Saturday, May 12, 2012

She (1935)

Hunky Leo (Randolph Scott) visits his rich uncle. Uncle has some cock-and-bull story about his ancient ancestor who searched for the Flame of Life, some sort of fountain of youth, somewhere in the Arctic, and how young Leo looks exactly like him. This means Leo has to go hunt for it, along with Uncle's trusty man-servant. Leo plays along because Uncle is going to die soon, and maybe he'll meet a hottie and have an adventure.

Off they go to the Great White North where they enlist a grumpy guide and his hot daughter. After the guide causes an avalanche that kills everyone except the principle characters, Leo, man-servant, and hottie follow a tunnel into the ice when they are captured by cave men. After some ill timed heroics, our party is rescued and brought to Ming's palace, apparently ruled by the Evil Queen from Snow White (Helen Gahagan).

Actually, it is She. She Who Must Be Obeyed, more formally. See, She had bathed in the Flame of Life and was the lover of Leo's great-great-great-grand whatever, and now she thinks Leo is his reincarnation. All looks good for Hunky Leo. Wonder if his hottie travel companion will complicate things?

Originally this was to be filmed in color, and it would have look spectacular with a little technicolor, what with the sets and elaborate production numbers. But, alas, the budget was cut and color was lost. Unlike Them!, color would have really helped this movie. But what we have is a thrilling action-adventure ... melodrama. For all of the elaborate sets and costumes, the movie is burdened by lots of "feelings" dialog. I don't know how the original book read, but this version (one of about ten) could have benefited from a Heroic Adventure focus.

Definitely interesting, but a second viewing won't be forthcoming. AMRU 3.
"I am yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am sorrow and longing an hope unfulfilled. I am She Who Must Be Obeyed!"
"No one can say o'll Dugmore ever let a white man down." 

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