A few weeks ago, a cardboard package marked “Do Not Bend!” arrived at my home. Inside was a fragile German movie flyer from 1949 advertising “Die Herrin von Atlantis,” the German name for “The Siren of Atlantis,” the only film Robert Lax received credit for writing. The first image here is from the cover; the others are from the flyer’s interior. The closeup shows Lax receiving second credit after Rowland Leigh under “Drehbuch” (Script).
“Dull is the word,” declared Alexander Wolcott in his review for the New York Times when the film debuted. In a more recent review on the website The Spinning Image, Graeme Clark wrote:
“A remake of L’Atlantide, Siren of Atlantis was the victim of a troubled production, seeing at least three directors run through its scenes, which might be surprising for a film barely over an hour long and filled with stock footage and borrowed sets – or maybe not. Its chief draw, then and now, was the famed screen beauty Maria Montez who guarantees interest from those film buffs who have a liking for camp; she may have been glamorous, but that doesn’t mean she had the talent to back those good looks up…”
Despite these harsh judgments, the film has acquired something of a cult following. The only viewer review on its imdb page is titled “Camp de luxe… but oddly watchable.”
You’ll find a full write-up on the film and Lax’s participation in it in Chapter 9 of Pure Act, “The Siren Call of Hollywood” (pp. 138-145).
To give you a brief taste, here’s the original trailer: