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Gypsy Wildcat

USA 1944
produced by
George Waggner for Universal
directed by Roy William Neill
starring Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Douglass Drumbille, Peter Coe, Nigel Bruce, Leo Carrillo, Gale Sondergaard, Curt Bois, Harry Cording, William 'Wee Willie' Davis, Bill Healy, Oliver Blake, Dick Rush, Claire Whitney, Jimmy Aubrey, Lew Harvey, Jack C.Smith, Robert L.Stephenson
story by James P.Hogan, Ralph Stock, screenplay by James M. Cain, James P. Hogan, Gene Lewis, additional dialogue by Joseph Hoffman, music by Edward Ward, special photography by John P. Fulton, makeup by Jack Pierce

Maria Montez & Jon Hall

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somewhere in Europe, in some indeterminable historical period, a gang of gypsies travel from town to town to put up shows for the locals. But as much as the gypsies are liked as entertainers, they are not trusted by anyone, so when Baron Tovar's (Douglass Dumbrille) find a murdered official, they immediately blame it on the gypsies. Carla (Maria Montez) though has seen a stranger (Jon Hall) leaning over the body of the dead official, and she believes him to be the killer - yet when he joins up with the gypsies, she refuses to betray him ... love at firswt sight, you know.

While trying to keep him out of the baron's hands, Carla learns the stranger, Michael, is not the killer at all but a special investigator who suspects the baron of foul play and of having killed above official himself - so this is why the baron wants to get his hands on him.

Eventually, the baron even captures Michael and the gypsies, but Michael manages to escape. The baron's interest has shifted to Carla though, as he has found out she is the actual heiress to the throne he has usurped, and since she's quite a looker, he decides to marry her. Will she agree? Why yes, considering the freedom of her people depends on it. Furthermore she doesn't even know the baron's throne is actually hers ...

Of course, there is a grand finale where Michael rushes to the rescue, saves Carla and the gypsies, the baron gets killed and she is reinstated on the throne that was always hers, and he remains at her side ...

Nigel Bruce can be seen in the role of the absent-minded High Sheriff, an amusing performance even if highly reminiscent of his Dr Watson in the Sherlock Holmes-movies.


Pretty much a piece of kitsch, a movie that attempts to blend the formula of the Montez-Hall romantic adventures with swashbuckler elements. The outcome is a rather bland mock-historical that draws a romanticized Europe like right out of a picturebook as the backdrop for a run-of-the-mill adventure, that, also due to budgetary restraints, doesn't fully live up to the story's demands, and Jon Hall as a Errol Flynn-wannabe actually lacks the charisma to carry his part of the film while Maria Montez isn't enough of an actress to give her role depth.

That all said, the film is still fun seen as a piece of forgettable nostalgia - it's just not a very good movie.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD