Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

SHE (1965)

SHE (1965). Director: Robert Day.

In 1918, Leo Vincey (John Richardson), upon discovering that he looks exactly like an ancestor named Killikrates, journeys with his friend Major Holly (Peter Cushing) and pretty Ustane (Rosenda Monteros), to the lost desert city of Kuma in the "Mountains of the Moon." There they encounter the cruel, immortal Ayesha or "She" (Ursula Andress), who wishes Leo to join her in the flame that will give them both life everlasting. Holly and Ustane, however, recognize that Leo has fallen under She's spell, and is not acting the way he should. Who will win the battle for Leo's love, Ayesha or Ustane? Despite the widescreen and color, She is inferior to the 1935 original, although it, too, has some colorful and interesting settings, such as the striking entrance to the city. Andress [Dr. No] gives the weakest performance, but her looks and manner get her by. Cushing, Christopher Lee as a High Priest, and Andre Morell as the leader of a tribe of slaves, are excellent as usual. Like Andress, Richardson [Torso] certainly looks good -- he's like a cross between Troy Donahue and Guy Madison with a little Kerwin Mathews thrown in -- and his acting isn't bad, although Leo is a rather weak hero in this. Rosenda Monteros [The White Orchid] is lovely and very effective as Ustane, as is Bernard Cribbins as Job. The biggest problem with this Hammer remake is its slow pace. In the original film the lost city was in icy terrain but here it's in the desert. The best scene may be the slaves thrown into the fire pit.

Verdict: Not as much fun as The Mole People. **.


angelman66 said...

I wanted to like this film, being such a big Cushing and Lee fan, but it really isn't very good. Ursula Andress was undeniably gorgeous, though...she was incindentally the first woman I ever saw nude in a magazine...I snuck a peek at my uncle's Playboy and saw Ursula frolicking at the beach au naturel...I think the pics were taken by her then-husband John Derek.

I look forward to finally seeing the 1935 version of this one.

William said...

It may be on youtube, although it's a somewhat murky print.

John Derek kept trading in one beautiful blonde for one even younger -- Andress to "Crystal" on Dynasty (can't remember her name just now) to Bo Derek. I always thought Ursula was the most beautiful of the three, although I'm sure the others had admirers.

I'm sure I looked a pictures of a nude Andress back in the day. I had what might be called quite a "boy crush" on Andress and Raquel Welch in my youth, a phase I apparently grew out of, LOL!