Cast & Crew
Three thousand years ago, a young Egyptian priest was killed by Queen Ayesha when he refused to abandon his young wife for her. His widow gave birth to a son, whom she charged to avenge his father's death. The duty was passed on from generation to generation, until it fell upon Leo, a direct descendant of the priest. Setting out with his friend Holly to fulfill his responsibility, Leo meets Ustane, a young Egyptian woman, and they are married. During a skirmish with some cannibals, Leo is wounded and Holly is taken before Queen Ayesha. Holly implores the queen to heal her friend's wound, and upon entering his cave, Ayesha recognizes in Leo her lost Egyptian priest. Upon recovering, Leo goes to Ayesha to fulfill his vow, but Ayesha kills Ustane and then declares her love to Leo who falls at her feet. She takes him to the Flame of Life to make him immortal, but as Ayesha bathes in the fire, her beauty begins to shrivel and she emerges a hideous ape. Accompanied by Holly, Leo flees the city and returns to civilization, his mission completed.
Among the many other versions of Haggard's novel are: the 1908 Edison short directed by Edwin C. Porter; the 1925 British production starring Betty Blythe and directed by Leander de Cordova; the 1935 RKO film starring Helen Gahagan and Randolph Scott and directed by Irving Pichel and Lansing C. Holden; and two British Hammer Film productions: She, released in 1965, starring Ursula Andress and directed by Robert Day; and The Vengeance of She, released in 1967, directed by Cliff Owen (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.4444 and F6.5332).