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Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.

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Reviews For CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN - Add Yours!

Saturday June 1, 2013 - MOVIE - Melodrama "CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN" (1943). John Carradine, the volcanic bombshell Acquanetta as the ape woman and some stock footage of big top animal acts from the 40's. The first of the ape woman series (followed by JUNGLE WOMAN & JUNGLE CAPTIVE) with Jack Pierce make-up. Suggested by J. Maggio, Kingman, AZ.

Suggest movies by e-mailing: Please just one movie at a time. Check the past viewings at the Creepy Classics Movie Night Page to see if it was already used.

I will be short here, but I looked at ol' CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN again this past weekend. Immediately comimg to mind was the theme of "glands." It strck me that glands seemed to ne a super-science theme forsome of the Universals back in the 1940s. I mentioned this to Bob Pellegrino and Mike Adams who were also watching. I mentioned NIGHT MONSTER as another film in which "glands" are mentioned a lot, as well as the non-Universal THE MONSTER MAKER. Bob Pellegrino mentioned THE UNEARTHLY and Mike Adams chimed in with THE BRUTE MAN.

Well, this film is a fun B horror from Universal. John Carradine is sly and nasty. Evelyn Ankers is good, although her charcter is rather aloof about her poor sister's plight with glands and her care facility! She hould have checked John Carradine's background a bit more....maybe some personal references. Ha!

Mike mentioned supporting actress Fay Helm as Carradine's assistant. He wondered if there was ever a Universal in which she didn't meet a dismal end (killed by a werewolf in THE WOLF MAN, burned alive in NIGHT MONSTER), here Carradine uses some of her brains for his experiment.

Of course, the thing that seems to hurt a bit i this film, is the over use of mis-matching film stock between Clyde Beatty doing the real work with lions and tigers and Milburn Stone's studio shots that they try to mix and match. The edits are good, but the quality of the film stock is so dramatic, it sticks way out.

Oh I should mention an interesting sidebar. Bob Pellegrinno posed the question: What western TV show eatured two Universal stock players? The answer, GUNSMOKE. With Milburn Stone as Doc and Glenn Strange as Sam the bartender.

-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA

Above: Half in make-up from Jack Pierce, Acquanetta on the set of CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN for a scene that you see from the waist down.

Universal must have been impressed with RKO's returns of CAT PEOPLE and decided to get on the bandwagon, but with a gorilla thrown into the mix instead of a panther! The whole thing is loaded with stock footage of Clyde Beatty working with big cats (All I could think of when they mixed the footage with close ups of Milburn Stone was PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE with Bela Lugosi's 'double'), lots of repeated closeups/slow motion of lions and tigers and John Carradine's endless note taking. Really silly stuff...
However, it's so absurd you just have to like it. Good cast in here with Milburn likeable as ever, Evelyn Ankers lovely and as good a screamer as ever (And oddly, for this period, it is she who solves the puzzle and takes care of the menace and not the leading man) , Fay Helm (who continues her Universal run of characters who might just blurt out "It SUCKS to be me!") and of course John Carradine, who's as screwy as ever and like always, giving 110% as a mad scientist with constant sweating and the greasiest kid stuff you ever saw in his hair.

Acquanetta doesn't have a lot to do, but she has an intriguing aura and her tantrum leading into the transformation back into the ape is pretty creepy, but probably not so much as the hilarious lecture Carradine gives her! Also nice to see the lovely Martha Vickers (one of Micky Rooney's wives and excellent as the drug addled nympho in THE BIG SLEEP a few years after this), although she really doesn't have a lot to do.

Good choice for "Movie Night" and if you'll excuse me, I'll think I'm going to the circus! ***

-Steve Schimming, NH

Hi Ron,

Captive Wild Woman...another great Uni. classic. The story is pretty good in my opinion,
stock players, Ankers, Carradine, and the pretty Fay Helm. Acquanetta was perfect in her part,w/ her dark exotic look. The stock footage of the zoo animals doesn't take away from the movie, and Acquanetta's hypnotic power over them, I find it 'captivating' (;

I hope we can follow up on the sequels down the line, although I admit Vikki Lane wasn't as effective as Acquanetta, I (whom I am told I resemble, the actress not the ape, lol).. And of course, I have to mention, before Zera, Kim Hunter, Planet of the Apes,
there was Paula Dupree, and Jack Pierce's makeup is terrific as usual..!

regards, J50smonstakid(: - J. Maggion, Kingmam, AZ

Whew! Captive Wild Woman is 60 minutes of pure, unadulterated 1940s Universal hokum---which means it's a lot of fun! It's always great to see John Carradine and Evelyn Ankers, and both turn in good performances. Their roles aren't demanding but they treated them with respect.

I hope you like circus footage, primarily lion and tiger tamers, 'cause you're gonna see A LOT of it in this one. Still, the man vs. beast battles are exciting, and the danger seems real.

Acquanetta is a real treat for the eyes, although not so much for the ears. Thank goodness she has no dialogue in this one. Did I mention she's easy on the eyes?

CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN is a fun movie and leagues ahead of the two sequels that followed. If you haven't seen it, give it a try. Did I mention Acquanetta is easy on the eyes?

Brian Niichols, TX

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