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She [Import]

Helen Gahagan , Randolph Scott , Irving Pichel , Lansing C. Holden    Unrated   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 45.91
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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

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is not the story I remember... July 2 2004
Format:DVD
The actor who played She did not seem to portray the she I had in mind. I read this story as a little girl, or rather it was read to me. I remember She being the most beautiful woman on earth. This did not come across in the movie. At lot of illustration and characterization was left out. I did like the campy dance sequence in the movie, very strange and eerie. The music that went with it was ominious and quite effective. The stage sets were quite good, yet the story is taking place in the cold north, rather than Africa. She does convey an icy distance in her stance so I give the actor points for that, yet it is just lacking in story and plot to really hold my attention. Randolph Scott was handsome yet his acting looked very much like acting. I liked Tanya's eyes, they were really sparkly. The threesome, Scott's character, his sidekick, and Tanya, a girl who they met in Antartica, who had been abused by her father, went on a trek to find the eternal flame that bathed you in a mythical fire of youth. When the flame reverses itself the effects are quite good. The avalanches are pretty neat and the chase scenes in the frozen mountain glaciers are fun to watch. All and All not heartily recommended but not to dissuade you either. By all means read the book, it is exceptional.
Lisa Nary
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Legend Films and RKO Pictures present "SHE" (July 12, 1935) (95 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White --- "She," adapted from H. Rider Haggard's timeless tale, starring the imposing Helen Gahagan as She (Who-Must-Be-Obeyed), the eternally beautiful ruler of the lost kingdom of Kor --- Helen Gahagan, in her only film, is striking in her portrayal of She, a woman as tragic as she is blessed - to whom others' paltry, transient lives mean nothing --- Randolph Scott, as the direct descendent and physical embodiment of She's long dead lover, brings a believable good performance in a role that calls for top of his form 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 --- The only film appearance of Gahagan, a noted stage and opera star who later entered the political arena as Helen Gahagan Douglas --- "She" represents Depression Era escapism at its very peak.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The story was adjusted a bit May 25 2004
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
O.K. it was adjusted a lot.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A flashy, campy fantasy-action classic April 4 2004
Format:DVD
A goofy old-fashioned action film produced by Meriam C. Cooper, the brains behind the1931 smash "King Kong." Randolph Scott stars in this slightly tweaked adaptation of H. Rider Haggard's novel (in the book, the action is set in Africa; here it's in the Antarctic). Anyway, the basic plot is that a dashing young Anglo-American adventurer heads off in search of a magical fountain of life, but when he arrives at its hidden temple, it turns out the guardian is an immortal hottie (played by Helen Gahagan), who believes that our hero is a reincarnation of her long-lost lover. The first half of the film is kind of rickety and slow-moving, but once the films starts zipping to its crescendo, things get pretty fun. There's a big, silly dance number (half modern dance, half Busby Berkeley revue, with kooky ethnic elements), and some really cool special effects -- including a jumping-over-the-chasm scene that may seem familiar to fans of the first "Lord Of The Rings" film. Acting wise, this flick is campy at best -- it's not Scott's best effort (and I *like* Randolph Scott!), and Gahagan is kind of a dud; she's just not very convincing as an irresistible(...)-- couldn't they have gotten Bette Davis or Marlene Dietrich instead? Still, it's a fun film... definitely worth checking out!
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