Angel on the Amazon (1948)

aka Drums Along the Amazon
Article 1792 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-9-2006
Posting Date: 7-9-2006
Directed by John H. Auer
Featuring George Brent, Vera Ralston, Brian Aherne

In the jungle, a man meets a mysterious woman hunter who disappears shortly after their meeting. He meets her again at a horse race, and tries to strike up a relationship with her, but she has a terrible secret…

Given the title, I fully expected that I was about to endure another Double-Stuffed Safari-O, probably about a beautiful White Goddess. I began to suspect that this was going to be somewhat better early on, when the movie opens with the mysterious woman fearlessly killing an attacking panther; this scene was directed with a much greater amount of suspense and tension than I was used to for a jungle movie. This feeling persisted into the movie, with unusually sharp dialogue (especially the lines written for Constance Bennett’s character) and some strong moments of suspense (in particular, an attack by a wounded black panther is incredibly tense). In fact, except for flashbacks, the last two thirds of the movie don’t take place in the jungle at all. In reality, this is a romantic drama, and a fairly moving one. There is definitely fantastic content to the movie as well, but other than pointing out that the movie bears a certain similarity to BLACK OXEN , I’m not going to elaborate on the nature of the mysterious woman’s secret. The movie has a few problems; the middle section is rather dull, and Vera Ralston really isn’t a strong enough actress to bring her character completely to life, but despite this, it’s a strong movie, and the ending is quite moving. This one was a definite and welcome surprise, and is recommended.


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