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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 11, 2009
Some of the acting is uneven, and the plot... well, it was glorified pulp fiction when it was written, and it keeps that quality on the screen.

There are odd bloopers that nowadays would have been reshot immediately. Look for the actor that stops beating his drum even though the sound track says he continues; look for the actress who was supposed to get her torch lit during a choreographed dance sequence and doesn't manage it; and look for the drummer who is grinning so maniacally that you wonder if maybe he thought he was in a comedy piece, and not doing what was supposed to be a highly dramatic scene.

That said, there's entertainment to be had here, at least if you don't mind the bizarre and overly long dance number near the end, or She's occasionally over the top monologues. (I mentally renamed her as She Who Takes Herself Too Seriously, partway into the movie.) Melodramatic and meandering by turns, but still worth a rent.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2002
Ancient papers lead a Cambridge professor and his friends to the lost city where dwells a queen who cannot die - until she falls in love... SHE is alternately hilarious, terrible - and essential viewing for lovers of vintage Sci-Fi flicks! H. Rider Haggard was a British civil servant who began writing to win a bet with his brother after they'd argued about what made good literature. Haggard's works included a prolific 58 works of fiction and 7 works of non-fiction. KING SOLOMON'S MINES was his first novel: his second was SHE which was written in 1887. When adapted for this 1935 flick, the locale was - perhaps mistakenly - altered from the humid wastes of Africa to the frozen wastes of the near-Arctic. The two romantic leads were originally to be played by Joel McCrea and his wife, Frances Dee. Since they proved to be unavailable, the wooden Randolph Scott and the adequate Helen Mack were cast instead. The sometimes hokey script and colourless performances from both Scott and Gahagan tend to mar the film, but not completely: they give the film an unintended campy/eclectic feeling which somehow lingers in the memory rather than offends. The stagey decor of Kor is very Art Deco and reminds one of the Radio City Music Hall & you expect the Rockettes to appear out of nowhere! It is a great relief to film connoisseurs that a print of this movie - which was actually considered lost for years - was found!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2012
This 77-year old film looks beautiful after the pain-staking restoration and beautiful colorization. The film has aspects of King Kong, Son of Kong Lost Horizon. It is a wonderful film that speaks of 1930s Hollywood, replete with elaborate sets, paintings, dance sequences and a good plot. Randolph Scott and Helen Gahagam play the odd pairing of a modern man sought by an ancient and ageless evil queen. Helen Makc (Son of Kong) is good as the modern woman who stands in the way. Nigel Bruce is a decent sidekick. I only have a few criticisms: I wish we could have seen an animated sabretoothed tiger; the stone sculpture of the queen has blonde hair while Gahagan is a beautiful brunette; and the movie could have had at least one fight scene. Overall, the film has a good feel to it. Lovers of classic films will love this classic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2010
While this film truly is fantastic, there are certain things bogging it down on this dvd release from Kino. The major problem is the colorization process, which, when the dvd is inserted into the dvd player, is the first option you are given. The color in this new color version looks better than the Ted Turner colorizations that bastardized so many films. The color process makes the film look chalky, and does not look like 'it was shot yesterday' as Ray Harryhausen says in his commentary (which is one of the highlights of the release).
The film itself, however, is fantastic. A great adventure story with a great pace, great characters, effects, and a wonderful score by Max Steiner. Merian C. Cooper was supposedly disappointed by this film, and I can't understand why.
At times, however, the film does seem a bit preachy, and there are moments that don't hold up well. But there are moments in this film to be cherished, such as the sacrifice scene towards the close of the film, where an exciting and eccentric dance routine (reminiscent of ancient Egyptian dance moves they broke out on the dance floor some 3,000 years ago) and an exciting climax. All in all a good film.
AND: thank God this comes with both the b&w version and the color version. WHEW!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2009
I dont know why this film made such a impact when i was a young lad, that after
30 years, ive finally found the film.
I really did'nt know what to look for as i must have been pretty young, and the
words 'SHE' was the clue. So as the years passed by, movies like 'CHE' and others
titles with the word 'SHE' in it would light me up, but never did find what i was
looking for...till this version came out...in color also.
So, yes this is the film. Now, trying to figure out why the big impact, im
finding out more about this movie....Giant sets...Great music...strange dancing
acts...mountains...caves...magic flames.....
You dont find too many of these films around, so if you like the genre it
will be quite a experience.
Love it in Black and White....Love it more in Color.
A keeper,,,enjoy
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 13, 2007
Ah, they don't make them like this any more. Still my favorite version of a truly classic love story - think of it as a distaff version of the 1933 "The Mummy". H. Rider Haggard's "She" is one of those classics that has been filmed EIGHT times. This version, from 1935, is probably the most faithful to the spirit of Haggard's novel, despite some very, VERY odd changes to the plot.

Everyone will associate Nigel Bruce with his unforgiveably buffonish portrayal of Dr. Watson in the Basil Rathbone Holmes series. Here, four years before the first of those were filmed, he plays the part of Holly, a bit of miscasting if ever there was one. Fortunately, he quickly fades into the background once things get moving. Helen Gahagan, a well-known stage actress, plays the immortal Ayesha, "She Who Must Be Obeyed". The agonized, piercing shriek she makes when seeing her injured lost love for the first time in 500 years is worth the entire film - its horrifying notes of despair and loss raise my hair just remembering it. Randolph Scott and Helen Mack are more products of their time - a bit stiff and stolid, working their ways through the film rather than really grabbing you. Surprisingly good special effects and make-up, especially with the avalanche scene and the "Flame of Life" ending.

This release features both the original black-and-white version, and one that's been "colorized". Colorization technology has come a long way since it's introduction over 20 years ago, and those of you who remember those early efforts, where the monotone shades seemed to follow their subjects a few milliseconds behind the action, should at least audition this DVD to see how far things have progressed. MOST effective is the shading given to the extensive matte paintings (thank goodness!), in many scenes giving a terrific sense of scale and distance missing from the B&W version. The massive sets also come across very convincingly and to me are the closest to what I'd pictured in reading the novel. Anyone who considers themselves a "purist" really should consider that this isn't "Citizen Kane": Cooper is on record wishing he could have filmed it in color if he'd had the budget, and also that this is a far cry from the cheesy early technology.

The letdown: the human sacrifice scene. I haven't seen so much camp since "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". Besides the dancing cavemen (what, do they rehearse, or do they do this so often that they're really good at synchronized syncopations?), we get a marching band! (Watch for the drummer in the middle with the psychotic grin on his face. Makes me wonder what the heck was going on in his head!)

Good extras, including the Harryhausen interview on the colorization. Recommended to all.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"She" is a remarkable artifact of the early twentieth century. It's a lot like "Lost Horizon" from the same era, only more so.

English explorers head off in search of the fabled fountain of youth. (Not really a fountain this time, but close enough.) They pick up native guides along the way, and find their way into the secret caverns near the North Pole. There, they find the lost tribes of savages rules by She: She Who Must Be Obeyed (long before Rumpole made the phrase his own). Somehow, this turns into a catfight between the immortal She and the humble but plucky daughter of the northern guides, and I'll leave the ending for you to see for yourself.

"She" wasn't made so long after the late 19th century, when the White Man's Burden may have been set down, but was still fresh in the cultural memory. As a result, it's no surprise that the native guides have to be led by the European who had lived among them for years. It's also no surprise that, the natives of that secret cavern are hunched, primitive cut-throats. She, with Her anglo features, is the civilizing influence in their world and their natural leader. If you're easily offended by the racial stereotypes of 70 years back, just give this one a miss.

It's also small surprise that the hero's lady is a petulant, ineffectual, and physically small woman, easily carried when she needs to be saved. Which, of course, is what she's there for. He sweeps her away from her guest-of-honor role at a human sacrifice, just before the knife plunges into her back. The sacrifice, by the way, turns into a mass choreography scene worthy of Busby Berkeley. Well, how were people supposed to know the movie was any good if it didn't have a big dance number?

Although it may have been a dramatic hit back then, it's a nice, safe popcorn movie for today's audiences. Well, fine. Wait for a rainy Saturday, pop the popcorn, and enjoy it. And, if you have kids, you'll appreciate the fact that 1930s movies didn't have to put people in bed with each other to show a romantic interest.

//wiredweird
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2007
I remember having seen the black & white version of this film some twenty years ago - - but I was completely "blown away" by the Ray Harryhausen and Legend Films colorized version. The chorography and music of the dance sequence is alone worth the price of admission. Raldoph Scott - although sometimes critized as being "wooden" - was perfect in this film - as was Helen Gahagan. Sadly - although Helen Gahagan was an exceptional actress - this was her only film. (She was a stage actress.) As an added bonus - the optional audio commentary provides a wealth of background and historical information that is a must for all film buffs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2011
Merian C. Cooper's SHE (1935), is a nearly forgotten template for adventure/fantasy filmmaking of the highest calibre.

This film is a faithful adaptation of the novel by H. Rider Haggard about an expedition to the Antarctic (Africa in the book) in search of the legendary "flame of life", which brings immortality. The explorers are captured by She, a woman who has bathed in the flame and has remained young for nearly 2,000 years.

Cooper's film is an entertaining feast all the way; from Ruth Rose's sensitive, intelligent screenplay and Van Nest Polglase's stylish art deco set design, to Max Steiner's exotic and moving music score. Expertly directed by Irving Pichel and Lansing Holden, SHE is pure showmanship presented with the customary Cooperesque flair so evident in his 1933 masterpiece, KING KONG.

Kino's DVD offers a colorized and the original black and white version, both of which were fully restored from 35mm material and contain previously missing footage. Although I'm not an advocate of colorization, I'll make an exception here because Cooper had originally wanted to make SHE in color, but his budget was cut preventing him from doing so. The colorization job Legend Films did on this is exceptional and looks authentic.

The array of special features in this 2 disc set are outstanding: Commentary by Cooper biographer Mark Cotta Vaz and master animator Ray Harryhausen, interviews with Harryhausen, Curator James V. D'Arc, and composer John Morgan, clips from the 1911 and 1927 versions of SHE, a trailer, production stills and art, posters and other rare material.

This is a prime example of the kind of movie making that defined the classic era when quality standards were high and good storytelling was foremost. Surrender to "She Who Must Be Obeyed" and experience real adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2011
For much of humanity's reign on Earth, civilization's boundaries lay on the mysterious border of what lay beyond: places not seen, not mapped, populated with strange natives, with bizarre customs, some friendly, some not, some fabulously wealthy, and some possessing something else, something that we short-lived creatures long for . . . .

Back in the 1400s, intrepid explorers John Vincey and his wife journeyed to parts unknown in the wintery climes. Five years later, John's wife is found, injured. Before dying, she dictated a fantastic tale of strange people in a land beyond a wall of cliffs, of a flame of eternal life, and of John's murder. Her last wish: send this to my son . . . .

Of course, no one believed this wild tale, but it was passed along from generation to generation until 1935, when Leo Vincey was summoned to England by his dying uncle to receive the family legacy. Leo's uncle was convinced that the tale was true and urged young Leo to go find this life-giving flame.

If you are Leo, you are game for adventure. You set out on a dog sled, make a deal with a trader, find his daughter very attractive, find yourself dodging falling ice, and wondering if the natives are friendly, until the fight breaks out. You are injured, you pass out, but when you come to, you see a beautiful woman lovingly looking down at you, who is she?

If you are She, you are terribly lonely. There was only one love in your life: John Vincey. Unfortunately, it was not to be. You have mourned his loss for centuries, until one day your slaves brought you a stretcher bearing a man, your heart flutters in recognition - John has come back!

Picture (DVD): 3 to 3.5. Colorization: 4. Overall: a pleasant surprise.
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