Cobra Woman
Original Poster Size=24" x 30"
Cobra Woman

(Universal, 1944) • Maria Montez was born Maria Africa Vidal de Santo Silas and became the cult star we now love with her roles in Technicolor extravaganzas like Arabian Nights, White Savage, and Gypsy Wildcat. But Cobra Woman was her crowning achievement, a tale of twin sisters on a tropical isle — one the demented high priestess Nadja, the other pure-hearted native girl Tollea. They both desire beefcake icon Jon Hall, but the dispute is resolved amicably when Good Maria helps Evil Maria trip on her high heels and fall through a castle window to her death. All this, and a chimp, the sacrificial Dance of the Cobra maidens, Sabu, and a rumbling volcano. It was directed by Robert Siodmak, who went on to even better things, while Montez continued as Hollywood’s premier fantasy goddess (Siren of Atlantis) before suffering a fatal heart attack in her bathtub at the age of 31. In the 1955 Cult of the Cobra, Faith Domergue could actually change into a snake — a good career move.

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