Good Day! And welcome to our continuing series of mini-posts in which we focus on our protagonist characters and try to size up whether they deserve a kudo for a heroic or inspiring deed, & whether they've got a demerit coming at them for being stupid, immoral, or otherwise not so inspiring.
Our subject for this post is the 1944 film, "Nabonga". Now, I didn't find this film to be too awfully painful, despite that it's generally a 'jungle adventure' flick. I mean let's not get carried away with the applause, but it wasn't as awful, as I feared.
BUT -- how were our main characters? Today we'll be focusing on four: Ray Gorman, Doreen Stockwell, Tobo & the "uh, great ape - sure, Nabonga - or er, Samson!".
Ray is trying to track down items stolen from his father's bank, and which was unjustly blamed on his dad. Doreen is the child who was vanished by her father - who was the true embezzler. Tobo is a local guide who takes a shine [there isn't any other way to put it] to Ray. And finally, we have Nabonga/Samson who forms a bond with Doreen and tries to protect her.
Our Characters Get a Hardy-Handshake!
Ray- Ray saves the life of Tobo twice! He gets a KUDO, especially, for the crocodile wrestling, which let Tobo not get torn up, drowned in a belly roll, and eaten.
Doreen- Doreen doesn't earn herself any kudos.
Tobo- I appreciate Tobo's instant devotion to Ray, and he does lead him to where he needs to be to find Doreen, but I just don't have anything to give his a kudo over.
Samson (or Nabonga?)- Clearly, Doreen is an innocent in all of this criminal enterprise thing - being a child and all. And she very clearly would not have survived with the *cough-cough*great ape adopting her and seeing to her protection. He gets a Half-KUDO for devotion above and beyond his *cough-cough*great ape nature.
Our Characters Get A Cold Shoulder!
Ray: Okay, I was cool with Ray until the end there. Telling Doreen, right after the *cough-cough*great ape that has protected her for most of her life, falls dead at her feet, "Oh, well. It was probably best since he can't come with us" is extremely ill-considered. As is his assumption that she's got no choice but to come back with him, despite spending most of her life in Africa. Uhm, you sorta become a douchebag, Ray. Half-DEMERIT
Doreen: I am so, so over the whole "woman stands there watching a battle to the death, rather than helping/fleeing" thing. And Doreen, who has every reason in the world to grab her purloined jewelry case and dash out to be hidden in the jungle only she knows does that irritating stand and stare routine. Even after Carl was clearly going to assault her, and she now knows he's stronger than her and Samson/Nabonga is off somewhere else and can't protect her. Half-DEMERIT, you twit.
Tobo: Okay, Tobo, I'm confused. I thought that you wanted to help Ray? How does letting Ray dive into a river with crocodiles without a word of warning help? Uh, I think you must be given a DEMERIT. Sorry.
Nabonga (or Sampson?): The ape goes through a lot, and doesn't do anything that would strike me as especially dumb. He doesn't earn a demerit, though I'm a bit disappointed that his first strike on Marie wasn't more fatal.
Uh. I want to say that "Anyone who isn't a named character" gets a bit of Group DEMERIT for being unforgivably brainless as a general rule of thumb for this film.