Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"She" Who Must Be Obeyed

"She" is the 1935 feature produced by Merian C. Cooper of "King Kong" fame, based on author H. Rider Haggard's 1886 fantasy adventure novel, starring Helen Gahagan, Randolph Scott and Nigel Bruce, with music by Max Steiner.

"She" author Haggard is noted as the first novelist to explore the 'Lost World' genre that many authors have since emulated including "Tarzan" author Edgar Rice Burroughs with his 1915 series "Pellucidar".

Cooper had originally budgeted the film to shoot in color, but cuts by RKO forced his directors to film in black and white. In 2006, Legend Films and Ray Harryhausen colorized the film as a tribute to the producer.

"She: A History of Adventure" was first serialized in "The Graphic" October 1886 to January 1887. The title is short for "She Who Must Be Obeyed".

Premise follows Cambridge professor 'Horace Holly' and his ward 'Leo Vincey' as they travel to Africa, following instructions left to Vincey by his real father.

In Africa the two men encounter queen 'Ayesha', who has made herself immortal by bathing in a pillar of fire, becoming both feared and desired, with no hesitation in killing anyone who either 'displeases' her or stands in her way.

The travellers soon realize that Ayesha has been waiting 2000 years for the reincarnation of her murdered lover 'Kallikrates', killed by her in a fit of jealous rage.

She now believes that Vincey is the reincarnation of Kallikrates and must also bathe in the pillar of fire...

In 1965, Hammer Films released director Robert Day's "She" starring Ursula Andress.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "She"...