23 October 2011 | melvelvit-1
"Queen Of Atlantis" lineage starts here
The first adaptation of Pierre Benoit's 1919 adventure novel QUEEN OF ATLANTIS. A couple of unlucky Legionaires discover what's left of the lost Atlantis in the Sahara and come up against its perversely self-centered and sexually insatiable queen. Only one succumbs much to her chagrin and the trouble begins...
When his book was first published, Benoit was accused of plagiarizing H. Rider Haggard's SHE so he sued, of course, and lost but his variation's a fun fantasy yarn anyway. This tinted silent could have been imaginatively directed by famed auteur Jacques Feyder, but, alas, it's not and, unfortunately, it goes on forever. The queensize leading lady's definitely a liability in a pivotal role. The tale's been filmed many times since, including a 1932 W.G. Pabst version in both English and French, the 1948 Hollywood opus SIREN OF ATLANTIS with Maria Montez, and Edgar G. Ulmer's updating to the atomic age, JOURNEY BENEATH THE DESERT in 1961. Any one of them are an improvement.