Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Ursula Andress
Warner Home Video/Studio Canal
RRP: 7.99
Certificate: U
Available 29 October 2004

Three men returning from action in North Africa hear stories in Palestine about the existence of a lost city, cut off from the outside world. Leo is lured by an exotic woman to an extravagant house where he meets Ayesha, a beautiful young woman who is known by her people as She Who Waits. Promised his greatest desires, he is given a map and the trial to find the city, to prove he is the reincarnation of her lost love. But Ayesha is immortal and rules by instilling terror in the hearts of her subjects.

She is based on the H.Rider Haggard story, and is not a bad yarn, if a little padded in places. This is a strange one for Hammer, because it's much closer to fantasy than horror. Peter Cushing plays a Cambridge professor, a man of learning similar to many of his other Hammer Production roles; however, it's great to see his character letting his hair down here and giving it some on the dance floor with the ladies in the Palestine club. Bernard Cribbins is okay as his valet, but his constant silly comments soon wear thin. Christopher Lee (who?) plays the High Priest, and Ursula Andress, well known for her appearance in the James Bond film Dr. No, plays Ayesha. Having recently reviewed the pointless sequel to this film (Vengeance of She), let me tell you that it makes this first film look like a masterpiece and Ursula Andress like a skilled thespian.

It's been an absolute pleasure to review these Hammer Productions over the last month or so. With a possible few exceptions, most have been thoroughly enjoyable experiences and a valuable reminder of just how many thoroughbreds Hammer had in its stable.

Ty Power

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