Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

THE TIGER WOMAN


THE TIGER WOMAN 12 Chapter Republic serial (1944). Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet; Wallace Grissell. NOTE: The Tiger Woman was reissued as Perils of the Darkest Jungle.

In a location that seems to be South America [although this was undoubtedly shot on Republic's back lot]. Alan Saunders (Allan Lane), the representative of an oil company, discovers that he not only has to deal with thugs from a rival oil firm but with the "Tiger Woman" (Linda Stirling), who rules over the territory where the oil is located, as well as the Indians who live there ["We are a peaceful people" claims the high priest (Robert Frazer)]. The rather ruthless TW, who presides over executions or sacrificial ceremonies where enemies are thrown into a lava pit, "fell from the sky" and is really -- it is revealed quite early on -- an heiress named Rita Arnold. TW wears a fetching leopard print outfit with a skirt and is quite a feisty fighter. While there are some great fight scenes in Tiger Woman, there is also an inordinate amount of gun play. The villains Daggett (Crane Whitley) and Walton (LeRoy Mason) are a touch colorless -- although played by perfectly competent actors -- but the serial still manages to be quite entertaining, with some memorable cliffhangers. There's the cavern of falling stalactites; a boat over a water fall; a runaway mining car that shoots out a hole in the mountain and careens into space; and -- best of all -- a sensational bit with a descending mine elevator that has the Tiger Woman unconscious above while Saunders dangles uncertainly from below. Allan Lane is stalwart and effective as the hero. Stirling is certainly decorative, fights like a wildcat, and is an adequate actress. She was also in The Purple Monster Strikes, The Crimson Ghost and Zorro's Black Whip. Nice theme music.

Verdict: Very entertaining and well-done serial. ***.

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