Jungle Hell (1955)

85 mins | Science fiction | 1955

Director:

Norman A. Cerf

Writer:

Norman A. Cerf

Producer:

Norman A. Cerf

Cinematographer:

Gilbert Warrenton

Production Company:

Taj Mahal Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Opening credits include the following written acknowledgment: "With grateful acknowledgment to the Ministry of Information, Division of Films, of the government of India and to His Highness the Maharajah of Mysore for their aid and co-operation in the production of this motion picture." The film was intermittently narrated by an offscreen narrator. The final sequence following “Paul’s” marriage proposal was entirely narrated in the past tense, as if the events had already occurred.
       Although the viewed print was titled Jungle Hell , the SAB and MFB list the film's title as Jungle Boy . No official release date or American review has been found; however, the SAB was dated 1955. According to modern sources, this film is a compilation of episodes, extended with stock footage, originally created for a television series titled Jungle Boy that never aired. It is possible that the feature was only released theatrically outside the U.S. Some modern sources erroneously list the film's alternate title as Il tesoro del Bengale , an Italian-made film which starred Sabu, but that film bears no connection to Jungle Hell ... More Less

Opening credits include the following written acknowledgment: "With grateful acknowledgment to the Ministry of Information, Division of Films, of the government of India and to His Highness the Maharajah of Mysore for their aid and co-operation in the production of this motion picture." The film was intermittently narrated by an offscreen narrator. The final sequence following “Paul’s” marriage proposal was entirely narrated in the past tense, as if the events had already occurred.
       Although the viewed print was titled Jungle Hell , the SAB and MFB list the film's title as Jungle Boy . No official release date or American review has been found; however, the SAB was dated 1955. According to modern sources, this film is a compilation of episodes, extended with stock footage, originally created for a television series titled Jungle Boy that never aired. It is possible that the feature was only released theatrically outside the U.S. Some modern sources erroneously list the film's alternate title as Il tesoro del Bengale , an Italian-made film which starred Sabu, but that film bears no connection to Jungle Hell .
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Monthly Film Bulletin
1955
p. 91.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Jungle Boy
Release Date:
1955
Production Date:
completed May 1955
Physical Properties:
Sound
Ryder Sound Services, Inc.
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,646
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A rock adorned with script is found in ancient Mysore, India. The writing tells that beings from another galaxy have planted a powerful substance in India and around the world, and instructed elephants to guard it until their ship returns. In the present day Indian village of Tangri, local priest Shan-Kar performs a healing ritual on a boy who has been burned by unidentified rocks found in the roots of teak trees. The Jungle Boy of Tangri, who works with the priest as an elephant guide, defies the priest and urges Shusheila, the boy’s mother, to take her son to American physician Paul Morrison, who cured Jungle Boy of similar burns. Kumar, Shan-Kar’s other assistant, overhears Jungle Boy and warns the priest, who insists that the boy remain on the altar, which is placed in front of the ancient Mysore rock to absorb its mystical powers, for the entire night. Shusheila’s son has a fever the next morning and, after fending off a resistant Kumar, Jungle Boy takes Shusheila and her son to Paul’s house. After treating the boy’s burns, Paul writes to Dr. Angus Caldwell at the London Public Health Clinic to ask for his assistance in determining the cause of the numerous burns, similar to those caused by radiation, for which he has been treating the Tangri villagers. Angus sends his chief assistant, Dr. Pamela Ames, to help Paul and alerts the scientific research division of the United Nations in Geneva, which launches a worldwide investigation of radioactive substances. In Tangri, Shan-Kar punishes Jungle Boy for disobedience by refusing to allow him to lead the hunt for a male elephant for ... +


A rock adorned with script is found in ancient Mysore, India. The writing tells that beings from another galaxy have planted a powerful substance in India and around the world, and instructed elephants to guard it until their ship returns. In the present day Indian village of Tangri, local priest Shan-Kar performs a healing ritual on a boy who has been burned by unidentified rocks found in the roots of teak trees. The Jungle Boy of Tangri, who works with the priest as an elephant guide, defies the priest and urges Shusheila, the boy’s mother, to take her son to American physician Paul Morrison, who cured Jungle Boy of similar burns. Kumar, Shan-Kar’s other assistant, overhears Jungle Boy and warns the priest, who insists that the boy remain on the altar, which is placed in front of the ancient Mysore rock to absorb its mystical powers, for the entire night. Shusheila’s son has a fever the next morning and, after fending off a resistant Kumar, Jungle Boy takes Shusheila and her son to Paul’s house. After treating the boy’s burns, Paul writes to Dr. Angus Caldwell at the London Public Health Clinic to ask for his assistance in determining the cause of the numerous burns, similar to those caused by radiation, for which he has been treating the Tangri villagers. Angus sends his chief assistant, Dr. Pamela Ames, to help Paul and alerts the scientific research division of the United Nations in Geneva, which launches a worldwide investigation of radioactive substances. In Tangri, Shan-Kar punishes Jungle Boy for disobedience by refusing to allow him to lead the hunt for a male elephant for Mr. Trosk, a hunter who is a friend of Paul’s. When Trosk points out to Kumar the elephant he wants, a defiant Jungle Boy intervenes and arranges for the elephant’s capture. Jungle Boy later fights with Kumar after accusing the assistant of shirking his work with Shan-Kar by secretly working for Trosk. Following another elephant drive, a flying saucer appears in the skies and weather patterns become erratic. As a result of a powerful thunderstorm, Pamela’s plane crashes in the jungle and Paul sends Jungle Boy to search for the wreckage. Jungle Boy soon locates the crash site and a battered Pamela, who is the sole survivor. When he brings her back to Tangri, Paul is surprised to see that the research scientist Angus sent is a woman. Elsewhere, Trosk asks Kumar to find him a burning stone, and Kumar assures him that some will be found when more teak trees are felled for lumber. The next day, Jungle Boy takes Paul and Pamela to the logging site but they have to wait overnight in the jungle until a herd of elephants passes. The next day they encounter Kumar and Trosk, whom they join in a canoe to cross a river and eventually reach a site where some burning rocks were previously found. Several elephants are at work pushing down trees and after they leave, Paul and Pamela collect a rock sample, unaware that a flying saucer hovers overhead. That night, Trosk returns to the same location and attempts to melt one of the rocks, but a tiger, receiving communication from the flying saucer via beams of light, attacks and kills the hunter. At Paul’s laboratory, he and Pamela determine that the rocks are indeed radioactive, as they had suspected earlier. Paul then proposes to Pamela, who he believes will be a perfect partner for life and work. After they are married, they determine that Mysore is the exact geometric center of the earth. Based on their discoveries, the United Nations builds a study center in Mysore, but uncertainty continues about the flying saucer’s effects on the wild animals and its possible future return. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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