Archive for debut of Jayne Mansfield

Female Jungle

Posted in Classics, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on June 13, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Also known under the title The Hangover, this crime film follows Sergeant Stevens (Lawrence Tierney) as a detective who must clear his name when incriminating circumstances make him the prime suspect in a film-actress’ murder.

What people are saying:

“A muddled but diverting B film noir melodrama from cheapie American International Pictures. Future sex queen Jayne Mansfield, known as the blonde bombshell, made her acting debut, costarring as a nymphomaniac. Its attempts to be hard-boiled fall apart when it becomes apparent that writer Burt Kaiser couldn’t get a handle on the plot line, and instead lets the narrative get mired in too much silliness. It also suffers from a weak directing effort by Bruno Ve Sota and cheesy production values” 3 stars

“Rather lurid and somewhat boring.” 2 stars

Female Jungle is a fairly good and at times noteworthy low budget indie feature. Produced by star Burt Kaiser, who plays a down on his luck sketch artist with the longest 1950’s hair this side of Elvis, the film also features Lawrence Tierney, who sleepwalks through his role as a drunken cop trying to win back the respect of his sergeant by helping solve a murder mystery. Tierney’s career was entering crisis mode at this point thanks to his own drinking problem, and though he’s obviously trying his best here, it shows. The story is fairly feeble, but the fine cast–which also includes John Carradine, Attack of the Giant Leeches man Bruno Ve Sota, an unglamorous looking Jayne Mansfield, and Davis Roberts–is worth watching. For a poverty row cheapie the film looks quite good–a testament, perhaps, to the effective work of DoP Elwood Bredell, who always did good work with little money on ‘B’ classics like Man Made Monster and Phantom Lady.” 2 stars

“I’m not into old flicks from the 50’s and even the 60’s but still, I have to buy some to complete my collection. But it came clear after this one, I don’t like horrors from that era but crime stories I do like. The reason is very simple, they don’t use cheap effects. But still, they have to give you a special reason to watch them. This one still stands after those years due the perfect editing, what I mean is that they use single camera to make those flicks, so when you see a cut it’s been taken from another take. Mostly faults are visible in expression of faces or drinks that are for example empty and suddenly they’re full again. Another reason to watch it is to see sex symbol Jayne Mansfield in her screen debut. Already in some sexy outfit and as seducer. A strange life she had dying at age 34. All acting is well done, of course no nudity in it but the use of blood dripping from one’s hand is impressive for that era. When one is killed due gunshots, the close up and the blood running was also well done. It’s not a master piece but it surely is still enjoyable.” 2 1/2 stars

“Even allowing for the fact that it was a low budget, quickly made picture (like many film noirs were), this picture for me was more bad than good. First the bad, the film suffers from some stilted acting by the supporting players and so-so dialog. The film even manages a couple of moments of unintentional humor. It is about a murder that takes place outside a bar where an off duty cop is drinking heavily. The cop is played here by Lawrence Tierney (who looks more like his younger brother, Scott Brady, than he has in any other role of his I’ve seen). The cops on duty browbeat Tierney into helping out with the investigation. I did not understand why they expected Tierney’s character to help, he was off duty after all. Now for the good, after a few false leads and dead ends, the killer is revealed. I must admit, the killer’s identity was unexpected. I was fooled. The leading performers here are competent but the one person that really stands out, literally, is a young temptress played by Jayne Mansfield. It is easy to see why she ended up with a Hollywood career playing Marilyn Monroe type parts. This film was released as the second half of a double feature. That is where it belongs. The western it was released with, Oklahoma Woman, is a much better film.” 2 1/2 stars

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