A Dangerous Woman (1929)

A DANGEROUS WOMAN (1929)
(a.k.a. THE WOMAN WHO NEEDED KILLING)
Article #1745 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-24-2005
Posting Date: 5-23-2006
Directed by Gerald Grove and Rowland V. Lee
Featuring Olga Baclanova, Clive Brook, Neil Hamilton

The commissioner of an African outpost lives with a woman who drives the white men to their deaths with her seductive ways. The commissioner learns that his brother will be his next assistant, and the woman begins working her wiles on him….

“The Motion Picture Guide” lists this movie as horror, claiming that the woman in question uses voodoo to make herself irresistible to men. There’s some talk of voodoo, of course, but nothing overt about the use of voodoo, so I find this assessment questionable, and the movie itself is nothing more than a marginal jungle movie. The commissioner is our hero, and he advises the natives to use wife-beating to keep their women in line (after all, it’s the native thing to do), and after he does, the natives leave doing a sort of “spanking” dance. This kind of racism and sexism pervades the movie, and though it is no doubt a product of its time, It’s still more than a little offensive. But then, I’ve never quite bought into the concept that it is the perfidy of women that drives men to do horrible things because they are helpless against the wiles of the feminine sex; if men can’t control themselves on occasion, I suggest they look at their own hormones rather than blame the other sex. The acting is pretty stagy, but that’s an early talkie for you. This is mainly for those interested in the career of Olga Baclanova, who would go on to play another evil woman in FREAKS.

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