Captive Wild Woman (1943)

Article #37 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-22-2001
Posting date: 9-4-2001

Dr. Sigmund Walters (John Carradine) is a scientist involved in gland research. When he discovers an unusually intelligent gorilla (Ray Corrigan) brought to this country by explorer/lion tamer Fred Mason (Milburn Stone, “Doc” on “Gunsmoke”), he has it kidnapped and manages to transform it into a woman (Acquanetta) who he names Paula Dupree. Unfortunately, it is discovered that when Paula gets jealous, she reverts to animal behavior and a semi-simian form.

This was the first of three Paula Dupree the Ape Woman movies made by Universal during the forties. This was definitely one of the lesser Universal series; even the initial movie padded out its story with lots of lion taming footage (Clyde Beatty is specifically thanked at the beginning of the movie). The movie is sort of a cross between ISLAND OF LOST SOULS and THE CAT PEOPLE, both of which handled their themes with more intelligence and complexity. This was probably the best of the three movies, but it’s fairly easy to see why Paula Dupree is the least known of Universal’s classic monsters.

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