Cast & Crew
Adventurer Coogan arrives on the Polynesian island of Makuba to search for pearls. The pearls apparently were stolen by a friend of Coogan's who was murdered after burying them. Reluctantly agreeing to cooperate with his dead friend's accomplices (Hank, Pat, and Tony), Coogan accompanies them on their jungle search. During the trek, Coogan prevents the lecherous Hank from assaulting a native girl, Maroa, and wins her slave-like devotion. The group arrive at the treasure site and find only an empty chest. Maroa confesses to Coogan that the pearls were taken by her brother for an offering to the island god. Although they recover the gems, Hank kills the native chief, shifts the blame to Coogan and Maroa, and absconds with the pearls. Coogan and Maroa are sentenced to death by the natives, but Police Commissioner Duval rescues them at the sacrificial site. Duval, Coogan, and Maroa head for the boat landing, where Pat, suspicious of both Hank and Tony, has forestalled departure. During the fight that ensues, the boat is set aflame, and Hank and Tony are killed. Duval takes the pearls for safe-keeping, and Coogan decides to stay with Maroa on the island.
Joseph Luis Lluch
Sidney Pink (1916-2002)
Born in Pittsburgh in 1916, Pink graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He began his film career as a projectionist in a theater owned by his wife's family. Moving to Hollywood in 1937, Pink was hired as production budget manager for Grand National Pictures, where he worked on the Tex Ritter musical western series. He later moved to Columbia and worked as a budget manager on Lost Horizon (1937) and many small scale westerns. After a disagreement with Columbia studio mogul Harry Cohn, Pink returned to the theater side of the business as the owner of a circuit of theaters in Los Angeles where he imported foreign films.
He soon hooked up with Arch Oboler for the production of two films, Five (1951), an offbeat feature about five survivors of a nuclear war and the irredeemably strange The Twonky (1953) about a professor (Hans Conreid) whose TV set becomes possessed by a spirit of the future and takes over his household.
Pink and Oboler would strike gold with their third film, the first full-length 3-D picture, Bwana Devil (1953). With television' popularity on the rise, a movie gimmick that advertised "A lion in your lap" or "A lover in your arms!" were promotional tag lines that came on like a carnival barker in a sideshow. The story about British railway workers in Kenya falling prey to two man-eating lions, and a head engineer (Robert Stack) bent on killing the lions before they feast on his entire crew might have been routine; but the movie, which required audience members to wear cardboard 3-D glasses as lions were jumping into your laps, spears were flying and people were coming toward you in hordes was a real hot ticket. The process, which was shot in Hollywood with two enormous cameras with polarized lenses, one for the left eye and one for the right, proved to be a surprising hit; enough so that Jack Warner came out with his own 3-D production at Warner Bros. with House of Wax (1953) starring Vincent Price and dozens of 3-D films followed in the ensuing decades.
After the success of his sci-fi cult hit The Angry Red Planet (1959), Pink found himself in a quandary. By the 1960s, Hollywood was having union problems, making it difficult for an independent producer like Sid Pink to be hired by the studios. Ever resourceful, he relocated to Denmark to produce and direct Reptilicus (1962 about a pre-historic monster that comes back to life and terrorizes Copenhagen! It may have not been high art, but it proved to be popular fare at drive-ins and its success allowed Pink to pursue film production in Europe throughout the remainder of the 1960s, including one of the earliest spaghetti westerns, Finger on the Trigger (1965) starring Rory Calhoun. Pink had one more fascinating footnote to fame when he discovered Dustin Hoffman in an off-Broadway production and cast him in Madigan's Millions (1967) as a U.S. Treasury agent sent to Italy to recover money that had been stolen by a murdered gangster (Cesar Romero). Pink soon retired from the film industry and eventually returned to the United States in the mid-1970s where he settled in Florida. He is survived by his wife, Marion, his son, Philip, a daughter, Helene Desloge and four grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Sidney Pink (1916-2002)
Filmed in Spain and released there in 1966 as El tesoro de Makuba; running time: 78 min.