
Carlos Rivero


CREDITS:

Producer: George Pal
Director: Byron Haskin
Writer: Philip Yordan
Ranald MacDougall (based on the story "Leiningen Versus the Ants" by Carl Stephenson)
Cinematographer: Ernest Laszlo (Technicolor)
Editor: Everett Douglas
Music Composer: Daniele Amfitheatrof
Special Effects: John P. Fulton, Farciot Edouart
Costume Design: Edith Head
NAKED JUNGLE POSTER ('53)
NAKED JUNGLE POSTER('53)
NAKED JUNGLE POSTER ('53)
NAKED JUNGLE POSTER '53
NAKED JUNGLE POSTER '53
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NAKED JUNGLE POSTER '53
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CHUCK & ELEANOR
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Replaced on 2-14-07