Harry E. Edington for Famous Productions/Universal
directed by James Whale
starring Douglas Fairbanks jr, Joan Bennett, John Howard, George Sanders, Alan Hale, George Bancroft, Vincent Price, Eugene Gericke, Francis McDonald, Mala, Peter Bronte, Lupita Tovar
screenplay by Frances Marion, additional dialogue by Harry Hervey, music by Frank Skinner, cinematography by Karl Freund
A group of explorers led by Brandon (Douglas Fairbanks jr) goes deep
into the jungle to find some Incan ruins (and a treasure attached to it of
course), but it is not long before one of them (Vincent Price) gets shot
dead by some poisoned native arrows. Then, out of nowhere and without
rhyme or reason, the dead man's wife Stephanie (Joan Bennett) arrives, and
out rag tag team of adventurers, all of whom haven't seen a woman in
months camping next to the ruins, collectively falls in love with her,
especially Forrester (George Sanders), the Brit of the group. Brandon
insists though that Stephanie returns to civilisation at the first
possible opportunity - which is made quite difficult when their native
guide (Francis McDonald) turns up dead. Brandon insists to take Stephanie
back to civilisation herself, but he just doesn't want to admit to anyone,
not even himself, that he's head over heels in love with the girl - and
she loves him back - and wants to abandon his team of adventurers for her.
a tribe of evil Indios attack, and our group of adventurers reconciles
after Brandon is seriously wounded, and they decide to die in the Indio
attack like one big and happy family - when another tribe of Indios attack
the first tribe of Indios to avenge the death of the guide, an in the
process free our heroes.
Oh yeah, and in case you wondered, Brandon
survives and gets Stephanie in the end.
This could have been a
wonderful adventure movie with a few creepy touches (the sets of the ruins
are quite atmospheric) and a bit of romance tagged on. What we get instead
is a boring romance in which everything is talked to death, and which
takes place in the jungle and amidst wonderful ruin-sets rather by chance
than anything else. And not even the fluid and at least sometimes poignant
direction of James Whale or a pretty solid ensemble cast are able to save
Not worth your while.