A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a... See full summary »
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A group of adventurers head deep into a South American jungle in search of ancient Incan treasure. A beautiful woman, brought to their camp by hired bearers, has come to join her husband, a newer member of the group, who was recently killed by hostile natives. As the months go by, jealousies and tempers flare as fights break out over the woman. The Incan treasure is finally found but the treaure-seekers, now united by a common enemy, are about to be attacked by hundreds of fierce natives armed with bows and poisoned arrows. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
In later years co-star Vincent Price ridiculed the inanities in this film. After the Medved Brothers' book "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time" came out in the late 1970s, Price declared in an interview that he could not understand how they could not include "Green Hell." See more »
Richardson is hit by two arrows which are at least two feet long. Back at camp, two comrades examine these arrows which are now about a foot long. See more »
'Green Hell' was Whale's penultimate feature length film. Frances Marion, the screen writer, was famous in the silent era, but when the talkies came in, her scripts had to be re-written by others for dialog. She simply had no talent at all for that; her mastery was in plot and action.
Whale was coming off of 'The Man in the Iron Mask' which made lots of money for its producer, and Whale's agent told him that if he made 'Green Hell' it would put him back in the limelight.
The budget was good enough, $685,000, and he had a reasonable thirty-six days to complete it. He had the help of Karl Freund and Ted Kent, his long time favorite editor, and one of his favorite assistant directors, Joe McDonough.
The ambient temperature was screamingly high that summer; Freund's large bank of carbon arc lights didn't help. The problem with the film was the script. The dialog was worse than inane, audiences were falling out of their seats, laughing.
I think Whale may have been bipolar. He had periods of manic activity, interspersed with complete disinterest in what he was doing. He was a director who was not afraid of demanding re-writes, and he did have a talent for judging scripts. He must have known that he was attempting to turn a color-by-the-numbers canvas into a work by Picasso, but when Ted Kent approached him about the script, Whale, according to James Curtis, Whales biographer, said merely that it was "very good. Great."
Francis Marion wanted her name taken off the credits. But she wrote the script, and very little had been done to change. Her credit remained, and it was the last script she ever sold.
The reviews were terrible. In his memoirs, Douglas Fairbanks doesn't so much as mention the film. Famous Productions had lasted for the length of this one movie, the company failed before the film was released. Harry Edington, according to Curtis, "took a job as production chief at RKO."
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