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Randolph Scott is his usual stiff but smiling self as Leo Vincey, the long-lost American heir to a British family legacy, sent by his estranged father to reclaim the legendary "Flame of Life," discovered five centuries ago by his explorer ancestor. Producer Merian C. Cooper, best known for directing King Kong, changes the locale of H. Rider Haggard's classic adventure from Africa to the Arctic (which, apart from a spectacular avalanche, looks positively stagebound), but he pulls out all stops for the magnificent underground kingdom hidden in the icy mountains, complete with a cavernous throne room with vaulted ceilings and a massive staircase that would look right at home in the Ziegfeld Follies. The cruel She Who Must Be Obeyed (Helen Gahagan) is a beautiful but icy queen driven ruthless by her centuries of loneliness. The film takes some time to get started but once She makes her impressive entrance through a mist-enshrouded arch, we're plunged into a dangerous, exotic world of strange ceremonies, human sacrifices, nefarious plots, and the gorgeous whirlwind of light that is the Flame of Life. Though the dialogue is often flat and uninspired and the performances by Scott and Gahagan rather arch (costars Nigel Bruce and Helen Mack fare much better), this grand adventure concludes with a rousing climax full of impressive set pieces and breathtaking effects. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Under Lansing C. Holden (Director), Irving Pichel (Director), Merian C. Cooper (Producer), H. Rider Haggard (Book Author), Dudley Nichols (Screenwriter), Ruth Rose (Screenwriter), Roy Hunt (Cinematographer), Max Steiner (Composer (Music Score), Alfred Herman (Art Director), Van Nest Polglase (Art Director), Vernon Walker (Special Effects), Benjamin Zemach (Choreography) - - - - This film exists today only because silent film star Buster Keaton had a copy of the original print stored in his garage, which he gave to film historian Raymond Rohauer for preservation --- The sets, costumes, etc. were all prepared for a color film. At the last minute, RKO pulled Merian C.Read more ›
is very stunning visually.there is a lot of spectacle involved.the
movie is very stylish,but for me lacks much substance or depth.it does
get cheesy at times,breaking into weird dances that to me look
ridiculous,even absurd.i thought the acting was very good,and i think
the movie had a good moral at the end.i won't reveal what that is
here,but i will say it is even more relevant today.anyway,i certainly
didn't hate the movie,but i didn't love it either.it has its merits,and
also its drawbacks.i think She deserves a 3/5
Leo Vincey (Randolph Scott) all grown up is fresh back from the U.S. So he does not have to have an English accent. His dying uncle points to a portrait of a 500 year old Vincey in a Prince Valiant haircut that is the spitting image of Leo. Then with old sci-fi equipment in the background he is told a tail of radiation and a woman that will live for ever; Doctor Watson (oops) Horace Holly is standing by.
For readers that are familiar with the book, you are in for some laughs. Because the Vincey explorer was only five hundred years ago all the majors can speak English (or pigeon English). There is a native scene right out of Kong and a second with a sacrifice and a ritual dance. Can it be that this is the same director, Producer Merian C. Cooper, known for King Kong?
On a more serious side the eternal questions posed in the book were replaces with a love story made for two.
Helen Gahagan is a rather unique name so I looked it up in Ephraim Kats "The Film Encyclopedia"; turns out among other things She was married to Melvyn Douglas, was the author of "The Eleanor Roosevelt we Remember" (1963). A Democratic congress woman. And was defeated by Richard Nixon in her bid or a Senate seat.
Most recent customer reviews
This 1935 production of Rider Haggard's fantasy
about an immortal queen of a land hidden in the
Himalayas is, like the original KING KONG, an
interesting historical... Read more
This is a marvellous retelling of H. Rider Haggard's story of "Ayesha, or She Who Must Be Obeyed". The colourization is wonderful; and, the interviews with Ray Harryhausen are... Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2009 by Cat
Saw this movie a long time ago...there was adventure...cannibals....creatures and
mysterious people living inside a mountain. Read more
After reading H. Rider Haggard's enthralling work, I had to see this movie to see how it stacked up--especially since it's regarded as the best of the 11(! Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2002 by Obsidian