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Three adventurers lead an expedition into darkest Africa in search of the treasure of King Solomon, and on the way encounter hostile natives, volcanoes, dinosaurs and a lost Phoenician city ruled by a beautiful queen.
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J. Lee Thompson
The most faithful adaptation of the classic H Rider Haggard novel of mystical adventure, this was shot inside a Zeppelin hangar in Berlin. At least a full reel's worth of the film seems to be missing (most of the re-enactment of the story on the ancient potsherd, plus the business at the Rocking Stone), and there is some hammy acting here and there (the Holly character particularly overdoes it from time to time), but it is consistently interesting and well made. Haggard wrote the titles himself, and the plot follows pretty closely his original story (as none of the many remakes have bothered to do).
The story lends itself well to pantomimic treatment, and this rendition is of major interest to Haggard afficionados. US silent queen Blythe is quite attractive in the lead and plays many of her scenes wearing little more than cellophane on top; she might as well have been bare-breasted.
Production values are still less than they might have been, with short shrift to HRH's deserted ancient city of Kor, and no filming of this story comes within miles of the original novel, which has been a favorite of mine for nearly 40 years. Lovers of Haggard's work will surely find this the least objectionable of the numerous film versions of our favorite story, and it is an honorable attempt to enact a tale which, all in all, is probably best encountered within the pages of a book.
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