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The Tiger Woman
Perils of the Darkest Jungle / Jungle Gold

USA 1944
produced by
Republic
directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet, Wallace Grissell
starring Allan Lane, Linda Stirling, Duncan Renaldo, George J. Lewis, LeRoy Mason, Crane Whitley, Robert Frazer, Rico De Montez, Stanley Price, Nolan Leary, Kenne Duncan, Tom Steele, Duke Green, Eddie Parker, Ken Terrell, Cliff Lyons
written by Royal K. Cole, Ronald Davidson, Basil Dickey, Jesse Duffy, Grant Nelson, Joseph F. Poland, music by Joseph Dubin, special effects by Theodore Lydecker

serial

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somewhere in the deepest jungle of ... ummm, the sets would suggest somewhere along the Texas-Mexican border (yeah, I know), the Tiger Woman (Linda Stirling) rules over her tribe of Native Americans (or Aztecs?) - and strikes a deal with the Inter Ocean Oil Company to exploit their lands. But there is a trio of baddies, lawyer Walton (LeRoy Mason), trader Dagget (Crane Whitley) and their muscle Morgan (George J. Lewis) who want to get their hands on the oil deal, which is why they try to create unrest between the whites and the natives. They know they should kill the Tiger Woman too, but the Tiger Woman is white and the daughter of a deceased millionaire, and they figure through her they could get their hands on his fortune.

Faced with the sudden native unrest, Delgado (Duncan Renaldo), foreman of the oil company, calls in their troubleshooter Saunders (Allan Lane) ... and he actually soon manages to appease the natives, make friends with the Tiger Woman and even the tribe's high priest Ramgah (Robert Frazer) and defend the natives' and the oil company's interests against the baddies - but there's a problem: While Morgan's quite clearly a bad guy, both Walton and Dagget, in their position as honourable businessmen, act as Saunders' allies and try to lure him into one ambush after the next ... which leads to many chases, fistfights, explosions, near escapes and the like, with settings that incllude not only the jungle but a temple, mineshafts, secret passageways aplenty, and whatnot.

Eventually, the Inter Ocean Oil Company runs into a bit of trouble, because if they don't find oil, their franchise will expire in less than a fortnight, and the baddies do everything in their power to keep the company from succeeding in this, thus Saunders use any trick in the book to leave the impression they're failing while they actually are on the road to success - and they're quite good at it too ... but with Dagget and Walton as their white collar bosses, the baddies do find out eventually and invade the oilfield hidden in oil trucks for a final showdown - the good guys win of course, and the baddies' attempt to blow up the oilpump only results in oil shooting right out of the ground. Now Morgan has died in a plane crash earlier on, but Dagget got his hands dirty in the showdown and is made captive for this, but Walton has kept out of it ... but when he learns everything is lost, he goes for evidence of the Tiger Woman's real identity to get his hands on her fortune after all, but of course, ultimately is defeated by the Tiger Woman, Saunders and company - and ultimately, both he and Dagget end up in a fiery pit right beneath the Aztec (?) temple ...

 

There are no two ways about it, The Tiger Woman is a rather silly serial, its blend of Western and jungle motives doesn't wholly click, the tiger woman's outfit made from cheetah furs looks silly at times, her behaviour suggests anything but a girl raised by the natives, and the whole story is a bit too much on the simplistic side and not devoid of plotholes ... and yet, while not among Republic's best serials, The Tiger Woman is fun, there's plenty of action throughout that also shows enough variation to not become monotonous, plenty of different locations to keep one interested, and even Linda Stirling, even if her outfit's ridiculous and her behaviour not befitting her role - she does prove she knows how to kick ass and hgas got the action aspects of her role down.

So no, no classic even in the serial world ... but fun!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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written by
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