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Cobra Woman (1944)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | 12 May 1944 (USA)
Upon discovering his fiancée Tollea has been kidnaped, Ramu and his friend Kado set out for a Pacific isle where all strangers are to be killed on arrival and the inhabitants, who are ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writers:

Gene Lewis (screenplay), Richard Brooks (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maria Montez ... Tollea / Naja
Jon Hall ... Ramu
Sabu ... Kado
Edgar Barrier ... Martok
Mary Nash ... Queen
Lois Collier ... Veeda
Samuel S. Hinds ... Father Paul
Moroni Olsen ... MacDonald
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Hava (as Lon Chaney)
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Storyline

Upon discovering his fiancée Tollea has been kidnaped, Ramu and his friend Kado set out for a Pacific isle where all strangers are to be killed on arrival and the inhabitants, who are frequently sacrificed to an angry volcano god, worship the cobra. The island is ruled over by Tollea's evil twin Naja, the Cobra Woman, who, besides having designs on her new prisoner Ramu, also desires to eliminate any competition from her benevolent sister. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

STRANGE LOVES, UNBELIEVABLE ADVENTURES in the SOUTH SEAS! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 May 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Mulher Serpente See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmmaker Kenneth Anger named it his favorite film. See more »

Goofs

When the rowing boat is beached its large pair of oars are not visible. See more »

Quotes

Kado: Look! Music maker also murder stick!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sabu: The Elephant Boy (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Maria Montez as twin sisters in camp classic...need I say more???
30 May 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Might as well quote from the recent career article I wrote on MARIA MONTEZ, due for publication in CLASSIC IMAGES some time soon:

"She began work in 1944 on a film requiring her to play twin sisters--usually a stretch for any actress but even more so for Maria Montez, whose acting ability had never really convinced anyone except diehard fans that she was up to performing solo. Nevertheless, she took it as a challenge to do "Cobra Woman" ('44) and ardent fans of the actress consider it their top "camp" favorite.

She was so visible in "Cobra Woman" that it was impossible to ignore her still heavy accent, literally talking to herself on screen, as when she tells the Queen, "I have dee-cided to marry Martok and I dee-mand your consent." She played two opposite types, Naja, the evil Queen leading a tribe of snake worshippers, and Tollea, a simple, kind-hearted peasant girl.

Only a few critics came to her rescue, one of whom was Lee Mortimer, N.Y. Daily Mirror: "If you were a producer with a cast of thousands, a corny tale, a stage-set volcano island, several reels of technicolor film and Miss Montez, what would you do? Probably what Universal did. Cast her in a double role. Undress her in both, as much as the law and Will Hays allow, and let nature take its course."

Others were more inclined to simply state: "It has every known variety of corn." (Alton Cook, N.Y. World Telegram) Still, the sight of Montez in a twin role (one good, one bad) writhing in a weird sort of belly dance to King Cobra, selecting subjects with a wave of her hand to be sent to their death by volcanic fire, is something to behold. It was also noted that here her royal deportment was never on more display, strutting around her island domain with all of the natives at her beck and call.

Despite the silliness of the script, it was directed (of all people) by Robert Siodmak, who would later demonstrate his skill in directing another actress in a more serious dual role at the same Universal studio--Olivia de Havilland in 'The Dark Mirror'."


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