Wendell Corey stars in Man-Eater of Kumaon about an American doctor in India who is both disillusioned and bored with life. He gives up the medical profession for a Hemingway existential existence as a tiger hunter for hire.
One of the tigers however that he only wounded has turned into man- killer as the fleeter prey of the jungle he's used to dieting on can no get away from him. And in the strange ways of the Indian jungle that tiger has a bead on Corey now.
But for now the tiger is haunting a village where the head man is Morris Carnovsky with his son Sabu and his daughter-in-law Joy Page. The tiger attacks Page and her son with the boy killed and Page wounded enough so that she will not bear more children.
And these people won't even accept a young orphan whose parents were killed by the tiger as a substitute. Their patriarchal culture dictates she just go and Sabu marry another who can give him boy children. All I can say is that's better than a Suttee where if Sabu died, Page has to die with him in the same funeral pyre.
In the end Corey's more humane western ideas prevail, but only at a sacrifice.
Man-Eater Of Kumaon might have benefited from some location shooting in India, but that country was going through a nasty separation war with Pakistan. The rather cheap substitute location doesn't help.
On the other hand the vocal narration which is left off, but sounds like Edgar Barrier really makes the animals and especially our killer tiger like characters in the story.
A few more dollars for production values could have raised this one a notch or two higher in the ratings.
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