Tuesday, July 1, 2014

She, Ursula Andress who Must be Obeyed

Ursula Andress, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee in a Hammer Film.....say no more!  1965's "She" may be the poor man's "The Ten Commandments." Epic desert scenes, ancient Egyptians, idols, ruined civilizations, etc.  Andress has the title role as Egyptian princess Ayesha, who is referred to in the movie, not as She, not as Ayesha, but as "She Who Must Be Obeyed."  The Swiss actress is perfect for the role (...okay, so she doesn't look the least bit Egyptian....but she is Ursula Andress).  This Bond-girl has become the most popular actress on this blog.
Here we go! 1918 Palestine, the war has just ended for three British soldiers; Major Holly (Peter Cushing), Job (Bernard Cribbins), and Leo (John Richardson).  Saddened that the war is over, the three men are stewing at a nightclub desiring more desert adventure.  Leo then sees the woman of his dreams, Ustane (Rosenda Monteros).  Ustane lures him into an alley and instantly falls in love with him.  She will refer to him as "My Leo" throughout the film.  My Leo is then kidnapped and dragged to an apartment where he meets She Who Must Be Obeyed.  She Who Must Be Obeyed tells My Leo that he is her reincarnated lover Calicrates  (the former High Priest of Isis).  My Leo then falls in love with She Who Must Be Obeyed and is told that he will have to find his way to the lost city of Kuma to fulfill the prophecy so they can be reunited for eternity. With the help from his two cohorts, they embark on a desert trek to find the city.  Ustane is heartbroken, as she is also in love with My Leo.  Ustane, Major Holly, and My Leo are pictured below.  
After much adventure, they reach Kuma.  She Who Must Be Obeyed is angry Ustane has followed.  Sensing My Leo may love Ustane....well lets just say when a girl from a small tribe goes up against Ursula Andress the small town gal loses and Ustane is prematurely cremated.  Here's the catch, My Leo must walk through the flame of eternal life in order to be with She Who Must Be Obeyed for eternity.  Easy choice?  Hold on.  Major Holly then gives one of the most interesting speeches to My Leo regarding the downside of eternal life.  All this time, She Who Must Be Obeyed never, even over lots of centuries, picked up on the fact that her high priest, Billali (Christopher Lee) is in love with her.  Job sums up She Who Must Be Obeyed the best, "They just don't make 'em like that anymore, sir." Major Holly and Job try to convince My Leo to decide against She Who Must Be Obeyed and eternal life.  Meanwhile, Billali plots My Leo's demise so he can move in on She Who Must Be Obeyed.  
As invasions commence, My Leo must make his decision.  Billali decides he must act, and so do Major Holly and Job. In a fast and furious final twenty minutes, watch closely because so much happens.  The ending is fascinating and may be a warning against the concept of eternal life.  As in all her movies I've blogged about, Andress is captivating.  Cushing's performance is perfect, and so are Cribbins' and Richardson's.  If you have seen "The Ten Commandments" more than a dozen times and are sick of hearing "Moses...Moses...Moses!," you can find "She" on YouTube.


  1. I watched this movie on late night tv many years ago. Not sure if I liked it or not I may take anoughter look one day.

  2. I saw it age ago. Although dated, it's still a pretty good tale and Ursula Andress is perfect. I read the book and she was definitely the best choice for the part.