Republic Pictures, 1941
15 Chapters B/W
Starring: Frances Gifford, Tom Neal, Trevor Bardette, Gerald Mohr, Eddie Acuff, Frank Lackteen, Tommy Cook
Directed by: William Witney, John English

Republic Serial fans rejoice! Here's one most people interested in this genre of film making never thought they would see in their lifetime - Jungle Girl! Jungle Girl was presumed lost after the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate reclaimed its rights after a 1947 reissue. In the modern age of videotape, Jungle Girl has been bootlegged, mostly from inferior tattered and stained 16mm prints. The good folks at VCI have given Republic Serial fans and Edgar Rice Burroughs fans, a true gem to behold on their remastered DVD release.

This is the first of the Nyoka series Republic produced. It is doubtful Burroughs' Jungle Girl has any resemblance to this series, including the name Nyoka, which Republic used successfully in two other serials, Perils of Nyoka (Republic 1942) and Tiger Woman (Republic 1944).

The cast is spearheaded by the sultry Frances Gifford, Tom Neal (who a decade later would make tabloid headlines in a love traingle with Barbara Payton and actor Franchot Tone, whom he pummeled half to death), Trevor Bardette, and the suave Gerald Mohr. Mohr began his film career in 1939 with a genre slant in Charlie Chan on Treasure Island and Panama Patrol. The next year he was featured in the ensemble cast in Parmounts The Monster and the Girl, and the year following was the voice of Captain Marvel's nemesis, the Scorpion, in Republic's The Adventures of Captain Marvel, as well as his effective work in Jungle Girl. Mohr's distinctive voice led him to the radio role of Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, and the lead in a series of Lone Wolf features in the 1940s.

In 1959 he again had a leading role in the seldom seen A Date with Death, co-starring Liz Renay and Harry Lauter. He was also featured in AIPs Sci-Fi thriller The Angry Red Planet. His last role was in Funny Girl. That same year, he died of a heart attack while in Sweden.

There is no doubt that hard-core serial fans are going to find this an invaluable addition to their serial collections. With Tom Neal and Gerald Mohr as the hero and the villain squaring off through 15 chapters of some of the most brilliant vine swinging, superlative Lydecker special effects, a damn good musical score, and screenwriting that equals a first rate whodunit, you won't be sorry that you checked it out. Serial fans consider this the finest jungle serial ever made, and I won't disagree!

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