31 August 2016 | Leofwine_draca
Padded but watchable
JUNGLE STREET is a low rent British crime film from prolific director Charles Saunders. It has a fair share of problems but nonetheless works thanks to some strong acting from the leads and the narrative itself, which is a fun mish-mash of timely themes and the occasional bit of suspense.
The film incorporates some of the burgeoning 'kitchen sink' drama genre into its running time in its depiction of the home life of youthful tearaway David McCallum, a man who despises his family and his whole class and wants to make something better for himself. This means turning to crime to make ends meet, and you can guess how that ends up. Like a lot of low budget British crime films, much of the action centres around a nightclub, or rather a strip club in this instance.
This is where much of the padding comes into it. The first half of the film in particular is full of tame striptease sequences which show no nudity but are nonetheless quite racy at times. They go on forever and they parade many attractive actresses around which is no bad thing really, particularly when the chief stripper is the young and lovely Jill Ireland, a really arresting presence here.
The plot is further complicated by police investigation and the release from jail of a seasoned criminal, played with relish by Kenneth Cope. Cope and McCallum have some good scenes together which makes the story work. There's an inevitable heist sequence which is well directed and an effective climax. No classic, but more than watchable for what it is.