Review: ‘The Naked Prey’

Filmed entirely in South Africa, The Naked Prey is a story of a white man's survival under relentless pursuit by primitive tribesman. Told with virtually no dialog, the story embodies a wide range of human emotion, depicted in actual on-scene photography which effects realism via semi-documentary feel.

Filmed entirely in South Africa, The Naked Prey is a story of a white man’s survival under relentless pursuit by primitive tribesman. Told with virtually no dialog, the story embodies a wide range of human emotion, depicted in actual on-scene photography which effects realism via semi-documentary feel.

The basic story is set in the bush country of a century ago, where safari manager Cornel Wilde and party are captured by natives offended by white hunter Gert Van Der Berg. All save Wilde are tortured in some explicit footage that is not for the squeamish, while he is given a chance to survive – providing he can exist while eluding some dedicated pursuers.

Action then roves between the macroscopic and the microscopic; that is, from long shots of the varying bush country, caught in beautiful soft tones by H.A.R. Thomson’s camera, where man is a spot on the landscape, all the way down to minute animal life, in which the pattern of repose, pursuit, sudden death and then repose matches that of Wilde and the natives.

Ken Gampu, film and legit actor in South Africa, is excellent as the leader of the pursuing warriors.

1966: Nomination: Best Original Story & Screenplay

The Naked Prey

Production

Theodora/Persson. Director Cornel Wilde; Producer Cornel Wilde; Screenplay Clint Johnston, Don Peters; Camera H.A.R. Thomson; Editor Roger Cherrill; Music Andrew Tracey (adv.); Art Director [uncredited]

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Cornel Wilde Gert Van Der Berg Ken Gampu Patrick Mynhardt Bella Randles Morrison Gampu

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