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She (1965)

Aside from horror films Hammer has been responsible for many adventure themed endeavors dealing with lost civilizations and prehistoric cultures.  These are the Hammer films I've seen the most of, these are the Hammer films I've been the most disappointed with.  While they are usually visually enticing production wise, these films often lack a strong story and good acting, lending themselves to be visually stunning and completely boring at the same time, with She there is no difference.

She is about a group of British men in Palestine who have completed their military service in the Middle East.  The group of three men, a British archaeologist, his valet, and his young friend named Leo, travel to a local tavern to relax before heading back to Britain.  A lovely young Egyptian girl catches Leo's eye and he's led off by her to a more private location, but Leo is looking for love in all the wrong places because he's about to be thrown into an unbelievable situation.  This encounter was all a setup and he's soon knocked unconsciousness, awaking to find himself in the presence of the one they call She (Ursula Andress).

It appears Leo is the spitting image of She's former lover, the high priest named Callicrates.  Leo is given a ring and a map and told by She that if he can travel to the lost city of Kuma as shown on the map, and survive all the trials that will face him, he will become the ruler of Kuma and receive all the riches, power and anything else he desires.  Leo doesn't appear to need much convincing as he's immediately smitten by She and enlists the help of his comrades to assist him in traveling to the infamous lost city of Kuma.  But what Leo and the others are not yet aware of is the secrets surrounding the city.  They are soon going to discover the truth about She and that she is in fact a very harsh ruler who will offer Leo the secret of her immortality and eternal love, only something goes tragically wrong.

I was surprised to learn that She is actually a remake of a film with the same title that was made in 1935. Interested, I checked out the trailer and it appears to have a little more to offer than this Hammer edition.  My problem is She reminded me too much of The Viking Queen, another Hammer adventure film where the only thing positive I could say was the look of the film was good.  Personally, I think Hammer relied too much on Ursula Andress's name and beauty to carry this film, but Andress and her once again dubbed voice can't save a film that is really quite corny and at times awfully boring.  Hammer regulars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee also have limited roles in the film but it's really nothing worth commenting on.  Ultimately I'm beginning to see why Hammer is more highly regarded for their horror films and not some of their other endeavors.


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