“Man — lacking the will to understand other men — became like the beasts, and their way of life was his.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
What Peary curiously neglects to mention in his review, however, is the sticky issue of how the African natives are portrayed. On the one hand, Wilde respects the warriors as individuals, showing them stopping to mourn each other as they’re killed.
And it’s undeniably refreshing to see Africans gaining a sort of revenge against the whites who so brutally invaded their culture. On the other hand, they’re still clearly posited as The Exotic Others: the women dance around without shirts on, the warriors are essentially portrayed as savage and uncivilized, and Wilde (The White Man) is the undisputed protagonist. On the whole, however, I would still vote for The Naked Prey as a rare mid-century American film which at least attempts to humanize Africans.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: