The Pink Jungle was released in 1968, a few movies before the pre-Rockford James Garner decided to hit the small screen with his graceful charm. Largely forgotten, this long-sought adventure-comedy is getting the royal treatment from Kino Lorber Cinema. The film was based on the novel Snake Water by Alan Williams, published in 1965. At the time of release, The Los Angeles Times called it an “uninspired comedy.” Time has been more friendly to The Pink Jungle, it’s a diamond in the rough for collectors.
Deep in the jungle, they hunted the diamonds… the woman… and each other! From Delbert Mann, the outstanding director of Marty, Separate Tables, That Touch of Mink, Fitzwilly and Kidnapped, comes the exciting comedy-adventure The Pink Jungle. James Garner (Support Your Local Sheriff) stars as irritable fashion photographer Ben Morris, who is shooting an ad campaign in the jungles of South America with his beautiful model, Alison (Eva Renzi, Funeral in Berlin). Things take an unexpected turn when Ben’s helicopter is stolen by reckless explorer Sammy Ryderbeit (George Kennedy, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot). When they finally locate Sammy, he tells them a wild story about a diamond mine in the area, and before long, the three begin the search for the mine. An unscrupulous Australian (Nigel Green, Let’s Kill Uncle) and a rival band of treasure hunters (led by Michael Ansara, Texas Across the River) also vie for the loot. This light-hearted spoof of jungle thrillers is packed with terrific moments, particularly in the comic interplay between the exasperated Garner and the wild-eyed Kennedy!
“I made this thing for the money and I’m lucky it didn’t wreck my career,” Garner wrote in his memoir.