She Devil (1957 film)

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She Devil
1957 she devil small poster.jpg
Directed by Kurt Neumann
Produced by Kurt Neumann
Screenplay by Kurt Neumann
Carroll Young
Based on the story "The Adaptive Ultimate"
by Stanley G. Weinbaum
Starring Mari Blanchard
Jack Kelly
Albert Dekker
Music by Paul Sawtell
Bert Shefter
Cinematography Karl Struss
Edited by Carl Pierson
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • April 1957 (1957-04) (United States)
Running time
77 minutes
Country United States
Language English

She Devil is a 1957 American black-and-white widescreen science fiction horror film, shot in RegalScope, from Regal Films, that was produced, written, and directed by Kurt Neumann. The film stars Mari Blanchard, Jack Kelly, and Albert Dekker[1] and was theatrically released by 20th Century Fox on a double bill with Regal's Kronos.[2][3]

She Devil is based on the science fiction short story "The Adaptive Ultimate" by Stanley G. Weinbaum.

Plot[edit]

Dr. Dan Scott has developed a serum that cures the ills of animals, although it did alter the color of a leopard used in one experiment. Eager to try it on a human being, despite his mentor Dr. Richard Bach's many concerns, Scott finds a consenting patient in Kyra Zelas, a woman with a meek personality who is dying of tuberculosis.

The serum seems to cure her instantly. It also dramatically affects her personality, Kyra shows a flash of temper, then jumps out of a car and runs into a shop, where she steals a dress and disguises her identity by willing her hair color to change from brunette to blonde.

Scott falls in love with her. At a party, however, Kyra seduces a guest, Barton Kendall, and when his wife Evelyn objects, Kyra disguises herself again and murders her. Then she marries Kendall, but behaves monstrously toward him. The doctors use a ploy that leaves Kyra in an unconscious state, then perform surgery to reverse the serum's effect, which also restores Kyra's terminal disease.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Film critic Glenn Erickson discussed the production in his review of the film, "The B&W 'Regalscope' format gives this modest production a handsome look, along with Kurt Neumann's competent if not stylish direction. Cameraman Karl Struss (of Murnau's Sunrise) slightly over-lights Kyra in the party scene to make her hair seem to glow, a subtle effect for sure. The hair-color changing is a filter trick, an invention Struss first used back in the silent era. A spectacular car crash murder scene is an RKO stock shot lifted from the 1952 Otto Preminger noir Angel Face and cropped for the 'scope format. It still looks frightening. Suggesting an undeveloped noir angle, a 'haunting' portrait of Kyra becomes the focus of Dan's obsession. It's supposed to be the work of an Italian master, but looks more like a Paint By Numbers atrocity."[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ She Devil at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ Kurt neumann, director, dies in mystery. (1958, Aug 22). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/167255402?accountid=13902
  3. ^ SHE DEVIL. (1957, Monthly Film Bulletin, 24, 75. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/1305820799?accountid=13902
  4. ^ Erickson, Glenn. DVD Savant, film/DVD review, March 1, 2013. Accessed: July 22, 2013.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies: American Science Fiction Films of the Fifties, 21st Century Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009, (First edition 1982). ISBN 0-89950-032-3.

External links[edit]