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SCREENING ROOM

It marked the end of her reign

`She' lost almost $200,000. Its star, Helen Gahagan, never made another film.

October 05, 2006|Susan King

THE newly restored and uncut version of the 1935 adventure fantasy film "She," based on the book by H. Rider Haggard and produced by Merian C. Cooper of "King Kong" fame, will be featured at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre on Tuesday.

Stage actress Helen Gahagan, the wife of Melvyn Douglas who was soon to be a politico, plays She Who Must Be Obeyed, a goddess-like ruler of the lost Kingdom of Kor. Centuries earlier she had taken a bath in the flame of eternal life and has been waiting impatiently for the man of her dreams; she finds him in the guise of an explorer (Randolph Scott).

The expensive production lost nearly $200,000 at the box office and is considered the main reason Gahagan never made another film.

Cooper had intended the film to be shot in color; this new print, which was shot-by-shot supervised by special effects giant Ray Harryhausen, has been colorized and features eight minutes of footage not seen in 71 years.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday October 09, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
Karen Blixen: An item in the Screening Room column in Thursday's Calendar Weekend about the L.A. premiere of the documentary "Karen Blixen, Out of This World" referred to Blixen as a Dutch writer. She was Danish.

Special guests include Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury and Forrest J. Ackerman.

Set for adventure

French writer Jules Verne (1828-1905) was one of the pioneers of the science-fiction genre; several of his classic novels have been adapted for cinema, including the 1956 Oscar-winning best film, "Around the World in 80 Days," as well as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "From the Earth to the Moon."

The author is also the inspiration for Jules Verne Adventure Festival: From the Abyss to the Stars, which features exploration documentaries and adventure/sci-fi movies. It begins next Thursday at the Aero with the 2006 documentary "Devil's Land: Journey Into Alcatraz," narrated by Christopher Lee, and the 1973 adventure classic "Papillon," starring Steve McQueen as the notorious Devil's Island inmate who seeks to escape. Directed by Franklin Schaffner, the epic features a haunting score by Jerry Goldsmith.

The following evening marks the Los Angeles premiere of "Karen Blixen, Out of This World" (2005). Paired with the documentary is the 1985 Academy Award-winning best film, "Out of Africa," starring Meryl Streep as the Dutch writer living in Africa during World War I. Directed by Sydney Pollack, the film also stars Robert Redford and Klaus Maria Brandauer.

On tap for Oct. 14 are two Disney adaptations of Verne's stories directed by Robert Stevenson: "Island at the Top of the World" (1974), with a wooden David Hartman, and "In Search of the Castaways" (1962), which stars Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevalier.

George Takei is scheduled to appear at the festival's "Star Trek 40th Anniversary" celebration on Oct. 15. Two episodes from the classic NBC series, "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "All Our Yesterdays," will be screened along with the enjoyable 1986 feature "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," directed by Leonard Nimoy.

Whitaker talk

The Skirball Cultural Center and American Film Institute's monthly series Cinema Legacy will present "The Last King of Scotland" star Forest Whitaker, who will screen and discuss Chinese director Zhang Yimou's award-winning 1991 drama "Raise the Red Lantern" on Tuesday.

The Skirball is also featuring free matinees of classic horror films this month. Set for Tuesday is producer Val Lewton's seminal 1942 psychological thriller, "Cat People," starring Simone Simon and Kent Smith and directed by Jacques Tourneur.

Jolson musical

The Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre celebrates its 84th birthday on Oct. 18 with a rare screening of the 1936 Al Jolson musical "The Singing Kid." Jolson plays a radio singing star who has been left by his girlfriend and is sent to the country to rest his voice. Beverly Roberts plays the love interest; then child-star Sybil Jason is her niece.

Following the screening will be a discussion with Jason and Roberts moderated by Richard Halpern.

Note: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Oscar Docs: Part II screening series continues Monday with 1967's "The Redwoods" and "The Anderson Platoon," which follows the members of an integrated combat unit in Vietnam, and 1968's "Why Man Creates" and "Journey Into Self." Linwood Dunn Theater, 1313 N. Vine St., Hollywood. (310) 247-2677.

*

Screenings

American Cinematheque

* "She": 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aero

* Jules Verne Adventure Festival: next Thursday through Oct. 15, Aero

* "The Singing Kid": 8 p.m. Oct. 18, Egyptian

Where: Aero, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.

Info: (323) 466-3456, americancinematheque.com

Skirball screenings

* "Cat People": 1:30 p.m. Tuesday

* "Raise the Red Lantern": 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.

Info: (310) 440-4500

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival

* "Un Mundo Maravilloso": 7 p.m. Oct. 12; festival is today to Oct. 15

Where: Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., L.A.

Info: (323) 469-9066, www.latinofilm.org

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