HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Green Mansions Audrey Hepburn, jungle girl!
Year: 1959
Director: Mel Ferrer
Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Anthony Perkins, Lee J. Cobb, Sessue Hayakawa, Henry Silva, Nehemiah Persoff, Michael Pate, Estelle Hemsley, Bill Saito, Yoneo Iguchi
Genre: Drama, Romance, Weirdo, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In late nineteenth century Venezuela, Abel Gueva de Argensola (Anthony Perkins), the son of a murdered government official, escapes from rebels and makes his way to a river outside of Caracas. Bent on avenging his father, Abel reaches a remote tribal village in search of a fabulous treasure, with which he hopes to hire soldiers. He impresses Chief Runi (Sessue Hayakawa) and his son Kua-Ko (Henry Silva) by enduring one whole day in the scorching sun, and is tasked with killing the elusive, evil spirit who supposedly slew the chief’s eldest son. When Abel ventures into the forbidden jungle he is bitten by a poisonous snake, but rescued by Rima (Audrey Hepburn), a beautiful girl with the magic ability to speak with animals. Rima and Abel fall in love, but the natives are hell-bent on seeing her dead. Even so, Rima’s grandfather Nuflo (Lee J. Cobb) has his own, mysterious reasons for not wanting to leave the jungle.

A strange and ponderous fable, Green Mansions was brief misstep in Audrey Hepburn’s otherwise glittering career. In contrast to the huge success William Henry Hudson enjoyed with his novel, this MGM production was a critical and commercial letdown. RKO first toyed with adapting the story as a follow-up to King Kong (1933), with Delores Del Rio ruling a jungle full of mechanical birds and animals. When MGM landed the screen rights in the late Forties they announced Elizabeth Taylor would play Rima, but to no avail. In the mid-Fifties, Vincente Minnelli took a costly stab at preparing a movie and assembled some location footage from Cuba, Peru and Venezuela, plus a screen test with the young Pier Angeli before producer Arthur Freed pulled the plug.

When Hepburn finally stepped before the cameras, as what everybody agreed was a perfect choice for the ethereal child-woman, it was under the direction of her husband Mel Ferrer. Hepburn gives an enchanting performance as the nymph-like friend to all animals and the meditation on greed, guilt and redemption melded to jungle adventure and fairytale romance is not unappealing, but the depiction is theatrical and self-important. Each character has their own five minute monologue where every line strains for significance. Perkins makes for a stiff, unengaging lead, twitching his way through the wordy dialogue. He keeps talking even when bitten by the snake (“Coral snake… poison…. No chance… I’m gonna die… any minute now… soon…”), a trait emblematic of Green Mansion’s stagy artifice which buries the poetic allusions in Hudson’s plot beneath a morass of navel-gazing. Still, it’s hard not to agree with this summation of Rima: “You are like all the beautiful things in the world, the flowers, the butterflies, the birds in the trees. When I look at Rima I see them all.”

While Mel Ferrer, whose previous directorial efforts were all crime dramas, was the wrong choice to handle Hudson’s unique story, his direction is not without artistry. The breathtakingly beautiful jungle scenery is lensed in lavish Technicolor, while stunningly evocative sets teaming with wild cats, monkeys, and exotic birds yield further delights enhanced by Hepburn’s charming way with the animals. These co-exist with pulp adventure moments like the native ritual where Henry Silva has live wasps rubbed into his chest. Ferrer stages an involving climax where torch-brandishing warriors chase Audrey through the jungle, but the vaguely supernatural happy ending is rather confusing and very different from Hudson’s novel. No further cinematic outings were forthcoming, but DC Comics launched “Rima the Jungle Girl” and this incarnation later graced the Saturday morning cartoon show “Super Friends.”
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 5039 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: