Eleanor Parker is ideally cast as Joanna Selby, a young woman who has traded her cultured lifestyle in New Orleans for a more challenging existence on a South American plantation buried in the jungle. She makes this sacrifice willingly for her new husband Christopher Leiningen—a man she has never met.
The Naked Jungle has its faults, to be sure. Leiningen's transformation from rude host to caring companion is a bit too rushed. The rear-screen projection, always a problem in color films, and the stagy sets constantly remind the viewer of the artificiality of the setting. (The poor rear-screen is a surprise since the cinematographer was the famed Ernest Laszlo.) Overall, though, The Naked Jungle is a well-written, well-played character study with an unexpected turn of events in the final stretch.
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