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Uncivilized (1937)

Uncivilised (original title)
Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 16 November 1937 (USA)
A white authoress, looking for a story in the outback, is kidnapped by an Afghan slaver, betrothed to a white jungle-man, and menaced by a jealous half-caste rival, a hostile witch-doctor, ... See full summary »


Charles Chauvel


E.V. Timms (in collaboration with), Charles Chauvel (story and scenario)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Margot Rhys Margot Rhys ... Beatrice Lynn
Dennis Hoey ... Mara the White Chief
Ashton Jarry Ashton Jarry ... The Mounted Policeman - posing as Akbar Jhan the White Slaver
Marcelle Marnay Marcelle Marnay ... Sondra the Half-Caste
Kenneth Brampton Kenneth Brampton ... Trask the Opium Smuggler
Victor Fitzherbert Victor Fitzherbert ... John Hemmingway, publisher
E. Gilbert Howell E. Gilbert Howell ... Vitchi the Witch Doctor (as E. G. Howell)
Edward Sylveni Edward Sylveni ... Salter
P. Dwyer P. Dwyer ... Bloom, a prospector
Rita Aslim Rita Aslim ... Nardin
John Fernside John Fernside ... Captain
Jessica Malone Jessica Malone ... Hemmingway's Secretary
Richard Mazar Richard Mazar ... Tong
Z. Gee Z. Gee ... Tiki
David McNiven David McNiven


A white authoress, looking for a story in the outback, is kidnapped by an Afghan slaver, betrothed to a white jungle-man, and menaced by a jealous half-caste rival, a hostile witch-doctor, his crazed-killer son, and opium smugglers! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Pituri is uncivilized. See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film was shown uncut in Australia, but the Australian censors demanded that scenes showing Margot Rhys swimming nude, and the hero strangling a renegade Aborigine be cut for the export version. See more »


A shot of a koala is seen when Beatrice reaches Mara's camp. However, koalas are not found in the Northern Territory where the film takes place. Koalas are limited to the east coast and south-eastern corner of mainland Australia (where the film was shot). See more »


Referenced in Walkabout to Hollywood (1980) See more »

User Reviews

Genuinely weird! Like a Tarzan film set in the outback!
30 April 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Uncivilized" is no great film--but it is a fun film to watch. So, despite a strange and often illogical plot, it's so weird and so unusual, you can't stop watching! Margot Rhys plays a writer whose work has become stagnant. She accepts an offer for a trip into the Australian outback to look for a white man living among the aboriginals--sort of like Tarzan of the Apes, but more like Mara of the Koalas! During the trip, she's kidnapped by an Afghan man(?!?!) and taken to Mara...to become his woman!! You'd assume he'd rape her but instead, their relationship is quite tame. Eventually, the plot gets weird with subplots involving illegal drugs, rubies and an aboriginal war. Often, none of it makes much sense, but since the movie is so odd, you can't help but watch. Also making it easier to pay attention is that the print available for download from archive.org is the original uncut Australian print--complete with a nude bathing sequence. You really can't see much, but it certainly was hot stuff back in 1937--and also an apparent attempt to copy Hollywood's notorious nude swimming scene in "Tarzan and His Mate".

The plot has some serious logical issues--mostly involving the Afghan but also relating to Mara's unwillingness to mate with an Aboriginal (a weird nod to the anti-miscegenation laws of the day in the so-called 'civilized world') and WAY too much native dancing (it was obvious padding). Also, some will blanch at the film's language, as the Aboriginals are referred to as 'stone-age savages' and the like! Still, it was exciting. And, I loved that the macho white man living in the wild (Mara) was played by the not exactly sexy Dennis Hoey--the British actor who later gained fame as Inspector Lestrade in the Sherlock Holmes series starring Basil Rathbone. Weird...but interesting.

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Release Date:

16 November 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Uncivilized See more »

Filming Locations:

Queensland, Australia

Company Credits

Production Co:

Expeditionary Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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