Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Jivaro (1954) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Fernando Lamas and Rhonda Fleming star in JIVARO (1954), an adventure film recently released on Blu-ray and DVD by Kino Lorber.

The Blu-ray disc includes both 2D and 3D versions, so those with 3D Blu-ray players can watch it in that format if desired. I reviewed the 2D version.

A few months ago Kino Lorber also released another 3D film, SANGAREE (1953), which starred Lamas and Arlene Dahl; I reviewed SANGAREE last November. JIVARO lacks SANGAREE'S lush "romance novel" feel and beautiful color palette, but it makes up for that with rip-roaring adventure and another gorgeous redhead in place of Dahl, Rhonda Fleming.

Fleming plays Californian Alice Parker, who arrives in a small Brazilian town to surprise her fiance Jerry (Richard Denning), who has supposedly been building a plantation for them to live on when they marry. In reality Jerry has become a ne'er-do-well drunkard who's been carrying on with a local beauty (Rita Moreno) and recently disappeared in dangerous territory while on a quest for gold.

Rio Galdez (Lamas), who ferries Alice to the town on his boat, doesn't have the heart to tell Alice the truth about her fiance as she patiently waits in Jerry's miserable, falling-apart hut, which is supposedly just the place he crashes when he's in town. Alice slowly becomes suspicious all is not as it seems, especially when she finds a pair of woman's sandals in Jerry's hut.

Rio and Alice are constantly thrown together as he rescues her from myriad calamities, including an attack by a lecherous gold prospector (Brian Keith). Rio and Alice have just begun to acknowledge they have feelings for one another when proof arrives in town that all may not be well with Jerry, and they set off into the jungle hoping to find him.

The final jungle section of the film is a wild mishmash including jungle animal footage, a studio-built river, and some pretty grotesque moments of horror which must have been shocking in the original 3D. Will Rio and Alice make it out of the jungle alive?!

The story's only moderately passable, but it's entertaining enough, running a fairly snappy 92 minutes. Lamas and Fleming are an attractive couple and keep things worth watching even when the story is fairly predictable. It's not anything distinctive, but the film is acceptable Saturday-matinee style entertainment, with a bit of a feel of KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1950).

JIVARO is a Paramount release which was directed by Edward Ludwig and filmed in Technicolor by Lionel Lindon.

Blu-ray extras include the trailer, an additional trailer gallery of four films available from Kino Lorber, a commentary track with four contributors, and a nine-minute featurette, "Jivaro: A Shot By Shot Stereoscopic Analysis." The film includes an Intermission card at the halfway point of the movie, when the 3D reels would have been changed during the original theatrical run.

Although the story could have been more scintillating, this is a beautiful and even educational release from Kino Lorber which fans of jungle adventures or '50s 3D will want to be sure to order.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Thanks. We know where this one fits in our Sunday matinee moods.

6:44 AM  

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