Film Still – The Beauty Jungle (1964)

Picture: A pensive looking Ian Hendry (as Don Mackenzie) is captured in a still from the film The Beauty Jungle (1964)

The film was directed by Val Guest and shot in glorious CinemaScope. It was released as Contest Girl for the US market.

DVD Release Format

The film has been released on DVD, however, the widescreen format has been lost in the recent Region 2 version from Strawberry Media (release date: 3rd June 2013).

There is, however, an Australian release (Region 4) that does retain the widescreen format, which I would recommend (assuming your DVD player can play all regional DVD formats).


For those interested in the more technical aspects of film-making, CinemaScope is an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. It was created in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, Spyros P. Skouras.

The anamorphic lenses theoretically allowed the process to create an image of up to a 2.66:1 aspect ratio, almost twice as wide as the previously common Academy format’s 1.37:1 ratio. Although the CinemaScope lens system was made obsolete by new technological developments, primarily advanced by Panavision, the CinemaScope anamorphic format has continued to this day.

CinemaScope wins an Oscar!

An interesting piece of trivia is that Bausch & Lomb won an Oscar in 1953 for their development of the CinemaScope lens.

A more detailed account of the story of CinemaScope can be found on Wikipedia (click here).

Film Plot

While on a seaside holiday a young typist is persuaded by a local journalist to enter a beauty contest. When she wins, she decides to give up her previous career and life and take up entering the contests full-time.

Opening Scene

The opening scene was shot in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset with the Grand Pier prominent in the background. An establishing shot of the beach is followed by the camera panning, bringing a Morris Minor Convertible into view as it descends to the beach. Ian (as Don Mackenzie) and his long-time friend, Ronnie Fraser (as Walter Carey) are then introduced….


Ian Hendry as Don Mackenzie
Janette Scott as Shirley Freeman
Ronald Fraser as Walter Carey
Edmund Purdom as Rex Carrick
Jean Claudio as Armand
Kay Walsh as Mrs. Freeman
Norman Bird as Mr. Freeman
Janina Faye as Elaine
Tommy Trinder as Charlie Dorton
David Weston as Harry
Peter Ashmore as Lucius
Sid James as ‘Butlin’ Judge
Jacqueline Jones as Jean Watson
Jackie White as Barbara Lawton
Jerry Desmonde as Swimming Pool MC
Alan Taylor as TV Commentator
Eve Eden as Angela Boynton
Lionel Blair as Talk of Town Producer
Nikki Peters as Cora
Margaret Nolan as Caroline

Other notable cameo appearances include the former Miss World, Rosemarie Frankland, who made her screen debut; Norman Hartnell, Lydia Russell, Duchess of Bedford, Stirling Moss, Linda Christian, and Joe Brown appear as themselves judging the ‘Rose of England’ contest.

Best wishes

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry

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Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read:  ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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