Law of the Jungle (February 6, 1942)
Released on February 6, 1942: (running time 61 minutes) An archeologist and his gentleman's gentleman help a Brooklyn singer who is stranded in the jungles of Africa and being chased by WWII enemy spies.
Produced by Lindsley Parsons
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Written by George Bricker and Edmond Kelso
The Actors: Arline Judge (Nona Brooks), John 'Dusty' King (Larry Mason), Mantan Moreland (Jefferson Jones), Arthur O'Connell (Simmons), C. Montague Shaw (Sergeant Burke), Guy Kingsford (Constable Whiteside), Laurence Criner (Chief Mojobo, a graduate of Oxford), Victor Kendall (Grozman), Feodor Chaliapin Jr. (Belts), Martin Wilkins (Bongo), Ed Brady (man in hotel bar), Hattie Noel (Chief Mojobo's sister), Robert Strange (Captain Anthony Hobson), Emil Van Horn (gorilla), Blue Washington (native)
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The Lady, The Bone Digger and the Master of Tossing the Craps Bones
Arline Judge is the credited star of this light-hearted World War Two jungle adventure, but for my money comedian character actor Mantan Moreland steals the show.
The setting is the African Jungle in 1942 during World War Two. A Brooklyn girl trying to become a nightclub singing star has ended up in a small jungle bar singing for a crooked bar owner who is helping a pair of German speaking spies steal intelligence information from a British agent who frequents the bar.
An American archeologist searching for the missing link between man and ape visits the bar with his manservant Jeff, played by bubble-eyed comedian Mantan Moreland. The archeologist and Mantan Moreland will become unwilling protectors of the saloon singer when she narrowly escapes death.
The enemy spies kill the British agent while saloon singer Nona Brooks is singing to him, and the coveted secret report is slipped into the singer’s jacket pocket for safekeeping. The girl runs away into the jungle, meeting the archeologist and Mantan Moreland, and eventually the men help her escape the clutches of the enemy agents in the jungle chase.
All of this action takes place between the comic performance of Mantan Moreland, who ran away to join the circus as a youngster . . . . . Several times. He was often caught and returned home, only to wait for the circus to come to town again and run away with them, trying to learn the skill of comic performance. His passion for comedy would not be denied, and because of that passion this romantic comedy adventure is more comedy than romance or adventure. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Mantan Moreland, John 'Dusty' King and Arline Judge
Arline Judge and John King
Arline Judge and John 'Dusty' King
Arthur O'Connell, Victor Kendall and Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
Victor Kendall, Feodor Chaliapin Jr. and Arthur O'Connell
Hattie Noel and Mantan Moreland
John 'Dusty' King and Arline Judge
John King, Mantan Moreland and Martin Wilkins
Laurence Criner and Mantan Moreland