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imagesMerian C. Cooper is best known for his 1933 film King Kong. SHE, based on the H. Rider Haggard novel, came two years later.

It starred a young whippersnapper named Randolph Scott. Not so young I guess, thirty-seven, but that craggy face so well known to western fans had not come about yet. He plays Leo Vincey, an American called back to the family estate in England at the behest of a dying uncle. There he hears a strange tale backed by a five hundred year old letter and painting. The painting is of an ancestor, John Vincey, to which Leo bore a striking resemblance. The letter was one dictating by a dying white woman that had staggered into a village in the far north. It told of her adventures with husbandPoster-She-1935_05 John in a fantastic world deep within a cave, a flame that conveys immortality when one bathes in it, and a mad woman that murders John when he refuses her love. Accompanying the old letter had been a gold idol and all had been preserved. Leo is the last male in the Vincey line.

A fantastic tale sure enough, but one the dying uncle and his partner, Professor Horace Holly, believe. Two scientists who have researched it most of their lives and believe the answer might be radiation. Holly is played by Nigel Bruce, Basil Rathbone’s John Watson in a long string of Sherlock Holmes films, plays Holly.

An expedition north is organized. They hook up with a guide who only becomes interested when he sees the gold statuette. Dugmore(Lumsden Hare) insists on bringing his daughter Tanya(Helen Mack) along as a cook and not wanting to leave her alone.

She_(1935) (1)A series of adventures involving an avalanche, a cave, and a group of primitives follow until they eventually meet She(Helen Gahagan)(who must not be named), who thinks her long lost love John has returned. A man tempted by the thought of immortality, not noticing the withered soul of She, and a young woman who sees more clearly than all the males.

An interesting film for a Randolph Scott fan. I won’t say he looked out of place, but when one is used to that very long group of fine westerns he did later in his career, it can be a bit jarring.

Poster - She (1935)_02

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