Monday, 9 July 2007

Cobra Woman (1944)

What can I say about Cobra Woman? It was made in 1944, when adventure movies with exotic jungle settings were extremely popular, and was directed by Robert Siodmak, a very fine director who was capable of much better things. It features some stupendously bad acting. Maria Montez (the Caribbean Cyclone herself) is remarkably pretty, and is more totally devoid of acting skills than any other actress I can think of offhand (except possibly Meryl Streep). Montez’s acting is bad on a truly epic scale. But somehow it really doesn’t matter. You can see she’s doing her best, she’s very likeable, and after all this isn’t exactly Citizen Kane anyway. And luckily for her Lon Chaney jnr is in the cast as well, so at least she isn’t the worst actor in the film. There’s also a chimpanzee, and he’s also a slightly better actor than Chaney. There has to be a chimpanzee, because after all the movie is set in India. The movie looks gorgeous – it’s filmed in Technicolor an here are some quite impressive sets. Siodmak keeps the action moving along at a good pace. The whole thing is absurd and vastly entertaining. It’s a movie you just can’t help liking.

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