Original UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Charles Saunders|
|Produced by||Guido Coen|
|Screenplay by||Alexander Doré|
|Story by||Guido Coen|
|Music by||Harold Geller|
|Distributed by||Regal Films (UK)|
Jungle Street is a 1960 British crime drama directed by Charles Saunders and starring David McCallum, Kenneth Cope, and Jill Ireland, about a young man who attempts to escape his working-class background and win the girl he loves through crime. The film was the first of three films produced by the Theatrecraft production company in the early 1960s. It was later released in the United States under the title Jungle Street Girls.
In Shepherd's Bush, London, auto mechanic and petty criminal Terry Collins (David McCallum) mugs an elderly man and accidentally kills him in the process. Terry then goes to the strip club run by gangster Jacko Fielding (John Chandos), where he runs into Joe Lucas (Brian Weske) at the bar. Terry is in love with the star stripper Sue (Jill Ireland), but is unable to pursue her openly because the wealthy and powerful Jacko is interested in her. Sue wants to get away from Jacko, but does not love Terry; her heart belongs to Terry's friend Johnny Calvert (Kenneth Cope), who has been serving a year in prison for a robbery that he and Terry committed together. Johnny refused to inform on Terry, who escaped punishment. Sue, in need of money, was forced to take up stripping after Johnny was imprisoned.
The police find fingerprints on the murder victim's wallet and plan to fingerprint everyone in Terry's neighborhood to find the killer, who is likely to be hanged if caught. Joe figures out that Terry committed the murder and begins blackmailing him. Meanwhile, Johnny is released from Wormwood Scrubs and reunites with Terry and Sue. Terry, anxious to leave the country before he is arrested for murder, talks Johnny into robbing the strip club safe with him; Johnny agrees in order to get money to take Sue away from Jacko. After Johnny cracks the safe, Terry double-crosses him by knocking him out and absconding with the money, just as the club's caretaker manages to trigger an alarm, alerting the police. Terry rushes to Johnny's flat, where Sue is staying, and tries to get her to run away with him. When she resists, demanding to know what happened to Johnny, Terry tries to abduct her at gunpoint. The police arrive, tipped off by Johnny and Joe, and Terry takes Sue and Mr. Rose, the elderly tailor who occupies the flat next door, as hostages in a standoff. Mr. Rose tries to get Terry to hand over his gun. Just as the police burst through the door, Terry fatally shoots Mr. Rose and is dragged away by police as Mr. Rose dies in Sue's arms.
- David McCallum as Terry Collins
- Kenneth Cope as Johnny Calvert
- Jill Ireland as Sue
- Brian Weske as Joe Lucas
- Vanda Hudson as Lucy Bell
- Edna Doré as Mrs. Collins
- Thomas Gallagher as Mr. Collins
- Howard Pays as Sergeant Pelling
- Joy Webster as Rene
- Martin Sterndale as Inspector Bowen
- John Chandos as Jacko Fielding
- Meier Tzelniker as Mr. Rose
- Larry Burns as Barman
- Fred Griffiths as Dealer
- Julie Shearing as Cashier
- Faye Craig as Native Dancer
- Anne Scott as Margo
- Gillian Watt as Dancing Girl
- Alfred Farrell as Mr. Burns
- Jacqueline Jones as Dolly
- William Wilde as Sid Porter
- Howard Douglas as Old Bill
- Richard McNeff as Policeman
- Marian Collins as Announcer
- Shirley Anne Field as Jaqui
Jungle Street was one of the last films directed by Charles Saunders. According to producer Guido Coen, the film's star, David McCallum, had "substantial input" into the direction of the film. Critic Michael J. Weldon has called it the last of McCallum's "juvenile delinquent" film roles. McCallum and Ireland were married at the time the film was made.
Despite its setting in a strip club, the film received an "A" rating from the British Board of Film Classification after removing some material, including shortening two striptease scenes and deleting a back view of Jill Ireland baring her breasts to the club audience.
The film, retitled Jungle Street Girls, was later released and promoted as an adults-only film in the United States by Ajay Films.
Jungle Street was released on DVD by Odeon Entertainment in 2008, in a set with the 1963 British crime drama A Matter of Choice.