The first talkie version of Rider Haggard's much (and unsatisfactorily) filmed yarn. Though produced by Merian C Cooper, who was very much at home in the jungles of King Kong and Count Zaroff, the action was for some ineffable reason shifted in locale from Africa to the Arctic, so that the fantastic underground kingdom of She (who bathed in the mysterious Flame of Life centuries ago and tries to entice Scott away from his mortal love) nestles picturesquely among the snowscapes. Frequent recourse to backdrops rather undercuts the spectacular effect (though the furnishings and costumes prevailing in She's domain have a certain tacky splendour); the dialogue is routine Hollywood period adventurespeak; and it's difficult to decide, between Gahagan and Scott as the two leads, who gives the more inexpressive, uncharismatic performance.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Irving Pichel, Lansing C Holden|
|Screenwriter:||Ruth Rose, Dudley Nichols|
Gustav von Seyffertitz