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Four Frightened People (1934)

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Four passengers escape their bubonic plague-infested ship and land on the coast of a wild jungle. In order to reach safety they have to trek through the jungle, facing wild animals and attacks by primitive tribesmen.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Four Frightened People (1934)

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Cast overview:
Judy Jones
Herbert Marshall ...
Arnold Ainger
Mrs. Mardick
William Gargan ...
Stewart Corder
Leo Carrillo ...
Mrs. Ainger
Tetsu Komai ...
Native Chief
Chris-Pin Martin ...
Joe De La Cruz ...
Minoru Nishida ...
Teru Shimada ...
E.R. Jinedas ...
Delmar Costello ...


Four passengers escape their bubonic plague-infested ship and land on the coast of a wild jungle. In order to reach safety they have to trek through the jungle, facing wild animals and attacks by primitive tribesmen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama






Release Date:

26 January 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Et eventyr i junglen  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1935 re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Claudette Colbert was hospitalized for appendicitis just before she was due to leave Los Angeles for location filming in Hawaii, Cecil B. DeMille considered recasting her role with Gloria Swanson; the two had worked together on Male and Female (1919), another comedy about rich people shipwrecked on a tropical island. See more »

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User Reviews

engaging performers make it worthwhile
21 December 2000 | by (L.A.) – See all my reviews

I am relating a great deal of this film's content because I know it is nearly impossible for potential viewers to find. So if you don't want to know specifics of the plot, please stop reading! I was lucky enough to enjoy it through a university preservation film festival.

First, the four main characters are introduced:

Mary Boland - interested in reducing the birth rate of the country; Herbert Marshall - an "unimportant" rubber chemist "too quiet and shy to shake the world's foot from his neck", Claudette Colbert - an insignificant Chicago geography teacher, and William Gargan - an egotistical journalist whose articles "New York" is just waiting for. (Those are some of the film's words, not mine).

In the first few minutes, you see Colbert dressed in a very prim fashion with her hair pulled tightly back and glasses always on. This was reason enough to pay admission! The three other main characters are trying to escape from their plague-infected ship. She has screamed, so they have to abduct her in order to slip away unnoticed.

Soon their little boat dies and they must rely on a native (Leo Carillo calling himself "white") to help them find a path back to civilization. This is where their 'fun' really begins. They must traverse through an ominous jungle. Colbert only notices the pretty orchid she wants to pick and when they bunk for the night, she is incredibly offended that they expect her to sleep with them (including the men). This is when a truly bit of funny dialogue occurs: Marshall says something like, Neither one of us thinks of you as a woman so stop turning everything into a sex problem and join the group! It was very amusing to hear a proper-sounding man blurt this out angrily. She insists on being alone until she hears a lion. Then she races over on all fours and is in between the men while they're attempting to sleep. Her hair is hanging down and the impression is that she is getting prettier. The two men roll over though and ignore her.

Soon they are lost in a maze of unnavigable branches. Colbert tries to reason which way is north. No one wants to listen to her, but they're ready to play with the extra set of cards she handily has in her purse. Under a makeshift roof, they play at night while Gargan barely saves Colbert from a snake. Feeling indebted to him, she dries his wet shoes over a fire but only succeeds in burning out the soles. He is infuriated, and now she is determined to go on alone. After all, her great great grandfather was John Paul Jones.

Now a real native tribe finds the lost wanderers and will not leave them in peace unless one of the women stays with them. They choose Boland because she's heavier than Colbert and they like that. Soon the two men who never liked each other start arguing, especially over the less inhibited Colbert who now attractively wears bathing suits made from leaves and bathes luxuriously under a waterfall. She starts making the decisions much to the men's chagrin. She becomes enamoured of the more sensitive Marshall, who we learn is a hen-pecked husband. Eventually, the group survives the death of their leader and Marhsall's being hit with an arrow. Back in civilization, we see Marshall and Colbert in their separate environments. For those who like to see their characters happily paired though, this film won't disappoint you.

If you like Colbert and Marshall, this film is one to search for. It is also fun to see Boland younger and playing an unmatronly character. This is a more subdued DeMille picture which presents a different aspect of him as a director. The film may be a little silly and unrealistic, but it was not a spectacle. I wish it was available for people to see more readily.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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