Secret of the Incas is my guilty pleasure, a colourful, kitschy, rugged old jungle flick from the 1950’s, in the days when men were men and women were grateful. I was just ten years old in 1963 when my father took me to see this forgotten gem at the Regal cinema in my hometown of Lincoln, England. The Regal, known locally as “The Fleapit”, had an unmistakeable aura of decaying neglect about it, but to me it was a Picture Paradise par excellence, showing six 1950’s double features every week, 52 weeks a year, until it sadly closed down in 1966. I used to spend my pocket money every Saturday afternoon watching  Randolph Scott, Abbott and Costello, Steve Reeves, John Wayne, and Charlton Heston movies at the Regal that began a life-long appreciation of B-movies, westerns and sword-and-sandals epics. The price of admission was much more affordable than the more up-market Odeon or the ABC Cinemas in town, which was also a consideration in my viewing preference.

When I first saw Secret of the Incas, I was instantly smitten with the movies great spirit of adventure, the fabulous exotic Peruvian locations of Cuzco and Machu Picchu, the surreal and uniquely amazing voice of Inca Princess Yma Sumac, the sensual beauty of Nicole Maurey,  and the gritty performance of Paramount’s King of the Jungle, Charlton Heston.

Eighteen years after my father took me to see Secret of the Incas, I took my own children to the ABC Cinema in Lincoln to see Raiders of the Lost Ark, and I was delighted to see that the Charlton Heston character Harry Steele was being homaged and recycled by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones in a truly wonderful 1980’s version of those vintage adventure movies of my youth.

Secret of the Incas had such an impact on me that  I was inspired  to travel to Peru in May 2007 to trek the exact locations that are shown in the movie; and I had the most exciting two weeks of my life in that beautiful, mysterious country. This site is devoted to my favourite movie of all-time Secret of the Incas, and is dedicated to the memories of the late, great Charlton Heston and Yma Sumac.


James Byrne. 2011.

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