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Thor and the Amazon Women
(1963 Film)

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About This Film
Alternate Titles For This Film
Fun Facts
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Susy Andersen as Tamar
Joe Robinson as Taur [Thor]
Harry Baird as Ubaratutu
Janine Hendy as Black Queen
Maria Fiore as Captain General Yamad

Thor & the Amazon Women (1963)
:  This is the 2nd of two Taur movies.  For American audiences, the character was called Thor, because it was a more recognizable name.  This is NOT the Thor from Norse mythology.  Nor are these the Amazons from Greek mythology.  Personally, I think this movie would have been named better as "Taur and the Gladiator Women".  I believe the reason this movie series didn't take off is because audiences did not see what they were promised.  First off, the Thor in this movie was not super-powered OR the bearded God of Thunder.  Second, he has a very small part in this movie.  This movie is more about the gladiator women.

    The true star of this movie was the beautiful blonde Susy Andersen.  She played Tamar, deposed princess of Babylos.  Tamar and her little brother, Emuk (?), were the only survivors in their family after the women warriors took over the land.  The women warriors in this film are never called Amazons, nor are they given any other name.  In order to tell the story better, I will refer to them as Amazons.

    The Black Queen of the Amazons (who reminds me a lot of Eartha Kitt) is told by a female mystic that a man named Thor will end her reign of power.  Now the Black Queen sends the order to capture Thor.  Thor is not captured, but his friends Tamar and Emuk DO get caught.  None of the Amazons are aware that Tamar and Emuk are rightful heirs to the throne, and they keep it secret.  As with all captured women, Tamar is placed into the gladiatrix camp, and Emuk is simply sent into a work camp for male children.  Thor and Ubaratutu, his musclebound black buddy, soon meet up with Emuk and a young girlfriend, who have escaped from the work camp.  Emuk promises the young girl that she will someday be his queen, which turns out to be prophetic in this film.

    Thor, Ubaratutu, Emuk, and the young girl go to free Tamar.  Meanwhile, Tamar must survive being a woman gladiator.  We see more of the gladiatrix world than we do Thor and company.  This is alright, because the storyline surrounding the Amazon women is much more interesting.  The Black Queen, we discover, hates men and has an inferiority complex.  She still mates with men, but quickly kills them when she tires of them.  Her second-in-command, Captain General Yamad, reluctantly serves her evil mistress.  When Yamad discovers Tamar's birthright, the two plot against the Queen.  This, however, proves fruitless when they are discovered and Yamad is executed.  There are many subplots to this woman gladiator story that give it surprising depth for a sword-and-sandal film.

    Thor and Ubaratutu are cool characters.  I only wish this film would have worked them in better.  For one, Tamar should have been made the love interest to Thor.  The character of Thor really has no connection to what's going on.  If he was trying to save a lover, or a relative, or just a real close friend, it would have given Thor more of a purpose in this film.  He and Tamar are just casual friends at best.  Thor and Ubaratutu work the best together of anyone.  They are friends, but he keeps calling Thor "master", which is a bit off-putting.  We don't know for sure if it's a master/slave arrangement, or if Ubaratutu is just Thor's man-servant or what.  The two are friends, and they should have just left it at that.  I think the whole idea of "black man/white master" is another thing about this movie that put a lot of people off.

    Between the two male heroes, Ubaratutu, played by Harry Baird, is the more interesting character.  Thor really didn't have any quirks or distinguishing characteristics.  Any guy could have played Thor.  Ubaratutu, however, is a challenging character.  He's a muscle-bound black man.  Despite being intelligent, he is extremely naive and cowardly.  And despite the fact that Thor is his "master", the arrangement is very friendly and agreeable to both parties.  They're more like drinking buddies than boss and employee.

    Susy Andersen as Tamar is a fantastic heroine.  The blonde beauty knows what's wrong and right.  She is not, by any means, a helpless female.  Any man in her situation would not have been able to do better.  Tamar does pretty well.  The Black Queen, played by Janine Hendy, is a great, evil villainess character.  She is pure evil, with no redeeming qualities.  I think Hendy painted the perfect picture of an evil Amazon queen.  Her character is speared through the stomach by Tamar in the film's climax.

    This movie did well in giving us "real" personalities of heroes and villains.  The greatest weakness of the film is that it didn't bring everything together like it should have.  Thor was gone for most of it, and it seems like he was a character just added in shortly before production.  Plus, he really didn't have a place in this movie.  At least Ubaratutu had a connection with the Black Queen.  There are a ton of ways they could have rewritten this script.  The most obvious way would have been to make Tamar the central character, and have this be a story about her being taken into the gladiatrix world, fighting her way out of it, ultimately killing the Black Queen and reclaiming her throne.  Thor, Ubaratutu, Emuk, the little girl...all of these characters could have been left out of the story as they really didn't serve any importance.  More character definition could then have been given to Tamar, Black Queen, and the other great female characters of the film.  This has all the makings of a great film on women gladiators, and how often have we even heard about women gladiators?  It's a fascinating concept.

    All in all, this movie is entertaining.  Although flawed in parts, it's still highly watchable.  The characters are likable, the movie is well-filmed, and it seems to move quickly.  I like all the actors who were involved with it; there were no duds.  I do, however, feel that this movie was overcast.  It's great viewing, and performances by Susy Andersen and Harry Baird make this a MUST SEE!

Alternate Titles For This Film:

The Amazon Women [UK; censored version]
Le Gladiatrici [Italy; actual title]
Women Gladiators [UK; in my opinion, the BEST title given to this movie]

Fun Facts:

This movie was filmed back-to-back with the first Taur movie, also from 1963, "Taur il re della forza bruta".  That movie is also known as "Tor: Mighty Warrior".

The character of Taur was, at first, to be named Tarzan.  However, the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate threatened to sue, so it was changed to Taur.  In American versions of the two Taur films, the character is redubbed "Thor" or "Tor".

This was Susy Andersen's film debut, and she had a prolific career in Italian films until 1969.

Joe Robinson was a bodybuilder from the UK.

Harry Baird was a longtime friend of legendary actor Michael Caine.

Janine Hendy worked in films from 1960-1969.