REVIEW: GREEN MANSIONS

 

CAST

Audrey Hepburn (Charade)
Anthony Perkins (Psycho)
Lee J. Cobb (12 Angry Men)
Sessue Hayakawa (The Cheat)
Henry Silva (Ocean’s eleven)

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A young man named Abel (Anthony Perkins) narrowly escapes Caracas, Venezuela after it is overtaken by rebels. He decides to seek revenge, as his father, the former Minister of War, was killed. After getting supplies, he takes a canoe to the far shore, where he is nearly killed by a jaguar, but is saved by the native, Indian-like people.

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He decides to prove his bravery by not moving once he sees the chief, Runi (Sessue Hayakawa) and telling his story. The Indians are impressed, and do not kill him. After a while, Runi’s son Kua-ko (Henry Silva), who has lived with the missionaries of Caracas and speaks English, tells Abel that Runi has agreed so long as he does not harm them, they will not harm him. Abel agrees, and befriends Kua-ko, who tells him of the “Bird Woman”, who killed his older brother, and that their tribe is not allowed in the nearby forest.

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Abel ignores the warning and ventures into the forest, where he sees a young woman (Audrey Hepburn) who quickly disappears. He returns to the Indians, and Kua-ko tells him that Runi wishes Abel to use his gun and kill the girl. He returns to the forest, but decides to warn the girl instead. He sees her again, but is bitten by a coral snake. The girl takes Abel to her home and tends his wound. Upon waking up, he meets the girl’s grandfather, Nuflo (Lee J. Cobb), who tells him her name is Rima. The next day, with his leg wounded by the snake, Abel meets Rima again and they begin to talk. Rima takes a liking to him, but Nuflo warns her that he will leave once his leg heals. Abel is soon able to walk without a cane, and Rima therefore begins showing him the forest. Abel tells her that he has come to like her as well, and Rima is confused. She goes to speak with her dead mother’s spirit, and decides to return to where she came from to ask a village elder about her strange new feelings for Abel. Later, Abel and Rima travel to the edge of the forest, where he shows her Riolama, which she remembers as her village. Despite Nuflo’s initial reluctance to take her, Rima forces him to show her the way by threatening his soul if he does not.

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Abel decides it is time for him to return to the Indians. He tells Runi of how Rima saved him, but neither he nor Kua-ko believe him. He quickly realizes that Kua-ko killed his brother and placed the blame on Rima, but is tied up. After a bravery test (withstanding bee and wasp stings without making a sound), Kua-ko and the Indians make ready to enter the forest and kill Rima. Abel escapes and warns Nuflo and Rima, and together they escape to Riolama, where Nuflo tells Abel that he cannot return to the village because he caused a massacre. He managed to help Rima and her mother, and promised to take care of Rima, but was ashamed at his part in the massacre. Rima overhears, and curses Nuflo. She then rushes down to Riolama, where she faints in the heat. Abel follows and takes her to safety. When she awakens, Abel tells her how he has come to love her, and Rima does also, having only come to decipher her strange feelings and now recognizing them as love for him.
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Rima steals away while Abel is asleep to go back to Nuflo and apologize, but when she finds him, the Indians have burnt their home and he is nearly dead. She asks his forgiveness, and with his last words Nuflo tries to warn her of the Indians. She quickly discovers for herself, and races through the forest to escape. Kua-ko burns the great tree where she has hidden. Meanwhile, Abel awakens and realizes what Rima has done. He quickly follows and finds Kua-ko, who teases that he killed her. The two fight into a stream, where Abel manages to drown Kua-ko. Abel remembers a flower Rima told him of, which, if it disappears in one place, blossoms in another close by. He finds the flower, and not far off, Rima herself, who extends her hand. He takes it, and they begin their life in the forest together.

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This movie was not a success at the box office but I think any movie with Audrey Hepburn can’t be bad.  Audrey is such a very good actress and one of the most beautiful women of all time. Her voice is charming like anything else with that woman. Only one important feature is missing, An excellent movie.

REVIEW: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS (1990)

CAST
Anthony Perkins (Psycho)
Mia Sara (Birds of Prey)
Robert Reynolds (Brass)
Jack Coleman (Heroes)

Arriving in Romania, American Katherine Thatcher, (Mia Sara) determined to find herself a new life. While searching through the city with Max, (Dezso Garas) keeps seeing a strange dragon symbol that resembles a design on her medallion she wears which helps her along with the search for her missing father. Meeting with local Grigore Protoescu, (Robert Reynolds) who helps her along, and she manages to do a little more digging into the past, eventually coming across Anton, (Anthony Perkins) who has a terrible secret for her. Eventually cornered with the realization that her father is a member of a secret society of vampires that needs their blood to stay alive, and that everyone else she trusts is either a member or are a willful helper, she tries to escape from their clutches before she becomes one of them.

There’s some good stuff to this one. One of the best is that there’s a habit of including really neat scenes in random order throughout the film. Some of them are pretty creepy, including a rather intense chase of a black-robed figure through the streets at night, which leads into the incredibly explosive finale that really ends it the right way. The foot chase to the taxi later on is also pretty good, and it even manages to get in some pretty good stuff later on. There’s the whole finale to this, which is where most of the fun in the film comes from. From the creepy torture dungeon to the stable hideout, there’s some good locations for the all-out action assaults. Those are great, as there’s the torture segment in the dungeon which is actually really cool, as the sight of the vampire being strapped to a machine that lets in daylight to scar and torch the hands, arms and face, and the impressive visual of that happening, is a great site and manages to make them feel a lot more threatening when it occurs. Then there’s the confrontation in the stable, which is just great. From the introduction of the fire to set everything ablaze to the brawling with the vampires and the destruction of the location and the thrilling escape, it’s really fun and enjoyable. It’s also got the fact that the vampires are all knocked off by being set on-fire is really great, as there’s plenty of great scenes that show them running around on fire. It’s a great site, and mixed in with the really great setting and fun action make the ending fun. What makes these work is the really entertaining storyline for this one. There’s a really great mystery angle at work, with the reason for the journey to Romania a logical one that allows for some creepy goings-on that it manages to incorporate because of what’s going on, and they’re all done really nicely in here because the story allows them to.

With some very good points to this and only a few really noticeable flaws that hold it down, this one ends up as being one of the better entries available. Give this one a chance if it sounds interesting or find these kinds of films themselves quite fun, otherwise the flaws here will be quite worthwhile.