White Savage (1943)

Genres - Adventure  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

The shrewd folks at Universal fully understood a war-weary audience's craving for colorful escapism and obligingly created Arabian Nights (1942), which brought together contract actors Maria Montez, Jon Hall, and Sabu. None of them could act worth a penny, but they looked good in Technicolor and a follow-up was quickly ordered. Happily for the company's coffers, White Savage was equally popular and for good reasons. This, simply, is the epitome of garish acting, directing, writing, and set design, and remains one of the greatest guilty pleasures of all time. Montez, who simply looks stunning, purrs, whines a bit, and offers poses worthy of a cover girl; Hall is strikingly handsome and at all times as artificial as the setting; and Sabu, the erstwhile elephant boy, well, what more is there to say? Add to that Thomas Gomez as the hissable Teutonic villain as well as Turhan Bey, Universal's Austrian-born Turkish Delight, who could play good or bad as the occasion demanded but always with the exact same expression. No Hollywood potboiler ever came more gloriously wrapped than this.