Twilight Zone – The Jungle

★★★★  December 01, 1961 Season 3 Episode 12

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

This episode is very eerie and suspenseful. It combines  environmentalism and a voodoo curse that reaches around the world from Africa to New York City. The character actor John Dehner plays Alan Richards who has come back from Africa, where he’s helped organize the construction of a dam. The dam will destroy homes and the land of the local tribes.

The local witch doctors put a curse on everyone connected with the dam project. Richard’s wife knew about the curse and collected items from Africa to protect them but Richards throws them away…calling her superstitious. This is not among the best episodes by any stretch of the imagination but is entertaining.

John Dehner was in about everything in the 60’s-90’s…he had 288 acting credits to his name.

From IMDB: Rod Serling personally shared Alan Richards’ disbelief in superstition and the supernatural. According to Reverend Ernest Pipes of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, “Theologically speaking, Rod was what we call a naturalistic humanist, and that was the underlying philosophy of my pulpit.”

The original story by Charles Beaumont was first published in the December 1954 issue of the pulp magazine If: Worlds of Science Fiction.

This show was written by Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The carcass of a goat, a dead finger, a few bits of broken glass and stone, and Mr. Alan Richards, a modern man of a modern age, hating with all his heart something in which he cannot believe and preparing – although he doesn’t know it – to take the longest walk of his life, right down to the center – of The Twilight Zone.

Summary

Alan Richards and his wife are back in New York after living in Africa where he was in charge of a major construction project. His wife was deeply affected after a local witch doctor placed a curse on them and has taken to keeping charms to ward off evil spirits. While Richards doesn’t discount the power of the witch doctor entirely, he dismisses her fears as unfounded. Having a drink in a bar one evening he finds that his wife left a protective amulet in his coat pocket. He leaves it on the bar when he leaves – and as a result has a dangerous and frightening walk home, only to find something there waiting for him.

The Full Version of the episode on Dailymotion

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Some superstitions, kept alive by the long night of ignorance, have their own special power. You’ll hear of it through a jungle grapevine in a remote corner of the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
John Dehner…Alan Richards
Walter Brooke…Chad Cooper
Jay Adler…Tramp
Emily McLaughlin…Doris Richards
Hugh Sanders…Templeton
Howard Wright…Hardy
Donald Foster…Sinclair
Jay Overholts…Taxi Driver
Zamba…Lion (uncredited)

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Jungle”

  1. I thought they did a good job of noir in this, especially when he’s walking home. I also think there was a lot of “dead space” in it that seemed to lessen not heighten the suspense. I will admit to being on the edge of my seat when he opens the bedroom door at the end! About curses and other “bad magic,” I think they work by virtue of the mindset of the person they are being cast upon. I think deep down, the guy believed he needed to be cursed because of his role in the monstrous act of destroying the home of the indigenous people, the ecosystem, and their way of life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. His wife knew it for sure also…. I agree there was a lot of filler… the ending was the winner for me.

      The next one has my favorite comic/film maker of all time…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought this was a so so episode. There were some suspenseful parts but like Lisa said a lot of filler. My favorite part was the board meeting where the others are discounting superstition and he goes around pointing out all the little superstitions that each of them has

    Liked by 3 people

  3. wow, a really suspenseful one… a Halloween episode for sure. The ending was a surprise but seemed to stretch the imagination a little more than it should (although the phone ringing and so on before I guess meant suspension of disbelief was necessary.) Anyway, a great ‘mood’ episode.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. now, if it’d been in 3D…that would have been something! It was a little unexpected but almost a bit too predictable… would have been a really good twist if say one of those carved lions had fallen off a building and hit him while he thought he was hearing one growl

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That would have been cool! With the rate he had to spit them out…it’s a wonder we have this much quality.
        I’m not a writer but I would LOVE to write a Twilight Zone episode.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. oh no question, it’s amazing how good they were when for the most part it was just one man writing them all, at a rate of about one per two weeks…. that’s productive . Only thing he had in his advantage was that he didn’t have to use the same set of characters unlike a lot of shows but still… to turn out so many really good ones by himself is highly impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is…that was the advantage of one man doing them…one man’s vision and not a bunch of network people that were not writers.

      Like

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