• Cobra Woman

    Cobra Woman

    • Cobra Woman
      Directed by Robert Siodmak
      Produced by George Waggner
      Written by Scott Darling (story)
      Gene Lewis
      Richard Brooks
      Starring Maria Montez
      Jon Hall
      Edgar Barrier
      Mary Nash
      Music by Edward Ward
      Cinematography W. Howard Greene
      Edited by Charles Maynard
      Distributed by Universal Pictures
      Release date
      • May 12, 1944 (1944-05-12)
      Running time
      71 minutes
      Language English

      Cobra Woman is a 1944 American melodrama/adventure film of the South Seas genre, directed by Robert Siodmak. It stars Jon Hall, Sabu, Mary Nash, Lon Chaney, Jr. and, in a dual role, Maria Montez. Shot in Technicolor, this film is typical of Montez's career at Universal Pictures, and, although mostly forgotten today by the general public, venerated as a camp classic for its legendary phallic snake-dance, and Montez's immortal words: "Geev me the Cobra jewl (sic)".

      Avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger has called it his favourite film. Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film three stars out of four and called it a camp classic.

      The beautiful Tollea is abducted and taken to the Cobra Island, where the Queen is her grandmother. Hava warns the angered Ramu not to go after her, but Ramu sets sail for the forbidden island, with his young friend Kado accompanying him as a stowaway.

      A panther attacks Ramu, who is saved by a dart from Kado's deadly blowgun. They continue the search for Tollea, unaware that the high priestess of the island is Naja, her twin sister. The queen has ordered Tollea to be forcibly returned to Cobra Island only so she can displace her evil sister.

      Ramu mistakenly becomes mistakenly involved with Naja, who falls in love with him. Kado is captured and torturned by the brutal Martok, but refuses to reveal Ramu's whereabouts. Martok proceeds to murder the Queen.

      When they finally meet, Naja attempts to kill her sister with a spear, but plunges to her own death instead. Martok insists that Tollea perform a forbidden cobra dance, whereupon the island's volcano begins to erupt. It ceases when Martok is killed by Hava, and when Ramu is about to return home, Tollea asks him to remain and help her rule Cobra Island.

      Universal announced the film in June 1942 starring Montez, Hall and Sabu - even before shooting had begun on Arabian Nights. It was meant to follow that film but was pre-empted by White Savage.

      • May 12, 1944 (1944-05-12)
  • What Else?

    • Cobra Woman