“The Savage Girl,” an interesting pre-code film made by Monarch Film Corporation in 1932, tells the story of an eccentric and drunk millionaire (Amos P. Stitch) who hires a professor to travel to Africa, catch wild animals, and stock Stitch’s private zoo. The adventurers hear of a local legend concerning a wild white woman who lives in the jungle, but scoff at the idea. When the girl appears in the shape and form of stunning Rochelle Hudson, she inspires lust and rage among the hunting party.
The movie feels like a Tarzan picture, except the themes are simpler and the plot is less complicated. The decent and kind professor Franklin, played by Walter Byron, maintains an academic distance to the intriguing Savage Girl. But, his sneaky assistant, Vernuth, played by Swiss actor Adolph Milar, lustfully and forcefully pursues her. The Savage Girl can talk to the animals (but not humans); however, she’s no match physically to the strong and persistant Vernuth. It takes a wild chase and an angry gorilla to thwart the villains in this romp.
Stitch continues to drink alcohol throughout the picture, and there’s a funny bit where the drunken Stitch experiments to see if elephants are really afraid of mice. He also rides around the jungle in a taxicab, complete with a bored cabby! It takes a while before Hudson appears, but it’s well worth the wait.