Sharing a birthday with John Van Eyssen today. and still very much with is SHE herself...URSULA ANDRESS. 'SHE' (1965) was the first film from Hammer to be built around a female star. Tall and statuesque, Ursula Andress was a perfect choice to play Ayesha, though in retrospect she claims to have disliked the role. Andress has been criticized by reviewers for her icy demeanor and aloof detachment, but these characteristics proved beneficial for playing the steely-eyed Ayesha. Costumed in a selection of warm-colored, Grecian-styled gowns and gold jewelry, she glows onscreen, partly due to the flattering, high-key lighting of cinematographer Harry Waxman.
Born in Switzerland to German parents, the exotic-looking beauty spoke with an accent, which Hammer's producers found too distracting. Andress's entire role was then re-voiced and dubbed over by an actress named Monica Van Der Syl, who mimicked a slight Swiss accent so audiences did not suspect the truth. John Richardson's lines were also dubbed in post-production by the actor himself, perhaps to give his line readings an added emphasis, since he tended to be overshadowed by Cushing and Lee.
ONSET DURING THE MAKING OF SHE
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The large budget for She is apparent on screen in the effective location shooting. Instead of the original jungle setting of the novel, writer David T. Chantler opted for a Middle Eastern background. The production shot for two weeks in Israel's Negev desert and then returned to England to shoot the interiors. Hammer's modest Bray Studio proved too small for the scale of the lavish Kuma sets, so the production set up at Elstree Studios. The authentic desert scenes gave She an epic quality not associated with Hammer's stylish but intimate horror films.
The images in our Birthday Banner feature a photograph taken during the premier of 'SHE' with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee and a rare photograph of Andress, taken by photographer Terry O'Neill in her dressing during shooting... NOTE: O'Neill is credited with some capturing some of the most famous and iconic portraits and scenes from popular culture over the past 40 years. O'Neill photographed the wonderful portrait of Cushing, Price, Lee and Carradine from 'House of the Long Shadows' (1983)
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