Cobra Woman

1944

Adventure / Drama / Romance

167
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 100%
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 899

Synopsis


Downloaded times
September 27, 2020

Director

Cast

Jon Hall as Ramu
Sabu as Kado
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
646.99 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
71 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.17 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
71 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 5 / 10 / 10

Over-the-top sneak preview of Hollywood's Biblical cycle to come

Cobra Woman was directed by Robert Siodmak just as he was embarking on his peerless string of black pearls: Phantom Lady, Christmas Holiday, The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The Suspect, The Spiral Staircase, The Killers, The Dark Mirror, Cry of The City, Criss Cross and The File on Thelma Jordon. And that's a bitter pill to swallow. The movie harks back to styles of moviemaking which the noir cycle, which Siodmak was so instrumental in creating, was putting blessedly to rest: To Saturday-matinee serials and boys' stories like Treasure Island, to South Seas excursions like Rain and Red Dirt and White Cargo, to gaudy, escapist musicals. And yet Cobra Woman achieves an almost solitary stature; only Vincente Minnelli's Yolanda and The Thief, from the following year, challenges its reputation as a movie so wildly overblown it's unhinged. There's little point in rehashing the plot, which centers on twins separated at birth: Tollea, a sweet native girl engaged to marry an American; and Naja, high-priestess of a snake cult that practices human sacrifice. Rightful heir Tollea is kidnaped so she can depose her evil sister and placate the Fire Mountain (a cheesy back-lot volcano). Supporting parts are taken by Jon Hall, Lon Chaney, Jr., Sabu and a loinclothed chimpanzee. A thickly-accented native of the Dominican Republic, Maria Montez plays, sensibly, both twins (giving Siodmak good practice for Olivia De Havilland's similar dual role in The Dark Mirror). Cobra Island, her domain, in its outlandish costumes and grandiose sets, puts to shame those elephants-and-all productions of Aida staged in the Baths of Caracalla; this Technicolor nightmare gives a sneak-preview, in its prurient take on pagan excess, the cycle of Biblical epics that were just down the road for Hollywood. But neither Cecil B. DeMille (in Samson and Delilah) nor Douglas Sirk (in Sign of the Pagan) nor Michael Curtiz (in The Egyptian) – nor even, for that matter, Minnelli (though he came closest) – could rival Siodmak's big set-piece: Naja/Montez performing the Cobra Dance. Clad in a snake-scale gown, she shimmies awkwardly for His Undulating Majesty himself, King Cobra, until he strikes at her (a mating gesture? Reptiles can be so ambiguous). She erupts into a frenzied spasm, hurling accusatory fingers at sacrificial victims who will then be made to climb the Thousand Steps to the angry maw of Fire Mountain. It would be reassuring to write off Cobra Woman as some sort of failed allegory, about Fifth Columnists, or Free French vs. Vichy, or something; but no such evidence exists. The movie is what it is, and utterly astonishing.

Reviewed by Sees All 5 / 10 / 10

Reemaimbair ladies, you haf seen nothin' unushell here today

Must be seen to be believed. This is a classic! The cobra dance will have you on the floor, guaranteed. Note that the deus ex machina is a chimpanzee. Fabulous performance by Maria Montez as good and evil twins with able support from Sabu, John Hall, and the old lady who plays Maria's grandmother. "Joo meen, Joo arre my grandmother!" Favorite moments: Bad twin's procession to the bathing site, all scenes with Sabu, "the Fire Death Hymn". But NOTHING can top the cobra dance. And you'll love the headwear. Don't miss it!

Reviewed by lugonian 5 / 10 / 10

Queen of the Cobras

COBRA WOMAN (Universal, 1944), directed by Robert Siodmak, is the fourth Technicolor adventure pairing Maria Montez and Jon Hall, in not only their best known movie, but has been labeled a top "camp" favorite among Montez fans. It is also regarded the movie so awful that it's totally impossible not to dislike. A statement to that affect was once said by actor Roddy McDowall in a TV interview back in the early 1990s on the American Movie Classics cable channel in an interview opposite host Professor Richard Brown. The story begins on the day of the marriage of Tollea (Maria Montez) to Ramu (Jon Hall). Tollea is kidnapped by the Cobra people, a tribe of snake worshipers, and taken to Cobra Island where she learns from the Queen (Mary Nash) that she is actually the older twin sister of Princess Naja (Montez), the island's wicked High Priestess. The Queen wants Tollea to assume the rightful place as High Priestess and to bring an end to her evil twin's cruel reign. Easier said than done! In the meantime, Ramu learns of what has happened to Tollea and he decides to rescue his beloved from Cobra Island. Ramu is accompanied by his young native friend, Kado (Sabu), who not only tries to help his friend out of trouble, but gets into trouble himself. While the accented Maria Montez assumes two roles, it appears that most of the footage in this 70 minute adventure goes to Indian boy, Sabu, along with his pet monkey, Koko, each adding some "comedy" relief to the plot. Unlike most South Seas tales of jungle movies of that era, which find many of the central male characters wearing only loincloth, like Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan, for example, Sabu, as in many of his previous prime adventure films, including the timeless classics of THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (UA, 1940) and THE JUNGLE BOOK (UA, 1942), appears bare-chested and wearing only a trim white bathing suit that might have been a rental from a Hollywood beach club. Although a young man in his late teens or early 20s, Sabu's screen character appears more child-like, a role that might have been more suited possibly to a younger actor, particularly when he finds Ramu's love making Tollea a lot of nonsense. Always assisting Ramu (Hall), Kado saves his life in one scene by using his trusty blow pipe with darts to eliminate an attacking wildcat. In good faith, Kado later comes to Ramu's rescue once again by trying to free him from being held prisoner in a dungeon, only to find that Ramu has already escaped and placed the evil Martok (Edgar Barrier), Naja's minister of affairs, in his place. Because Kado is unable to tell him the whereabouts of the escaped Ramu, Martok gives orders to his guards to have Kado suffer tree torture (the torture which is described by native girl, Veda (Lois Collier) to Ramu as, "Boy's hands tie high on tree, feet tie low on ground. Tree stand up, stretch little fellow") until he confesses. Special screen credit in the opening and closing cast list goes to Lon Chaney Jr., Universal's resident screen actor of horror, taking time off from playing The Wolf Man, Klaris, the living mummy, and character leads in six "Inner Sanctum" mysteries (1943-1945). Chaney plays Hava, a muted beer-belly servant to the island ruler, who becomes Kado's rescuer from his tree torture after learning of the lad's predicament from the monkey, Koko (Yes, the monkey and the mute communicate!); Also in the supporting cast are Samuel S. Hinds as Father Paul, who, in the opening of the story, relates the legend of Cobra Island; with Moroni Olson and Fritz Leiber appearing in smaller roles. Aside from the unheard of character names used in this screenplay, it's obvious that any movie like this cannot be taken seriously. Other than that, the plot consists of some inane dialog spoken by Sabu, Montez and other actors throughout. Montez gets to highlight the story with her snake dancing, accompanied by exotic music along with gongs banging in the background from time to time. Occasionally, it's hard not to laugh at Montez's portrayal of the evil sister, which consists of her sending her sacrificial victims into a volcano, or using her whip while going into a frenzy of passion. As for tropical romance, Hall and Montez even get to have an underwater kissing scene together - but which sister is he kissing? Yes, COBRA WOMAN all has these ingredients and more. Maybe that's why it has become a Maria Montez favorite for so long. Montez would appear in other adventure tales through the duration of the 1940s, a few more opposite Jon Hall, but none as memorable as this. Sadly, Montez died at the age of 31 in 1951. As for Hall, his best screen opportunity, being Samuel Goldwyn's THE HURRICANE (UA, 1937), opposite Dorothy Lamour, was behind him. More forgettable adventure films were ahead of him. As popular as COBRA WOMAN has become over the years, especially with frequent television revivals on local television from the 1960s to the 1980s, to date, it has yet to be distributed on video cassette or DVD. It has been revived more than any of the five (out of six) Montez and Hall adventures on cable's American Movie Classics, where it premiered in February of 1995. For the record, WHITE SAVAGE (1943) is among the neglected. While the other Montez-Hall films have ceased airing on AMC, COBRA WOMAN has survived on that channel the longest. COBRA WOMAN was also presented on the Sci-Fi Channel in the 1990s during the very late hours of the night. But one question persists. What does this South Seas adventure story of COBRA WOMAN have to do with science fiction? (**1/2)

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