The Living Idol

1957

Adventure / Drama / Horror / Mystery

180
IMDb Rating 5.5 10 92

Synopsis


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June 15, 2020

Director

Cast

James Robertson Justice as (uncredited)
Steve Forrest as Terry Matthews
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
927.17 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.68 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by melvelvit-1 8 / 10 / 10

Jaguars and Aztecs and Love, oh my

MGM stalwart Albert Lewin's last film is a bizarre romantic fantasy as lush and scenic as his PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, only twice as bonkers. "A girl's adventure in reincarnation" begins when her father's archaeological expedition discovers a jaguar idol in a secret chamber of an Aztec pyramid which so frightens Juanita (Liliane Montevecchi) she flees the ruins, getting blue smudges on her white dress in the process. Blue pigment is what the Aztecs painted their human sacrifices with so you know exactly where the movie's going from the get-go. After her father gets crushed by a stone monolith depicting the jaguar god devouring a human heart, she goes into an understandable funk and her worried fiancé (Steve Forrest) thinks marriage is the answer but the girl's new guardian, Dr. Alfred Stoner (!), is convinced the jaguar god has stolen her soul. In order to get it back, he befriends a jaguar ("the living idol") in a zoo, sets it free, and sics it on his ward... WTF? Val Lewton's CAT PEOPLE (Juanita mesmerized by a caged jaguar at the zoo) and THE LEOPARD MAN (said jungle cat prowling the night streets of Mexico City) were obvious influences only this time they get MGM gloss, Eastmancolor, and Cinemascope which also gives the film something of a colorful Mexican travelogue feel. I would have loved to have heard all of Dr. Stoner's university lecture on human sacrifice which still goes on in the form of capital punishment (with blindfolded Justice the latest goddess) and the subject obviously fascinated Lewin as well since he adapted his own novel. Filmed on location at Churubusco Azteca Studios, Mexican horror icon René Cardona is credited as assistant director and if THE LIVING IDOL had been made a few years before, MGM would no doubt have assigned it to Ava Gardner or even Lana Turner, who also visited "Leo The Lion La La Land" in THE PRODIGAL two years earlier. Instead we get ballet dancer Liliane Montevecchi who would later find real renown on Broadway but at this point, she's more-or-less another Anna Maria Alberghetti or Pier Angeli -and just as hard to understand. Rarely seen and a reel find for me but obviously mileage may vary. 8/10

Reviewed by malcolmgsw 3 / 10 / 10

A Bad touch Of The Val Lewtons

This film was shown today at the NFT in the season celebrating the career of Albert Lewin.This i believe was his last film so you could say that it went out with not a bang but a miaow.It is a sort of cross between Leopard Man and The Cat People.It tries hard to install a sense of the supernatural but teeters on the edge of silliness.In fact it has to be said that this film is one of those which is so bad as to be eminently watchable for that reason.The plot ,such as it is,resolves about Justice and his obsessional quest to communicate and understand Jaguars and the place in Mayan society.he believes his best friends daughter is in some way possessed by them,so instead of taking her to a shrink he lets a jaguar out of the zoo.This leads to a rather mirthful climax.i am rather ashamed to admit that in the august confines of NFT1 i let out a burst of uncontrolled laughter at the climax.I am sure i must have woken up the rather sparse audience.One i would recommend to lovers of truly bad films.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 3 / 10 / 10

Heavy going!

Copyright 1956 by Al Lewin Productions. Released through M-G-M. New York opening at the Globe: 2 May 1957. U.S. release: July 1957. U.K. release: 13 January 1958. Australian release: 7 November 1957. 9,011 feet. 100 minutes. SYNOPSIS: A young Mexican girl suffers "loss of soul" due to the racial memory that girls of her age were once sacrificed to the jaguar. NOTES: A complete box-office disaster (worldwide rentals gross was less than $50,000), this turned out to be Albert Lewin's final film. (He died in 1968). COMMENT: After the disappointing Saadia (1954), it's extremely sad to find Albert Lewin plunging further into the depths of incompetence. A weird tale, filmed on an obviously small budget, though with some attractive Mexican locations at times stylishly framed on the CinemaScope screen, "The Living Idol" is something of a chore to sit through. Yes, it does have a few effective moments, maybe five or six, but the other 95 minutes are to say the least, rather heavy going. Poor acting, ranging from the overblown (Justice) to the wooden (Forrest), certainly doesn't help. Definitely one for Albert Lewin fans only - and even they won't like it!

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