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After British officer Reginald (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) and his fiancee
Cynthia (Alessandra Panaro), daughter of the vice-king, are kidnapped on
an expedition through the Indian jungle by members of the White
Elephant-sect, young lieutnant Dick Ramsey (Sean Flynn) decides to track
them down on his own (officially the colonial British gouvernment can't do
anything out of dilomatic reasons) - and has himself incarcerated by the
very British army he serves, only to soon afterwards break free and escape
the British with the unexpected help of giant black man Kukur (Dakkar).
Once in the jungle though, Ramsey sees his good luck quickly running
out and is almost killed by a boa contrictor ... when he is saved by
Sandok (Mimmo Palmara), bodyguard of Indian Princess Dhara (Marie Versini)
- and as fate has it, Dhara and Sandok are looking for the White Elephant
sect as well that has kidnapped Dhara's brother Baram (Redilly B.Rajapa).
Then Sandok captures Kukur, who has been following Ramsey, and upon
realizing he's a member of the sect, they try to beat the location of the
sect's pagoda out of him - but fail. This is when Ramsey turns traitor,
sets Kukur free and tells him he wants to get in touch with his boss, the
mysterious masked Bakur. Only a short time later, Kukur arrives with
reinforcements who make Dhara and Sandok their captives and lead them and
Ramsey, their guest, to the pagoda ...
Of course, Ramsey has not really turned traitor and only pretended to
be to learn the secret of the pagoda, and now he tries everything to set
Reginald, his hypnotized Cynthia, Dhara, Baram and Sandok free again, in
which he succeeds even though he almost gets fed to the leopards.
Ramsey and company's getaway through the jungleturns out to be strenous
though, strenous enough for Ramsey to decide to go on alone and leave the
others behind in hiding. Looking for help from exactly the soldiers who
are out in the jungle to recapture him, Ramsey instead runs into the hands
of the Maharajah (Arturo Dominici), officially a friend of the British
colonialists - but once Ramsey has given away the location of his friends,
the Maharajah turns out to be none other than sect-leader Bakur himself
planning to overthrow the Colonialists, and before you know it, Ramsey and
company are chained up in the sects dungeons. Ramsey is not one to give up
easily though, and before long,h e has set fire to the hole place, which
on one hand informs the soldiers after him of his wherabouts, on the other
it makes the temple's white elephant mad enough to crash the dungeon's
walls and set our heroes free - and in the final battle, the Maharajah and
his followers get their just desserts courtesy of the British army.
And need I say it, in the end, Ramsey also gets the girl, Princess
Dhara that is ...
Temple of the White Elephant is certainly no great film - but
compared to other, comparable adventure movies from Italy from that time
it's actually a pretty decent film, it had a high enough budget, the
action is well enough staged, some of the actors and scenes even look
authentically Indian, the plot, while by no means original, is at least
interesting enough and well-enough paced, and the camera makes good enough
use of the sets' and costumes' bright and primary colours. What the film
lacks is a charismatic lead (Sean Flynn is certainly no substitute for his
father Errol), but truth to be told, most Italian adventure films from
that era do. Plus, the fight between Mimmo Palmara and the boa constrictor
is nothing short of pathetic (but unintentionally funny, especially when
Mimmo finally throws the dead animal away).
But while the film is no masterpiece, it's still ok enough
entertainment for an hour and a half - even if you might not be able to
remember it even a day and a half afterwards ...