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Merian C. Cooper's "She" to be screened Sept. 30 at BYU's Lee Library

As a conclusion to a tribute to “King Kong” creator Merian C. Cooper, Brigham Young University’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections will show the1930s film “She” Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited.

Produced by Cooper and starring Randolph Scott and Helen Gahagan, “She” follows the story of a young American, Leo Vincey played by Scott, who travels to the arctic to find his uncle who was lost while on an expedition to find the Flame of Life. While there, Vincey encounters the female ruler Hash-A-Mo-Tep, “She who must be obeyed,” played by Gahagan.

Released in 1935, “She” was Cooper’s first major production following the enormously successful “King Kong.” The special effects, imaginative sets by Lansing Holden and eerie music score by Max Steiner make the film one of the most unusual offerings of the 1930s.

“Cooper’s criteria for film subjects were summed up in three words: distant, difficult and dangerous,” said James D’Arc, curator of the library’s Arts and Communications Archives and who runs the Special Collections Motion Picture Archives Film Series. D’Arc will also present the historical background of the making of “She.”

Cooper, whose papers were donated to Special Collections nearly 20 years ago, was a world famous aviator, explorer and movie producer. As head of production at RKO Radio Pictures in the early 1930s, he created and co-directed “King Kong,” and was also responsible for screen-testing Katharine Hepburn and teaming the famous dance duo of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

In addition to housing Cooper’s papers, Special Collections also holds the original papers and recordings of Max Steiner, and produced a limited edition original soundtrack CD of the complete score for “She.”

The Special Collections Motion Picture Archives Film Series presents motion pictures from its permanent collection. A complete schedule of series offerings may be accessed online at

For more information, contact Special Collections at (801) 422-6371.

Writer: Brian Rust

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