Synopsis: A college professor meets and falls in love with the exotic daughter of one of his late colleagues while in the South Seas. Having been raised by the natives, she shares their voodoo-based beliefs, which her new husband dismisses as superstitions. However, when he forces her to destroy her religious artifacts, bad things begin to happen to him and he ultimately is accused of driving one of his co-workers to suicide and murdering a student.
Movie Review: Weird Woman (1944)
A review of the thriller starring Lon Chaney Jr. and Anne Gwynne.
My wife had to work tonight so, as I normally do, I had a classic movie night with my oldest daughter. I let her decide which film and, after some consideration, she picked the film "Weird Woman," mostly because she thought it sounded a bit different. And, it was better than I thought it would be.
At first, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this film and figured it would be about the wife's (Gwynne) practices with her using her magic to help her husband (Chaney). Instead, the movie was more about a woman (Ankers) being scorned, seeking to get revenge on her former boyfriend and his new bride by framing her for witchcraft. This, as it turns out, made the film really interesting.
While Chaney and Gwynne are the obvious stars, Ankers character, Ilona, was definitely the reason this film was as watchable as it was. It was obviously, from the moment she was introduced (and realized he had gotten married) she was looking to get some sort of revenge. And, the way she managed to manipulate everyone into unknowingly doing exactly what she wanted them to do was great.
I was a little concerned the end of this film would be a little too predictable, especially when Chaney's character realized what was happening and the scheme to get Ilona to confess to her involvement was revealed. However, the ending ended up being much more entertaining than I was expecting it to be and I definitely enjoyed the added twist that raised some questions about whether or not there was some voodoo involvement or if it was just a weird coincidence. Considering many movies from this time period don't make an effort to offer a unique ending, this was something I appreciated.
When I first started watching this movie with my daughter, I was admittedly skeptical about how good it would be. However, the film turned out to be surprisingly unique and entertaining. It's a film I would recommend taking the time to watch if you have an opportunity to do so.
My Grade: A