SHE (1965) Reviews of Hammer’s fantasy adventure

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‘She who must be obeyed!…’
She is a 1965 British fantasy adventure film about an archaeologist and two companions who find a lost city ruled by a mysterious queen whose love holds the promise of immortality.

Directed by Robert Day (Ritual of Evil; First Man into Space; Corridors of Blood; The Haunted Strangler) from a screenplay written by David T. Chantler (Cash on Demand) based on the 1887 novel by H. Rider Haggard. Produced by Michael Carreras. Associate produced by Aida Young.


The Hammer Film-Seven Arts co-production stars Ursula Andress (The Mountain of the Cannibal God; The 10th Victim), Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, John Richardson (Torso), Rosenda Monteros and Christopher Lee.

A sequel, The Vengeance of She, followed in 1968 with Olinka Berova in the title role.

“The 1965 She has a lot going for it, especially if you like the veddy veddy British thing seen in films like Gunga Din and The Man Who Would Be King. Given Hammer’s rep for blood and gore, their adaptation is fairly restrained, and maybe they could have come up with something more memorable if they had really let loose.” 13th Dimension

” …suffers from the dull performance of its male lead John Richardson who is never able to make the character of Leo convincing. Director Robert Day does a good job with the material and makes some smart directing and editing choices but the film seems a bit erratic at times. The exciting moments and inspired direction in one scene can become diminished by the static look of the next.” Cinebeats


“Unfortunately, the film is a letdown, not coming to life until 50+ minutes when our three explorers reach the lost city, and even then never achieving epic gravity. Nothing feels important enough, even though Peter Cushing adds life as the skeptical yet chipper archaeologist, Christopher Lee adds tension as the high priest, and Richardson feels believable in his susceptibility to all manner of female beauty.”David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

” …She can’t overcome sluggish plotting and a dreadful performance from John Richardson. If one removed the desert journey and the extraneous dancing scenes in Kuma, there’s probably about 45 minutes of plot left (or so it seems). Still, that might be forgivable with a more convincing lead than the wooden Richardson. Given his portrayal of Leo, it’s impossible to fathom why Ayesha seems so intent on making him her immortal lover…” Classic Film and TV Café

“Well, to put it simply, the whole thing’s boring, with no chemistry at all between sexy Ursula and stiff John. Maybe he’d spent too much time in the stone age, I don’t know, but they just don’t click. Cushing and Lee are good as always, though the sight of Cushing boogieing with belly dancers in the opening scene is unintentionally funny. Lee has his moments as Ursula’s high priest…” Cracked Rear Viewer


“Certainly, She benefits from Cushing’s nicely jovial take on Holly, one of the film’s more engaging aspects and the few scenes he gets to share with his old on-screen sparring partner Christopher Lee are as electrifying as ever. Lee is suitably icy as the high priest Billali, Cribbins is just Cribbins and the film is all the better for that and he goes some way to making up for Richardson’s woodenness.” The EOFFTV Review

” …things don’t really improve much when they reach Kuma, as the movie becomes mired in endless and ponderous chatter. Even Peter Cushing, as adept he is at bringing his dialogue to life, can’t quite overcome the triteness of some of his ruminations, and Ursula Andress comes across as unexpressive throughout the movie.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

” …whilst you have the appeal of Ursula Andress alongside Rosenda Monteros, as well as Hammer stalwarts Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, it is very much the humorous nature of Bernard Cribbins who gives the movie a layer of entertainment which without it would have caused it to end up quite dull and reliant on Ursula Andress’ beauty to carry it.” The Movie Scene

“Director Robert Day, perhaps due to his long history in television production, films everything in a very flat, lusterless manner, so that even though Hammer spent a pretty penny on the budget, the sets and costumes remain underwhelming. With the possible exception of John Richardson, who has the look but not the dynamism of Vincey, all of the actors acquit themselves fairly well. But only Andress seems invested in her role…” Naturalistic! Uncanny! Marvelous!


“Andress certainly looks glamorous enough, but she has no personality worth speaking of, Richardson is equally character-free and Cribbins’ Job is the most colourful one there […] This She is serviceable enough but most concerned are patently going through the motions.” The Spinning Image

“Once the heroes set out on their quest, doldrums set in. The flick begins to show signs of life once again during the final reel […] but because of the sluggish middle act, the audience has to exert extra effort to become reinvested in the characters. By then, it’s not exactly worth it.” 2 out of 5 stars, The Video Vacuum

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