Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dance of the Cobra Woman

No gush of verbiage could possibly do justice to this clip of the dance of the Cobra Woman from the film of the same name. Maria Montez is, honestly, not an actress I have had a chance to enjoy although the name was familiar. Born in the Dominican Republic in 1912, Montez never got past a B- star rating and was reduced to playing  "the centerpiece of Universal's Technicolor costume adventures."
This particular  garish spectacle has come to the internet, spliced and diced for YouTube, so feel free to enjoy the entire film if you feel up to it.  The plot.. well, frankly, does it matter? Ok., here goes..
On the eve of her wedding to Ramu (Jon Hall), the beautiful Tollea (Maria Montez) is spirited away from her tranquil South Sea island to the mysterious, forbidden place of her birth, Cobra Island. (Read the rest here.) 
Montez pulls out all stops and one has to hand it to her, she certainly takes the role quite seriously- which is a hallmark of great camp cinema. In 1943, Montez married French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont, and following the end of World War II, left Hollywood to live in France.
There, Maria Montez appeared in several films and a play written by her husband. She also wrote three books, two of which were published, as well as penning a number of poems.
At the early age of 39 , Montez died unexpectedly from a heart attack (in her bath) in 1951.

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