Haring Kobra (1951)
Directed by Richard Abelardo
Story by Jose L. Santos
Screenplay by Florentino Garcia
Costume Design by Carlos "Botong" V. Francisco
Rogelio dela Rosa as Haring Kobra
Haring Kobra is a costume epic, one of the countless produced in the early 1950s, revealing the Filipino's obsession with folklore and fantasy. Among the film's more interesting features is the dual role played by Rogelio dela Rosa, the matte paintings of a mythical Balinese kingdom executed by the film's director, Richard Abelardo, and the production and costume design by National Artist Carlos 'Botong' Francisco.
While working in a shipyard in Jolo, Felipe (Rogelio dela Rosa) is coerced by two henchmen of a deposed monarch, Haring Kobra, to accept a twofold mission - to impersonate him and kill the present usurper to the throne, his cousin, Rahmed (Jose Vergara) and thus stop the forthcoming marriage of Rahmed and the lovely Amahda (Lilia Dizon).
The two Rogelios meet and size each other up
In a short flashback, Haring Kobra relates the events that led to his overthrow - how he was betrayed by Rahmed and together with his loyal aides, set upon a raft and left to drift aimlessly at sea; how he lost his right arm and instead of a hand, now has grotesque sharp steel claws.
Haring Kobra banished from his kingdom!
The adventurer Felipe is intrigued by the prospects of a huge reward, and the chance of meeting Amahda. He receives a thorough training in impersonating Haring Kobra, including the trademark smirk (or is it a grimace?) that the deposed King is famous for. Arriving at this Balinese-type island not far from Jolo, Felipe, now as Haring Kobra, is smitten by the beautiful Amahda, who also feels an attraction to a man she knows to be an impostor.
Lilia Dizon as the beautiful Amahdah
Rahmed is also in love with Amahda, and wishes to make her his queen, but Felipe (as Haring Kobra) , upon meeting Rahmed, is told another version of events that led to Haring Kobra's overthrow. Haring Kobra was the usurper, who grabbed power from his own father, Razul, and killed him. But only Haring Kobra knows that Razul is not dead, but locked up in the ruins of an ancient temple. Felipe is confused by the turn of events, but nevertheless engages Rahmed in a swordfight.
Rahmed (Jose Vergara) and Felipe:
In the meanwhile, the real Haring Kobra arrives in the kingdom, and orders the murder of his own father. His men seize the palace, and Rahmed is killed. Haring Kobra's success is complete, save for one thing. One of his henchmen, Asaad (Ven Medina), reveals to the ruthless King that Felipe and Amahda are in love and plan to run away. The enraged Haring Kobra pursues them and is about to kill them when he himself is gunned down - by his own father, Razul, who managed to escape from his temple -prison. Felipe and Amahda finally leave the island, and Razul regains his throne.
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