Before 1945, films of the empire genre, produced in Hollywood as well as Britain, celebrated the masculinity of the British adventure hero, and promoted an imperial world view. This article explores the significance of the incorporation of white women into empire films in the late 1940s and 1950s, focusing on three films from different moments in the period. What are the range of meanings assigned to white femininity in these films, and their significance to the politics of race and gender? How is the white woman represented in relation to colonised women and men? In addressing these questions the article considers shifts in the gendering of the empire genre as part of an attempt to address a range of anxieties - about the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the rise of American power, and the collapse of boundaries between colonisers and colonised.