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Jungle Jim in the Forbidden Land 1952
Description: Jungle Jim is forced to lead anthropologist Dr. Edwards into a land inhabited by giant people.
Released: 17 Mar 1952 Director: Lew Landers Writers: Samuel Newman (written for the screen by) Actors: Johnny Weissmuller, Angela Greene, Jean Willes, Lester Matthews Genres: Sci-Fi, Adventure
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Jungle Jim in the Forbidden Land Reviews:

The Jungle Jim films produced by Sam Katzman and starring Johnny Weismuller were all weak grade jungle journeys made strictly to fill the bottom half of a double bill. Unless you watch them out nostalgia or, are like me, a fanatic of Weismuller, they are cute rough going. None of them seem to have been made with concept of making something good. The concurrent Tarzan movies at RKO with Lex Barker, and the Bomba the Jungle Man series at Monogram starring former "Boy" Johnny Sheffield, while not great, were at least reasonably well produced.JUNGLE JIM IN THE FORBIDDEN LAND is slightly enlivened by the presence of the strange "giant people." They are not giants, just very tall. They are supposed to be some type of missing link. The makeup by Clay Campell is surprisingly nice for such a cheap picture, but the only trouble is that the "giant people" look more like werewolves than some type of "missing link". Otherwise, JUNGLE JIM IN THE FORBIDDEN is just other Jungle Jim film with the usual perfunctory performances, light skinned Africans, Columbia backlot jungle, stock footage, Tamba's hijinks etc.


I know there are a lot of negative comments on IMDb regarding the series of Jungle Jim films starring Johnny Weissmuller in the early 1950's. Yes, they were weak budget films, and Johnny couldn't act his method out of a paper bag if his life depended on it. Nonetheless, I search these movies fun, as long as you check your mind at the door while watching them.This entry in the series has Jungle Jim (Weissmuller) supporting a cute female anthropologist, Dr. Linda Roberts, (portrayed by actress Angela Greene) search the land of the Giants, a strange group of folks who snarl like lions and look like werewolves on growth hormones. Of course we have to have the requisite terrible guy, who is played by Lester Matthews, a corrupt commissioner who is stealing ivory from tusks of elephants.I love these films because of the outrageous acts of daring do we are supposed to believe...watch Jungle Jim wrestle underwater with a 2,000 pound hippo! See Jim go one on one with a black panther, rolling on the ground with it attacking him and emerge without a scratch, his khakis as clean and starchily pressed as if he just got them from the cleaners. It's hilarious, and all in good, clean fun.If you watch these films knowing they are not to be believed, but just enjoyed, then you'll have a nice time.


"In the Forbidden Land" seems to me to have a weaker and less focused screenplay compared to the another JJ episode I've seen (the one where he goes looking for a missing football player). Or maybe seeing other one helped me realize just how perfunctory and by-the-numbers this series really was. But the performances were about the same, and the results and sound stages and liberal test of stock footage and white actors was about the same. Johnny himself still looked reasonably fit (for a 1950s actor who didn't know anything about modern theories of resistance training or nutrition) in his one extended shirtless scene, which is everytime nice for a viewers' morale.Goofy mistakes and second rate production elements abound, of course. A hippo attacks a canoe and eats one of the paddlers (aren't hippos herbivores?).Jim alternates fighting a stuffed panther with stock footage shots of a true one snarling at the camera. "Giant people" from a lost tribe turn out to resemble werewolves (rather than "missing links"). Asian elephants are outfitted with tusks and ear prostheses in an effort to resemble African elephants (at least they knew the difference). There's random footage of "Tamba" the chimp being "cute" that has no connection to almost anything else in the plot and is just there because, hey, folks expect a chimp sidekick for Johnny. And each one in the plot is rock stupid. The final third of the plot involves Jim being framed for murder (apparently the commissioner was supposed to think that Jim shot himself full of pentathol and clubbed himself unconscious) but not being allowed to explain what happened because they've gagged him. (The stated reason is that they don't wish him to "call for support from his animal friends". The true reason is that the plot twist wouldn't last for 30 seconds if Jim was allowed to speak).Still, if you select to watch a "Jungle Jim" journey in this day and age, you either wish to relive the experience of being 8 years old and watching a Saturday afternoon matinée, or else you are an archivist and collector of all related things from that era. In either case, you parked your brain at the door at the beginning of the film. (I'm not sneering - I play certain pop culture stuff from my childhood far more than they deserve on their current merits.) So here you are: enjoy!



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