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A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and the plantation's overseer develop a mutual attraction, but are terrified at what will happen if her husband finds out. Written by
Gobble Incessantly When You're In The Jungle With A Turkey
In between that glittering array of memorable roles Charles Laughton created like Henry VIII, Doctor Moreau. Moulton Barrett, Emperor Nero, Inspector Javert, and Captain Bligh is nestled in his credits White Woman. It will never make the top ten of any list of Charles Laughton's greatest films.
Nor will Carole Lombard or Charles Bickford's fans be really pleased with this film. It's a jungle melodrama about a western woman whose husband committed suicide. The whispers about the reason and the scandal attached therein has left Lombard doing the only thing she can for a living, singing in a native café. The respectable white folks don't want to go near here.
Except Charles Laughton who doesn't really worry about respectability. He's Horace Prin, formerly of London and self-styled 'King of the River' on his south sea island. It's the only place where this cockney from the slums can feel like a king.
And the chance for a beautiful trophy wife like Lombard isn't going to slip through Laughton's fingers. When she gets to his jungle retreat, Lombard finds distractions in Kent Taylor and Charles Bickford. She also learns what a monster she's married to.
I'm sure Charles Laughton who was getting one great role after another at this point in his career knew very well this one did not rank up with the ones I mentioned before. Still he was under contract to Paramount and when you're in a turkey, gobble incessantly.
Which Laughton does in an overacted performance to beat the band. But in his place he could do little else, but have some fun and collect a paycheck. The story is dumb, the other players look embarrassed, but Mr. Laughton is having one great old time.
He's the only reason to watch this jungle turkey.
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