Leo Vincey, told by his dying uncle of a lost land visited 500 years ago by his ancestor, heads out with family friend Horace Holly to try to discover the land and its secret of immortality...
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Leo Vincey, told by his dying uncle of a lost land visited 500 years ago by his ancestor, heads out with family friend Horace Holly to try to discover the land and its secret of immortality, said to be contained within a mystic fire. Picking up Tanya, a guide's daughter, in the frozen Russian arctic, they stumble upon Kor, revealed to be a hidden civilization ruled over by an immortal queen, called She, who believes Vincey is her long-lost lover John Vincey, Leo's ancestor. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
"She," adapted from H. Rider Haggard'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's call again. But perhaps she was her own severest critic, since "She" represents Depression Era escapism at its very peak.
The movie was produced by Merian C. Cooper, who'd struck it rich two years earlier with "King Kong." 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 "Sherlock Holmes" movies) and the feisty Tanya (Helen Mack), who's secretly attracted to John.
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. "I am yesterday and today and tomorrow," 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't believe (check out the patio of Holly and Tanya'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 "She."
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