Friday, July 25, 2014


The members of a German expedition in Africa (it's unclear what they're actually doing there) are sorry that Jacqueline, their doctor, is set to go back to Hamburg, mostly because she's the only female in the group. She has a bit of a crush on handsome, blond Thoren, but it's nasty old Keller who tries groping her. Meanwhile, Thoren is attacked by a native tribe and about to be killed when a nubile (and mostly naked) white teenage girl stops them. She seems to be the ruler of the tribe, and the next day Thoren runs into her when she swings, Tarzan-style, over a lake and drops in to bathe. Two of the other men in the expedition trap her in a net and bring her back to camp where the tribe attacks them but are driven off. She speaks no English, but when it's discovered that she is wearing a necklace with the letter "L" on it, it is eventually thought that she might be the heiress to a German shipping magnate named Amelongen—as a 2-year-old, the girl, named Liane, was lost and presumed dead in a shipwreck—so Thoren and Jacqueline take her with them to meet her grandfather and try to establish her lineage. In their way: Amelongen's slimy secretary Schöninck who is currently the heir and who tries his best to discredit Liane's claims.

This is presented as a jungle adventure, but only about the first half (or less) is set in Africa; once it gets to Hamburg, it becomes a typical "clashing heirs" melodrama, so if you're looking for a female Tarzan movie, this will disappoint you. On its initial release, this was advertised as "Adults only" material because Liane (Marion Michael) is topless for most of the African scenes. Michael is certainly attractive but it's a little disconcerting to realize that she was only 16 at the time. In most of the shots, her long hair covers her breasts, but not always. Aside from the few seconds of bare skin, and some shots of topless natives dancing, there is nothing else graphic or particularly adult about the movie. Hardy Kruger (pictured with Michael) is good as Thoren, and the only other cast member to stand out is Reggie Nalder as Schöninck, probably best known as the vampire in the TV-movie of Salem's Lot; his face, disfigured by burns, makes him perfect for the role of the almost Nazi-like sinister secretary. This was actually made and released in Germany in 1956, but wasn't issued in the States until 1959. [DVD]

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