Banned on its original release in 1961, West End Jungle offers the definitive insight into the seedy reality and cunning artifice of the sex workers of early 60s Soho.
The Street Offences Act of 1959 cleared the "over-painted harridan face of the West End" - the prostitutes - off the streets of Soho. Genuinely seedy and filmed in the private members clubs, the "actual places of vice" that resulted from the change in the law, West End Jungle bears witness to the array of less-than-salubrious establishments that offered tawdry strip shows for audiences comprised of "bald heads and moist avid eyes". London railway termini are seen as the ideal locale for pimps to secure "ripe plums for the picking" - naive country girls who can be seduced into a life of vice. Within days, the "weak willed glamour-hungry bumpkins become skillful, heartless gold-diggers". The striptease clubs are a battlefield, with the punters very much seen as "mugs" to be reeled in by the "hostesses" and taken for all the money they've got!
West End Jungle also paints a less-than-complimentary picture of the men who solicit sex workers in clubs which are little more than "high-grade cattle markets". One hooker states that "One of these days I’m going to burst out laughing in one of their stupid faces!" Shrewd businessmen are reduced to lecherous imbeciles in the company of two giggling working girls, while another man pays a tragically poor Marilyn Monroe look-alike to ‘model’ for him only to get "5 minutes of peering at a girl who needs a good wash".
- Newsreel: Clubs Galore! (Soho 1958)
- Newsreel: Sir John Wolfenden on Prostitution and the Street Offences Act 1959
- Director Arnold L. Miller in Conversation
- Viewing Notes Booklet
Catalogue Number: SN6580
Picture: 4:3 / b&w
Time: 52 mins (plus 13mins extras)
Number of Discs: 1
SoundMono / English
Region: 0 PAL
Our Price: £11.99