Angel on the Amazon (1948) with George Brent

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The sullen killer of the jungles…and the woman who knew no fear! The story of their meeting and the strange events that followed!

 

A bit of an obscure little oddball of a picture, but even so there isn’t much cause for alarm.  Not packing any real “A” class stars and filmed at the lesser Republic Studios, Angel on the Amazon is a strange twist of adventure and psychological drama.  And for you fans of George Brent and Constance Bennett please don’t take my “A” class star comment the wrong way.

George Brent, getting top billing, plays Jim Warburton, who is forced to down his plane in the Amazon with Dr. Karen Lawrence (Constance Bennett) among his passengers.  As despair starts to settle in among the crash’s survivors, the party is rescued by the enigmatic Christine Ridgeway (played by Vera Ralston) who lives in the jungle.  Christine and Jim become smitten, but Christine seems hard to pin down on her future intentions and she ultimately flees to Rio de Janiero to escape him.

Jim and Dr. Karen follow to Rio, but without a strong trail to follow, they have a hard time finding the elusive Christine.  While at a horse track they finally find her and with a few fits and starts the romance continues, until Christine spies an old acquaintance in the hotel’s lobby and again disappears- this time to California.

Jim talks to this acquaintance (Sebastian Ortega played by Fortunio Bonanova) over a drink and learns an amazing story.  Long ago Sebastian was in the Amazonian jungle with Christine’s mother and her mother’s husband when a black panther attacked, frightening Christine severely and putting her into a case of severe shock.  Ultimately the balance of the trip went without incident and Ortega hasn’t seen them since.  Ortega remarks how breathtakingly similar the daughter resembles her mother.

Still smitten Jim heads to California where he meets Anthony Ridgeway (played by Brian Aherne), who Jim presumes is Christine’s mother.  Mr. Ridgeway shares more of the story, telling Jim that in fact the lovely Christine is really Anthony’s wife.  Further, she hasn’t aged since the dreaded panther attack, which is why she is often presumed to be the daughter.

There is a few twists left in this one, and to be honest I have already shared more than enough- enough to anger some folks.  It is a Republic picture and has somewhat subpar production values with more than its fair share of weak rear projection and grainy location footage spiced in.

All in all though, the picture is fairly compact and not awful, though woefully short of classic status.  Personally, I’ve never been enthralled my either George Brent or Constance Bennett, but that is of course just personal taste.

Sadly, this picture falls into the rare category as it is simply too weak to have garnered significant name recognition.  It isn’t available on DVD or amazon- to be honest I didn’t check Netflix but I can’t imagine them having it.  It is also small enough that it is a rarity on TCM as well.

No movie, regardless of stature, should be unavailable somehow for those who would like to check it out.  The time I spent with Angel on the Amazon was fairly pleasant if not overly memorable.