Unexpected thrills in adventure films
As a kid, I was attracted to films set in jungles. I loved the “Tarzan” film series starring Johnny Weissmuller, Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Sheffield.
Those so-called “sarong” films that featured exotic beauties like Dorothy Lamour were replete with unexpected adventures.
I also enjoyed watching local jungle flicks starring the fetching likes of Rosa del Rosario and Leila Morena. Tessie Quintana looked beautiful alongside Armando Goyena, while Rosa looked perfect beside Fernando Poe Sr.
Naturally, my favorite character was Tarzan. It was exciting to imagine living “comfortably” in the wild – after all, the King of the Jungle was actually an English lord raised by apes after a plane carrying him and his family crashed in Africa.
I also loved the women who survived and thrived despite the demands of jungle life, like Lamour, O’Sullivan and Maria Montez, who found themselves living in the midst of tigers, lions, croco-diles and savages! My favorite Jane was O’Sullivan, Mia Farrow’s mother.
However, my interest in jungle movies waned when I realized that the setting was also crawling with insects and leeches!
I soon turned to urban stories like “Mrs. Miniver,” “Gaslight” and musicals like “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Silk Stockings.” I became a fan of Greer Garson, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford and Judy Garland.
Soon after, I was smitten by Ava Gardner, Cyd Charisse, Yvonne de Carlo and Montez, who starred in adventures set in exotic locales like the Middle East –there were a lot of dancing girls, tents, camels and flying carpets!
Why be satisfied with a world full of noisy neighbors and traffic if you can revel in that exciting alternative universe?