Cinema: Waiting for Leo

She is for children, television addicts, and those who relish cinema cliches. The large cliche collection here assembled includes the Reincarnated Hero, the Perilous Quest, the Lost City and the ravishingly beautiful woman who is really 2,000 years old. But She is no copycat; Britain's H. Rider Haggard wrote it in 1886,* 51 years before Ronald Colman ever heard of Shangri-La.

It is 1918, and three demobbed British soldiers sit drinking in a handsome Arab cabaret in Palestine. Exposition is almost unnecessary for such an archetypal trio: Leo, the young leader (John Richardson); Major Holly, the older officer (Peter Gushing) who used...

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