(1943)3Hans J. WollsteinIf Captive Wild Woman is much better than its hoary synopsis would suggest, and it actually is, much of the credit must go to a game cast and the usual good work by ace makeup artist Jack P. Pierce -- even if the makeup could suggest a nefarious (and ludicrous) link between Negroes and simians, an interpretation much discussed when the film premiered but obviously was never intended by its creators. Acquanetta, who earns introductory billing despite having appeared in several bit roles, is both beautiful and eerie and Milburn Stone makes a surprisingly fine hero, his diminutive stature notwithstanding. Stone was reportedly cast because of his physical similarity to famed animal trainer Clyde Beatty, who appears in stock footage from Universal's The Big Cage (1933). John Carradine, as he was wont to do, mugs entertainingly; Evelyn Ankers screams prettily; Paul Fix, as the doctor's ill fated assistant, dies horribly; and sundry veteran Universal players act as you would expect. Credit for the film's success should of course also go to tyro director Edward Dmytryk, an obvious talent whom Universal had borrowed from RKO. If only the studio had stopped here; but, unhappily, two dreadful sequels, Jungle Woman (1944) and Jungle Captive (1945), would forever mar the reputation of Paula Dupree, Universal's sole female monster franchise.