She

1935

Adventure / Fantasy

0
IMDb Rating 6.5

Synopsis


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1.95G
Normal
English
/
101 min
P/S 93 / 132
1.23G
Normal
English
/
101 min
P/S 39 / 59

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kzoofilm 8

&quot;She,&quot; adapted from H. Rider Haggard&#39;s timeless tale, has been produced multiple times, although never as entertainingly as the 1935 version, starring the imposing Helen Gahagan as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, the eternally beautiful ruler of the lost kingdom of Kor. This would be the only film appearance of Gahagan, a noted stage and opera star who later entered the political arena as Helen Gahagan Douglas. Reportedly, Gahagan was embarrassed by the movie and vowed never to heed Hollywood&#39;s call again. But perhaps she was her own severest critic, since &quot;She&quot; represents Depression Era escapism at its very peak. <br/><br/>The movie was produced by Merian C. Cooper, who&#39;d struck it rich two years earlier with &quot;King Kong.&quot; Those with sharp eyes will note that the enormous gate cutting Kor off from the outside world is the same one which served -- for awhile -- to hold Kong in his natural habitat on Skull Island. This outrageously opulent adventure tale stars the stoic Randolph Scott as American explorer John Vincey, who ventures into the Arctic to find the story behind a cryptic, 500-year-old letter. Accompanying him are the jolly Holly (Nigel Bruce, later to become a familiar face as Dr. Watson in the Nigel Rathbone &quot;Sherlock Holmes&quot; movies) and the feisty Tanya (Helen Mack), who&#39;s secretly attracted to John.<br/><br/>After surviving an avalanche and battling cave-dwelling cannibals, the intrepid trio comes face to face with a much greater danger, the imperious She, who has been bathing in a flame of eternal life and biding her time for centuries, looking for true love. &quot;I am yesterday and today and tomorrow,&quot; She muses, shortly before deciding John is the man worth waiting half a millennium for. Tanya, however, has other ideas. Thrillingly scored by Max Steiner and featuring backdrops you won&#39;t believe (check out the patio of Holly and Tanya&#39;s apartment), the movie climaxes with a dazzling ceremony in the Hall of Kings, featuring hundreds of extras performing some of the most bizarre choreography ever filmed. That sequence alone would make the movie worthwhile, but it turns out to be only one of the many treasures of &quot;She.&quot;

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Reviewed by gftbiloxi 7

If the 1935 SHE reminds you vaguely of the 1933 KING KONG do not be too surprised: both films were produced by Meriam C. Cooper, who endowed them with similar visual styles--and who tweaked the 1887 novel by H. Rider Haggard to create a similar story line as well. Starring Broadway actress (and later two term Democratic congresswoman from California) Helen Gahagan in her only film role as The Eternal One, SHE did not, however, meet with the same financial success. It lost a tremendous amount of money for RKO, was withdrawn, and for many years was thought to be completely lost.<br/><br/>Although the film alters the Haggard novel in a great many ways, it retains the basic elements. Lured by a family legend, Leo Vincey (Randolph Scott) braves the frozen European north with family friend Horace Holly (Nigel Bruce, best known for his appearances in the Sherlock Holmes series) and innocent Tanya Dugmore (Helen Mack, popular 1930s ingenue.) When an avalanche exposes a cavern, the three find that the Vincey family legend is not quite so fanciful after all.<br/><br/>Most particularly, they find themselves at the mercy of She Who Must Be Obeyed, a woman who recalls talk of Jesus Christ in the Jerusalem market place, a woman two thousand years old who preserves her life by bathing in a radioactive flame that vents from the volcanic floor of her hidden kingdom. She (known here as Queen Hash-A-Mo-Tep) has been waiting for the reincarnation of her long-dead love, and Leo is his spitting image.<br/><br/>The acting styles are stiff even by 1935 standards and although Miss Gahagan is attractive in a 1930s way she lacks the stunning beauty attributed to She by the Haggard novel--but the great draw of the film was never intended to be great acting: like KING KONG, it is an action-adventure film with knockout sets (a few of them actually lifted from KING KONG), memorable special effects, and remarkable cinematographic set pieces. Even as it borrowed from earlier films such as the 1932 Boris Karloff THE MUMMY, it would also influence later films in turn; it is hard, for example, to imagine the 1937 Ronald Coleman LOST HORIZON without it, and even the look of the evil queen in Disney&#39;s 1938 SNOW WHITE is said to have been inspired by Gahagan&#39;s look and performance.<br/><br/>The film has been released in several editions to the home market, and fans may be tempted by less expensive editions. A word to the wise: Don&#39;t. The film shows its age and there is no significant bonus material, but the Kino Video release (be it on VHS or DVD) offers what is probably the best print short of a digital restoration. Recommended for fans of 1930s fantasy cinema.<br/><br/>Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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Reviewed by Ron Oliver 7

Far to the north of Siberia&#39;s Arctic Circle lies the hidden fertile kingdom of the female known only as SHE. Ruling by terror her empire of the imagination, She is the protectress of a great secret - The Flame of Eternal Life. Having bathed in it, she is the recipient of everlasting youth &amp; beauty, but her heartache is unending as well, having lost her one true love 500 years ago. Then, one day, a tiny group of explorers stumbles within her grasp...<br/><br/>This is an excellent fantasy film, based on the novel by Sir H. Rider Haggard, and in the grand tradition of his KING SOLOMON&#39;S MINES. The film boasts action, adventure, fine special effects &amp; sets and the thought provoking enigma of interminable, undying desire.<br/><br/>Helen Gahagan, in her only film, is striking in her portrayal of She, a woman as tragic as she is blessed - to whom others&#39; paltry, transient lives mean nothing. Randolph Scott, as the direct descendent &amp; physical embodiment of She&#39;s long dead lover, is good in a role that calls for lots of energy. Nigel Bruce is very fine, as usual, this time playing the scholarly friend accompanying Scott on the search for The Flame. Helen Mack is well-cast as the young lady who finds herself caught up in the adventure.<br/><br/>Movie mavens will recognize Samuel S. Hinds as Scott&#39;s obsessed, dying uncle; Lumsden Hare as an unsavory Arctic trader; and Gustav von Seyffertitz as She&#39;s major-domo. Also in the uncredited cast are silent film star Noble Johnson in another of his chameleon roles, this time as the chief of the cave savages; and Olympic champion Jim Thorpe as She&#39;s Captain of the Guard - his attempt at Hollywood stardom only led to parts like this.<br/><br/>Special mention should be made of Max Steiner&#39;s throbbing score, which, like his KING KONG masterpiece, beautifully punctuates the action.

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