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USA 1945
produced by
Paul Malvern for Universal
directed by John Rawlins
starring Maria Montez, Jon Hall, Turhan Bey, George Zucco, Andy Devine, Robert Warwick, Philip Van Zandt, Harry Cording, George Lynn, Charles Arnt, Jack Chefe, Art Foster, Shirley Hunter, Eddie Hyans, Duke Johnson, Tor Johnson, Dave Kashner, Art Miles, Mary O'Brien, Gene Roth, Dink Trout, Kay York
written by Edmund L.Hartmann, music by Milton Rosen, makeup by Jack Pierce

Maria Montez & Jon Hall

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somewhere and somewhen in Ancient Egypt: After her father has been killed by desert outlaw Herua (Turhan Bey), queen Naila (Maria Montez) takes it upon herself to track him down and find his desert hideout all by herself ... but soon enough she is captured by a slaver who brands her a slave. She manages to escape though to hook up with two desert thieves and con-men, Merab (Jon Hall) and Nebka (Andy Devine) - and Merab falls for her in an instant, hook, line and sinker (and not even knowing by the queen) - but somehow he also finds out she's a pretty good horsewoman, so at the next horserace, he has her participate, and she triumphs, even against a mysterious but skilled stranger, who later brings her his respects - and the two fall for each other of course.

Unfortunately, the horserace was also attended by Horadef (George Zucco), the chief advisor of Naila's father - but also a traitor of course, who wants to get rid of the queen at whatever cost. So it was him who actually saw to it that she fell into the hands of a slaver in the first place, and now he has the slaver raid the camp in search for her - but she and Merab and Nebka are saved by the mysterious stranger, who takes them to his camp for freed slaves somewhere in the desert. And while he and Naila soon fall hopelessly in love, she eventually has to learn he is actually Herua, the very man who has killed her father. He has no idea who she is, considers her just a freed slavegirl, so when she suggeststo become his spy in the city, he doesn't suspect anything, actually thinks it's a good idea.

Naila returns to the city with Merab and Nebka, who only then learn she's the queen, and surprisingly, she is welcomed by Horadef with open arms. It doesn't take her long to lure Herua into a trap and have him thrown into the dungeon ... but only then does it break her heart, and she starts having doubts about his guilt. Merab has by now come to terms with the fact that he will never become Naila's lover, so he frees Herua and takes his place in the dungeon ... and when found, Horadef shows his true colours in a fit of rage and has the queen arrested. Merab soon finds evidence it was actually Horadef and not Herua who killed her father, so she makes a deal with Horadef: If he released Merab, she will lead him to Herua's secret hideout - after all, she claims, he has killed her father, why wouldn't she want to see him crushed. A deal too good to not accept of course.

Of course, Naila has a plan: Merab has to rush to Herua's camp to warn him, so he can put up his defenses and destroy Horadef's army by stone avalanches (Herua's death trap only she knew about) - and the survivors can easily be defeated by Herua's men. Of course it works, and in the end, Herua gets the girl ...


Another exotic romance/adventure starring Maria Montez and Jon Hall, this one is interesting inasmuch as Turhan Bey is the romantic lead here and even gets the girl, while Jon Hall is more of a secondary hero (even if he has about as much if not more screentime as Bey). Other than that, it's pretty much by-the-numbers, your typical modest budget Technicolor piece of historically inaccurate escapism set in some exotic locale, made up of big feelings, intrigue, betrayal, pretty women and handsome men, an easy-to-follow story and a clear distinction between good and evil.

If you're up for this and can accept the ramifications of a film of this ilk, then you'll probably enjoy it. No masterpiece, but fun at least.


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