Jane and the Lost City

Jane and the Lost City preserves its heritage from the Daily Mirror strip as a sequence of little jokes one after another, punctuated by some big ones. A Nazi soldier sneaks up on Jane in the shower, hiding his giggles behind his hand, he’s got a knife, a burly soldier slips on a bar of soap, crashes through the door and sweeps him away from barely troubled Jane.

Later, Lola Pagola is eating breakfast out of a can, seated at a folding table outside her tent. She converses with her Nazi henchmen, the giggler in the foreground briefly interrupts them when the rifle he’s polishing in his lap goes off. When Jane and her party arrive, the Nazis have moved on, Graham Stark as the colonel’s butler sticks his finger in the can, which is labeled with a swastika, to judge of its contents.

Marcel is a great one for foregrounds. An empty glass directly in front of the camera is filled with frothy liquid and taken away to drink by Lola. Against this is the rumbling volcano in the distance behind the lost city full of diamonds.

In the grand finale aboard Lola’s private Luftwaffe plane, she takes a potshot at her adversaries and hits a portrait of Hitler. The bullet passes through the bulkhead and kills the pilot instantly.

The film might be looked on as a development from Leonard & Shelley’s exquisite The Perils of Pauline. Its critical reception shows just how lost a city can be.