Fourth filming of H. Rider Haggard's fantasy adds color and widescreen to special effects, all of which help overcome a basic plot no film scripter has yet licked.
Fourth filming of H. Rider Haggard’s fantasy adds color and widescreen to special effects, all of which help overcome a basic plot no film scripter has yet licked.Ursula Andress is sole-starred as the immortal She, cold-blooded queen Ayesha of a lost kingdom who pines for return of the lover she murdered eons ago. In David T. Chantler’s okay script, it turns out that John Richardson is the look-alike lover, footloose in Palestine after the First World War with buddies Peter Cushing and Bernard Cribbins. High priest Christopher Lee and servant girl Rosenda Monteros are emissaries who spot Richardson’s resemblance, triggering a desert trek by the three men to Kuma land. Cushing and Cribbins keep their senses, while Richardson falls under Andress’ spell. Director Robert Day’s overall excellent work brings out heretofore unknown depths in Andress’ acting. Role calls for sincere warmth as a woman in love, also brutal cruelty as queen, and she convinces. All other players are good in routine roles, particularly Monteros as the competing love interest who loses her man and her life. Christopher Lee is also effective as the loyal priest whom Ayesha kills.
Hammer. Director Robert Day; Producer Michael Carreras; Screenplay David T. Chantler; Camera Harry Waxman; Editor James Needs, Eric Boyd-Perkins; Music James Bernard; Art Director Robert Jones
(Color) Widescreen. Available on DVD. Extract of a review from 1965. Running time: 105 MIN.
Ursula Andress Peter Cushing Bernard Cribbins John Richardson Rosenda Monteros Christopher Lee
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more