Female Jungle (1955)

Lawrence Tierney plays Detective Sergeant Jack Stevens, a lawman so drunk that he doesn’t even remember killing a famous film star. Or maybe he didn’t. Life is imitating art here, as Tierney was a maniac on the order of a Kinski.

Quentin Tarantino referred to him as “a complete lunatic” and an opportunity to play Elaine’s father on Seinfeld ended with him stealing a knife from the set and threatening the life of the show’s creator and star. These are minor anecdotes in a life filled with brawls, battles with the law and brilliant acting.

For example, in June of 1975, Tierney was questioned by the NYPD in connection with the apparent suicide of a 24-year-old woman who had jumped from her high-rise window. He told the police, “I had just gotten there, and she just went out the window.” This would be strange enough, but Tierney also played a character in the movie The Hoodlum who is suspected of driving a woman into jumping to her death.

Jayne Mansfield shows up as Candy Price, an artist’s mistress, and John Carradine plays a tabloid reporter. Kathleen Crowley was the lead; she showed up late one day and claimed that she had been raped, which meant that many of her shots are a double and Mansfield — who was paid $150 for the role and went back to selling popcorn at a movie theater after this — had her part increased.

This noir was directed by character actor Bruno VeSota, who also made The Brain Eaters and Invasion of the Star Creatures.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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