Jungle Girl (1984)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Jungle Film  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This excellent remake of scenes from the 1941 Republic serial Jungle Girl stars Mary Leed as the heroine Nyoka and Jake Leed as Stanton. Frances Gifford and Tom Neal starred in the original serials, and Gifford collaborated with director and writer Richard Myers on this tribute to the Republic shorts. While an effective, inspiring homage to the week-end cliffhangers that kept people coming back for more, Jungle Girl hardly competes with the real-life dramas of both Gifford and Neal. When Gifford was 28, her parents died, she suffered a disfiguring near-fatal car crash which required plastic surgery on her face, and MGM "released" her from her contract -- as a result of these traumas she spent the next 10 years in and out of mental hospitals. Recovered by the early 1980s, she died in 1994. Neal became infamous for beating up actor Franchot Tone in a jealous fit, went to prison for 7 years for killing his third wife, and died in 1972, one year after he was released from prison. Jungle Girl's adventures pale by comparison.