SIREN OF ATLANTIS (1949)
Article #923 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-24-2003
Posting date: 2-21-2004
Directed by Gregg Tallas
Featuring Maria Montez, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Dennis O’Keefe
Two foreign legionaires discover the lost civiliation of Atlantis in the middle of the desert.
I’m quite fond of the earlier versions of L’Atlantide from 1920 and 1932, mostly for the subtle poetry they used in telling their stories. This is not to say that this version of the story doesn’t try for subtlety or poetry; it’s just that when it does, it slops them on in great big greasy spoonfuls so that the end result isn’t sublime beauty but rather monumental silliness. Which to some extent is what I’d expect of a Maria Montez movie, though I would have thought they would have shot this on in color like her movies with Jon Hall. At any rate, you’ll definitely want to be in the mood for a Montez film when you watch this one. And as much as I enjoy watching Henry Daniell at work, he’s a lot more effective if they give him dialogue that isn’t quite as oily as this. This is not my favorite take on the story.