“Jungle Bride”

June 22, 2008

In 1925, Harry O. Hoyt made the “The Lost World” for First National Pictures. In 1933, he made “Jungle Bride” for I. E. Chadwick Productions. The credits read “Charles Starrett – courtesy of Paramount” so I’m thinking this was a loan-out.

In one of many firsts, we meet Charley, drunk, dressed in a white suit, strumming on a guitar and singing (with what sounds like his natural voice) for a bunch of folks on what turns out to be a doomed ship. He’s being taken by a reporter to the US to stand trial for a murder that another man has been convicted of. That man’s sister is Anita Page. She’s there too.

The ship hits a reef and sinks and all three of these folks end up on a desert island, along with Gordon Wayne‘s comic side-kick.

What follows is a lot of footage of wild animals intercut with our actors. There’s a Gilligan’s Island-type hut made of bamboo. Plans to escape. Rivalry for the gal.

We also get to see Charley do a lot of things we’ve never seen him do: wrestle a lion, play guitar, wear a striped shirt, laugh at a monkey, share hot chemistry with a gal, get married, use an eraser, beat up a reporter.

There’s a running mystery about Gordon’s guilt which has a lame resolution, but the ending of this film is pretty neat.