Daughter of the Sun God (1962) is a cult classic featuring beauty Lisa Montell. This film is an ethnographic experience.
For Episode 32 I’ve got a great little movie for you today. I’m afraid it may be a little short as the star power in this one was somewhat underwhelming. We are following Lisa Montell line from Episode 28 World Without End (1956). Of course, today’s movie is a cult classic Daughter of the Sun God (1962) originally filmed in 1952 had so many problems it took 10 years to get released.
I chose this movie because of Lisa Montell and turned out this is a nice little ethnographic film showing indigenous Peruvians people. The background scenery is nice.
Of course, the biggest star of this movie is Lisa Montell who had 46 television and movie credits. Montell played the role of Christine Mitchell. I profiled Montell in Episode 28 World Without End (1956).
William Holmes was cast in the role of American author Kent Griffin. Since Holmes wanted to be an actor his daddy picked up the bill for him to star in this role. However, since it took 10 years for the film to be released Holmes had already left the acting business.
Harry Knapp played archeologist Dr. Howard Knapp. Knapp was only in one other movie Manhunt in the Jungle (1958).
Juanita Llosa who played The Sun Goddess was only in this one movie.
Al Bello who I assume played Bello but I will refer to him as Henchman bad teeth. IMDB says he was in The District (2000). That is a long time between roles.
The movie begins with Christine Mitchell (Lisa Montell) and Kent Griffin (Bill Holmes) walking across the desert Kent is telling the story of how it all began in flashback mode. Kent is Lima, Peru to cover the international festival for an American Magazine. Kent is walking through a museum looking at Inca gold objects and learning about Padre Mitchell. The Padre traveled among the Inca until he will killed on his return trip leaving only a map and gold statue.
Suddenly a mysterious woman dropped a card into his coat pocket. Kent calls the mysterious women and Christine walks from a steaming shower to answer the phone. They set up a meeting at her place because it will be safer. When she arrives Christine explains that she is the niece of Padre Mitchell and that a man brought a map and a diary to be translated. When she did the work she realized that it was a coded map to the Golden City of the Inca.
Bello, the bad teethed henchman robs the waiter of his jacket and goes into to the run to see what Christine and Kent are up to. He leaves without causing any trouble.
Kent asks Christine why she doesn’t go to the police and isn’t she stealing from her employer. She gives two answers, she can’t go to the police without more evidence and the treasures of the Inca belong in a museum, not to the Inca themselves. But this is what Indiana Jones said 30 years later.
Christine convinces Kent that he will get a great book out of the deal. So she makes arrangements to get him the hidden material. When she leaves her house she is wearing four-inch heels. Bad teeth is outside and eventually begins chasing her. She does a pretty good heel sprint. She manages to beat old bad teeth across the park and jumps into a taxi. Bello and a fat man in a white suit are in hot pursuit. Christine makes it to the beach and does some pretty fair sand heel running until she gets to Kent.
Kent takes the material and has Christine walk right between the men chasing them. They let her go. At this point, Kent goes all James Bond kicking and punching and evading. Finally, they chase him onto a ship where in the fight the fat man gets tossed over and killed. This ends the chase.
Sometime later Kent goes back to the beach club with a small bandage above his eye. He meets with famed archeologist Dr. Howard Knapp (Harry Knapp). He uses odd phrasing that is considered to be the top archeologist in this field. I took umbrage with considering. Are or are not.
One of the exterior shots shows men surfing on 20 foot long 2-foot wide surfer boards on 2-foot waves. It is worth watching this movie just to see some ancient surfing technology.
Howard has read the diary and agrees to leave on the trip but Kent keeps the map to himself.
Howard makes an interesting statement when he says finding this city is worth any risk. They decide to leave the day after tomorrow.
The three start tracking through the jungle. In kind of an Eve inspired bit, Christine interacts with both nice and not so nice animals. She talks to the birds and stuff like that. At one point she is bathing in what looks like the most crocodile infested lake in south America and a monkey steals her bra. The men are bathing in another part of the lake and Kent has the map strapped to his chest.
Christine and Howard are growing closer. This is natural as all the girls love archeologists. Howard keeps asking about the original owner of the map and diary.
As the group continues to travel through the jungle they come upon an Indian that is being crushed by an anaconda. Kent gets ready to shoot but Howard says that is how they treat adultery in the jungle. This is kind of foreshadowing for the growing relationship between Christine and Howard.
Christine is hanging out with some birds when they all go quite and the monkeys run away. A mountain lion comes up and Kent covers her mouth. When she passes she thanks, Howard instead of Kent for saving her. Kent gets all butt hurt. He basically calls her a slut and she slaps his face.
The group sees some Spanish girls playing in the river. They watch until it becomes awkward. Later that night the trio is camping when Spanish riders come in and disarm them with bolos. They work everything out and end up staying for a three-day festival.
Howard keeps working the pair trying to drive a wedge between them and get the map. After three days of feasting the pair figure out that Howard is trying to drive a wedge between them. Kent and Christine get all kissy face and come back to the village all happy.
When they get their Howard and old bad teeth are waiting with guns. Howard takes the map and leaves Kent and Christine with Bello. Wait, the archeologist is the bad guy. What kind of story s this?
Howard reveals that he is the one that hired her to translate the diary and map. Howard tells Bello to kill Kent like he did Padre Mitchell. But for some reason bad teeth has them sit down while he finishes his card game and makes doe eyes at Christine. Kent keeps lighting cigarettes off a kerosene lamp until old bad teeth relaxes. He then splashes his face with fire. Kent and Christine get a horse and ride into the desert.
After a bit, the horses can’t take anymore and Kent has to shoot them. So they are at the point where the movie began, on foot in the desert. The pair makes it to the city of gold just before they die. It appears deserted at first but then they are completely surrounded by Inca-warriors. I am not sure which ones was the most ferocious, the one with the llama on his shield or the one with the Tinkerbell wand. But it is some good scenes of some native made spears and some obsidian axes so it’s well worth the watch.
The Queens carried out on her palanquin and she has a chained mountain lion at the front of her column. I’m pretty sure it was the same one from the jungle scene. The Sun goddess is rocking hot and has kind of an Egyptian thing going. She speaks fluent English and knows padre Mitchell. Kent tells the story of the bad archeologist and for some reason, the Sun goddess turns her entire army over to Kent.
They again make the city look deserted and head out to attack the archeologist and his Spanish allies. They knockoff the sentries one at a time and then just before the attack one of the Inca’s dives onto the stacked rifles. This is pretty good move making it a little harder for the Spanish to react. The fight goes pretty good for the Incas and they wipe out all of the Spanish guys. The two white fathers get into a fight and Howard runs away. Kent catches him but a lone Spanish fighter jumps on Kent. While Kent is winning that fight the Inca warriors run after Howard. When they return Kent asks what happened to Howard and a spear is thrown into the sand is the reply.
Kent and Christine say goodbye to their new friends and the city is protected until the next white guy comes along. As they leave Christine asks what will happen next and Kent says he will turn in his new book with a dedication to his wife Christine.
World-Famous Short Summary – Couple goes on an extended first date.