A dying Indian guide (Byron Keith) tells Arthur (Allan Nixon), his brother Jack (John Martin) and their friend Cyril (Cliff Taylor) the story of how, years ago, he used to be Maharajah Parsta. One day he was on a hunting safari but could find no game in the jungle. They came upon a Holy Man (Nelson Leigh) who told them that the animals in that area of the jungle know when white men come in peace or to hunt and will stay away if they sense they are there to hunt.
While he is talking, the Holy Man is being served by a native woman named Rani (Carol Varga). Parsta decides he wants Rani and speaks to her father Rajan (Jack Reitzen). Rani was already betrothed to another who happened to be away at the time. Wanting the money the Maharajah was willing to pay, Rajan told Rani that her betrothed had died but he found her a new husband. Rani is in love with her betrothed and is so distraught she runs away. She is then kidnapped by a tribe of gorillas.
Jack is in love with a woman named Velda (Jacqueline Fontaine) who was orphaned in the jungle and, reportedly, was raised by the same tribe of gorillas. Velda had eventually been found and returned to civilization. Arthur, Jack, Cyril and Velda go on safari to find the elusive tribe. Arthur worries that the further into the jungle they go the more Velda will revert to her jungle ways.
“Untamed Mistress” was released in 1956 and was directed by Ron Ormond and an uncredited Allan Nixon. It is a jungle movie that is sometimes called a horror movie and sometimes a drama. Ron is also the director that brought us “Mesa of Lost Women” 1963.
The story goes that Ormond was either given or purchased the rights to the short film “The Black Panther” 1956 featuring Sabu the Jungle Boy, which was also directed by Ormond and Ormond was part of the production company, Howco, which produced the film. They were not allowed, however, to use any of the footage with Sabu in it. Adding travelogue and stock footage to the film they then came up with a story that was a quasi female Tarzan-esque character called Velda. The additional scenes were filmed at Iverson Ranch. Toss in some naked breasts and the result was a box office smash at drive-ins all over the country.
The movie is rather boring and disjointed but it does have a lot to offer. Mostly in the way of stock footage of random native tribes, a safari where they brought two cameras but no supplies or porters, guys in gorilla suits, other guys in brown face, a shrunken head and a cursed jewel from some idol, lots of boobs and hints of bestiality. The ending of the film was a bit of a surprise, but it took at least an hour and ten minutes to get there.
Some people refer to it as a nudie cutie but it’s really not. There are a bunch of bare breasted women in the movie but they don’t show up until the last twenty or so minutes of the movie. Supposedly at least one of the gorilla suits was loaned, as well as some of the Sabu footage, to Ed Wood for his film “The Bride and the Beast” 1958.
Back in the fifties you could have naked breasts in a film if it was considered an educational or if the said breasts belonged to women of color.