|Helen Gahagan as "She"|
John Vincey (Samuel S. Hinds), who is dying of radiation poisoning, tells his nephew, Leo (Randolph Scott), that he can find the secret of immortality by finding the flame in a lost civilization which was first discovered by Leo's lookalike ancestor. Leo, Horace Holly (Nigel Bruce), and Tonya (Helen Mack of Son of Kong), whom they sort of pick up along the way, travel through a frigid wasteland and after an avalanche discover the cavern that leads to this lost land. There they find a bunch of unfriendly savages, but they also find -- "She" (Helen Gahagan), the absolute ruler of this weird little empire. She has lived for centuries, and thinks Leo is his ancestor, John, whom she actually murdered many years before. Now she wants to sacrifice Tonya ... She, superior to the sixties remake, has some striking settings, good special effects (for the period), and is well-acted by the two ladies. Bruce is less effective than he was as Dr. Watson, and Scott [Go West Young Man] is embarrassingly awful as the hero. The best scene depicts a thrilling fight on a high precipice that keeps tottering during the battle. Elaborately produced for its time, She was probably an influence, unconscious or otherwise, on such cruel-queen-in-strange-settings movies as Queen of Outer Space and many others. [At least this society has the Arts, evidenced by the dancing and statuary.] This is an entertaining adventure film, but Max Steiner's excellent score probably makes it seem even better than it is. The big gate from King Kong shows up early in the film. A singer and politician, Gahagan only appeared in this one movie.
Verdict: Interesting adaptation of classic adventure story. ***.