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Fantasy > Sci Fi > New Releases > DVD


(1944) Arthur Askey, Anne Shelton, Peter Graves, Ronald Shiner, Jean Kent, Antoinette Cellier, Max Bacon, Joy Shelton. This appears to be the only Lost World-Lost Race musical comedy ever made.  We find it amazing that this film has escaped the eye of sci-fi and fantasy film historians for decades, because in spite of its primary musical and comedy themes, there’s no doubt of the film’s fantastic cinema trappings.  Arthur and his pals find themselves stranded on a lost island ruled by a strange (but gorgeous) race of women who run their island like a beehive. Men are needed occasionally for marriage and repopulating, but after mating is completed they are sentenced to death, usually by a forced leap into the sea from “Widow’s Rock.”  There’s also a massive temple watched over by “Karinga,” a jungle woman who, in an incredible scene, actually mesmerizes live crocodiles (watch for her sinister close-up).  Cellier is also great as the queen of the island.  In some ways Bees in Paradise is like Abbott and Costello go to Mars (except funnier) or even movies like Cat Women of the Moon.  It also features Arthur Askey at his best and it’s stuffed full of his snappy comedic patter.  One of the funniest moments comes when Arthur runs into a beautiful girl who repeats things over and over and over because of a traumatic experience with a broken gramophone record.  Obviously inspired by Chaplin, Askey’s comic athleticism is always a thing to behold.  There are also enough slickly produced musical numbers to fill a couple of MGM musicals, all complimented by a plethora of gorgeous girls in varying degrees of sexy attire.  Bees in Paradise is great fun. From 35mm.

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