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Jean Preston leads a party to India to investigate the disappearance of her fiance, Greg Jones, but someone manages to thwart their efforts through lies and murder. They pursue the trail to Africa where guide Gary Lambert and his comic cook Gabby guide them into unknown territory. Greg is found living with Zita, a jealous and beautiful Amazon queen. The mysterious deaths continue as Lambert tries to discover who has been dealing in contraband ivory. When he solves that mystery, he also uncovers the identity of the mysterious murderer. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
One of Edward Finney's most well-known films, Queen of the Amazons is the story of a young woman (Patricia Morison), her guide, father-in-law, an absent minded professor, a cook and a man scorned who all go on safari to hunt down her missing fiancé. The film includes a number of subplots ranging from the romance to murder mystery, and somehow, it is all linked up to illegal ivory smuggling. The safari, inexplicably, launches from colonial India, and the search takes up more than half the story.
Most of the story is driven by transitional scenes between stock footage of African wildlife, jungle scenery and well-acted action scenes including animal attacks. The script, which takes on the responsibility for drawing everything together and driving it along, is not really up to the task. Dialog is used to establish virtually everything the stock footage can not. Besides the bland camera-work, the often laughable stock footage, and the over-taxed script, the directing and editing are good. There are a few continuity errors, but not as many as some reviewers have claimed. After all, this is Queen of the Amazons (who were written about by ancient Greeks 1500 years before Europeans arrived in South America) not "Queen of the Amazon" (a river named after the Greek stories). One, however, is worth watching out for. Pat Morison is examining some stock footage of African Savannah animals running away through binoculars. Just as she says "why are they running away so fast?" we see a herd of gazelles in the binoculars - running in very slow motion.
The cast performs very well given the limitations of the script and story. The only acting disasters belong to the nevertheless likable Amira Moustafa (who had a remarkably short career). Many of the other actors were veteran character actors, or on their ways to becoming so.
What the film fails to do, despite a fairly strong effort, is to generate any sense of drama or urgency. Nevertheless, it is not a complete mess, and the stock footage is actually quite nice!
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