Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jungle Girl 2: Claudette Colbert in Four Frightened People


From 1934 comes this early babe in animal skins outfit from the Cecil B DeMille film Four Frightened People.   The film tells the story of four people who escape their bubonic plague-ridden ship only to have to trek through the Malayan jungle whilst being attacked by snakes, wild animals and hostile native tribesmen.

Colbert plays a prim and mousy librarian who gradually, during the course of the film, becomes more assertive and more desirable.  No more desirable than in this early animal skin outfit.

DeMille had got Colbert to strip off in The Sign of the Cross two years earlier and she obliged him again by showering naked in a waterful (a staple of jungle girl films!).  The film was made just before the voluntary "Hay's Code" governing inappropriate sequences on screen became mandatory and required that films be given a certificate before they could be shown.   The film was so racy that when it was re-released post-certification 17 minutes was cut from it.  

Whilst showering, a chimpanzee (the film has a vague notion of the fauna of Asia) snatches her dress requiring her to fashion an outfit from banana leaves.  She then graduates to the animal skin outfit featured here.

As the trailer at the time said "They reveal just how rapidly the polite mould of civilization disintegrates under the influence of the jungle. These people shed civilization when they shed their clothes. They become like animals of the jungle, fighting and loving, like the beasts who terrify them!"

Colbert was thirty-one when this film was made (she was born in 1903) but still looks gorgeous.  Born in Paris, but moving to the US when she was three years old, she died in 1996 at the age of 92!

The film itself was a failure and lost money, however, as audiences had come to expect big spectacle from DeMille which, despite being filmed on location in the South Seas this didn't deliver. 


  1. Who is the cavegirl in this picture...


  2. Thanks so much for posting images from "Four Frightened People". Never heard of it. Now I have to revise my otherwise comprehensive Jungle Girl Film issue of "Mostly Retro", a fanzine usually available on eBay.