5 user 2 critic

Blonde Cobra (1963)

An experimental short film that variously features singing and storytelling, touching upon topics such as nations, death, religion, sex, and evil.


Ken Jacobs




Credited cast:
Ken Jacobs Ken Jacobs
Jack Smith Jack Smith ... Madame Nescience
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A man fondles objects, looks at himself in the mirror, poses in different clothes, smiles and makes faces at the camera while his voice on the soundtrack speaks of his despair, makes impressionistic statements and little songs, quotes Greta Garbo and Maria Montez, tells the story of a lonely little boy and (in drag) tells the story of a woman (Madame Nescience) who dreams of herself as the mother superior of a convent of sexual perversion. Written by jaguar4

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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Referenced in Divine Trash (1998) See more »

User Reviews

I think somebody is playing a joke on some readers here...
16 December 2017 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...specifically the author of "1001 Movies to See Before You Die" on those who read his book.

I watched this short film because it's one of the 1001 Movies to See Before You Die. Now, I don't expect to like all of them, or to agree that they should be on a list such as this. But even if I don't like a title in that book, I can almost always see some reason or another that someone would list it. It was ground-breaking technically. It was important to a certain nation or culture's cinematic evolution. It features previously-taboo subject matter or imagery. But not this time.

The film consists of bits and pieces of film, some in color but most in black & white, without sound. The audio track is made up of old song bits, avant-garde music pieces, random noises, or most often the puerile ramblings of the film's subject, Jack Smith. Smith was apparently quite a character among the underground NYC art scene of the 50's and 60's. So this film is meant as a piecemeal portrait/homage to Smith. Most of his "stories" are heard on the soundtrack during long stretches of black screen. The bits of old film seem to be outtakes of a silly home-movie of some sort, mostly of Smith in mock drag and fondling a chicken carcass. Seriously.

After watching the film, I read the entry in the 1001 book to try and glean why this would be included, but it doesn't really explain why. Reading on imdb, I first find that this film has the lowest aggregate score of any film listed in the 1001 book, a 3.2/10. Some people feel it's a cruel joke played by the book's authors on a gullible readership. Others that defend the film (there were a few) seem to say that audiences shouldn't expect anything, and just take this as an abstract work of art, with as much or as little meaning as you can read into it.

To me, it's the very worst kind of arthouse junk, the kind that gives art films a bad name and scares away the general public from trying anything new..

It's available on YouTube, and it's only 32 minutes long. It's a looong 32 minutes, though. And be warned: he uses some foul language in his "stories" and and there's a tiny bit of nudity near the end (pun intended).

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Release Date:

17 February 1988 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Блондинка кобра See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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