November 19, 2013: Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956)

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Cast and Crew: Eduard von Borsody (Director); Anne Day-Helveg (Novel); Ernst von Salomon (Script); Marion Michael, Hardy Krüger, Rudolf Forster, Reggie Nalder, Irene Galter

What It’s About: Liane, the 2-year old grand-daughter of industrialist Theo Amelongen (Rudolf Forster), is presumed to have died along with her parents in a shipwreck off the African coast. Years later when a research expedition discovers a young white woman (Marion Michael) living with a native tribe, speculation abounds that she is in fact the lost heiress. Thoren (Hardy Krüger), the head of the expedition, helps settle Liane into life with her presumptive grandfather, while Amelongen’s nephew (and only other heir) attempts to expose Liane as a fraud.

This movie has mondo footage, which includes many scenes of topless natives. Depending on how you feel about non-sexual nudity, it might not be safe for kids.

Why watch it today?: Liane’s scheming cousin Viktor is played by Reggie Nalder, a prolific character actor who appeared as villains in such films as The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Salem’s Lot (1979), and cult favorite Zoltan, Hound of Dracula (1978). Nalder died on this day in 1991 of bone cancer.

Although the villainy of Viktor is instantly ineffective, Nalder sells the part with his transparent jealousy.

Other Options: Project Nim, Laura

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6 comments on “November 19, 2013: Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956)

  1. T.A. Gerolami says:

    Going by the trailer, is this kind of Mighty Peking Man on a 1/10th of the budget and without the giant ape?

    • retrozombi says:

      It’s sort of a fish-out-of-water romance with a locked room murder as the climax. It’s not very good, but the genre mashup fascinates me.

      • T.A. Gerolami says:

        Where I connected the two was Mighty Peking Man also features a beautiful blonde who grew up in the jungle after surviving the plane crash that killed her parents. When they take Peking Man into Hong Kong, the lead jungle explorer guy brings her along, and it’s all culture clashes and attempted rape (yes, unfortunately) at the hands of the creepy financier behind the expedition from there on in (okay, and a Kaiju rampage).

      • retrozombi says:

        Ah. Yeah, except for the rape and the ape it’s pretty much the same then.

      • T.A. Gerolami says:

        I misinterpreted the trailer then.

    • retrozombi says:

      Also, I’ve never actually seen Mighty Peking Man — OR I have defensively forgotten it — but that certainly had at least 10 times the budget of Liane.

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