Today I watched Robert Day’s She (1965)
It’s 1918, the end of The Great War and three British ex-soldiers find themselves in a bar in Palestine. These three gents, Holly, Job, and Leo, have grown attached to the middle east having fought in it for so long, so now it looks as though they will stay, having little to go back to in England. While Holly and Job get up to some antics, Leo is lead into the streets by some beautiful woman who lures him into a trap where he is knocked out, only to be introduced to a different beautiful woman. She introduces herself as “She who waits” and instructs Leo to find the ancient city of Kuma, which she gives him a map too. Of course Leo’s friends, being traditional British adventurers, go along with it as there is plenty of fame awaiting any who discover the lost city.
Now, this being a traditional British adventure story, it should be noted that it is more than a little racist and imperialist. This is a genre that comes from and glorifies a time when England was conquering the globe and a pride for that expansionism is strong here. At the same time this is a genre crafted from wonder at a world unexplored and unknown, full of strange people, places, and things. Thus this is the kid of film that really needs to be viewed from an historians perspective, one must understand the good and the bad and understand the troubling nature of many of this film’s elements.
Now if you are looking for historical British fantasy films, this one is pretty decent. This is largely due to a pretty solid cast that includes such British luminaries as Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Bernard Cribbins. Ursula Andress is also here, but considering how she is re-dubbed, she is mostly there for looks, but hey, no one can argue the beauty of Ursula Andress, or her ability to use it as a force of intimidation. So check it out it you are a fan of any of those performers or, again like I said, if your interested in British film history. 3/5