Monday, August 15, 2016

[Film] Mistress of the World, Les Mysteres D'Angkor, Herrin der Welt, science fiction spy films and Cambodia

While researching Cambodia recently, a 1960 film caught my attention. It's known in various countries as Herrin der Welt in Germany, Les Mysteres D'Angkor in France, and Mistress of the World in English. Most reviews suggest it's not terribly memorable but to me it's interesting to see that by 1960, the emerging science fiction spy genre was starting to include Cambodia as a setting. 

Professor Johansson has made a huge scientific breakthrough; a device that will create a huge magnetic pulse that knocks out all electricity over a continent-wide area. The military applications are already being thought of when Dr. Johansson is kidnapped by a group of profit-seeking mercenaries. Meanwhile, his daughter, Karin, finds herself having to consort with all manner of shady characters as she searches for her father.

A site dedicated to German cinema has an expanded description:
The Swedish Secret Service has learned that the head of the nuclear physics institute, Professor Johanson, has successfully discovered a formula to release enormous amounts of energy. Johanson and his fellow scientists are soon put under surveillance. Peter Lundström, who is entrusted with the stakeout, attaches himself closely to Johanson, his assistant and his young daughter Karin. A massive explosion shortly thereafter clearly demonstrates the destructive power of the formula when an entire region is razed. Johanson has to be taken to a hospital, while Karin continues the business her father. Meanwhile, other dark figures show interest in the professor's formula. Johanson tells his daughter that he wants to retire to a monastery in Cambodia and conceal his results to the world, but a breathless race against time has begun... (Very roughly translated)

It runs about 98 minutes.

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