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De Lesseps is a young aristocrat who conceives the idea for the Suez Canal. When Napoleon fails him, the British show interest. Though the production values make the film entertaining its historical content is generally agreed to be awful. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In an interview in the late 1970s, director Allan Dwan talked of the censorship battle he had with the Hays Office over the wet-shirt scene, in which Annabella's erect nipples are on prominent display. "I wanted them to show," he said. His argument with the Hays Office was, "Have you ever seen a nude woman? Ever seen your wife nude? There was nothing there that wasn't positively true to life . . . you knew she was going to be sexy . . . that's why you picked her. The audience knows. This is my idea of giving it to them. All women are alike--they can go to the mirror and see that anytime." The matter was dropped, as re-shooting the scene would have cost too much because the studio would have had to rebuild the entire set. Dwan said that his nemesis, studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck, was pleased with the picture. See more »
Look! A rainbow! Oh, Grandfather says there's a pot of gold at the end.
Ferdinand de Lesseps:
One end in the Mediterranean and the other in the Red Sea. What a pot of gold for the world if they could be joined: the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Look, Toni! That water in the old gulf. Just as it was centuries ago, when the Phoenicians sailed through. Can you imagine ships sailing right through here where we're standing?
Ferdinand de Lesseps:
Yes. Not ancient galleys but modern ships, steamers, sailing a short trade route to the ...
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I can't argue with those who say that "Suez" shows us little if anything about the actual building of the canal of the same name. Still, I recommend this film to those who can put aside historical inaccuracies in order to enjoy a well made period film featuring some very good actors. In addition, the viewer will be treated to one of the great disaster sequences of American film. I refer to the giant sand storm which comes near the end of the film.
Tyrone Power is very good in this film, and you have to keep reminding yourself that he was only in his early to mid twenties during production. Power is a clear case of a great movie star who was a much better actor than many give him credit for. Check out "Nightmare Alley" if you need further evidence.
I will say this about the film with respect to the real Suez Canal project. "Suez" makes it clear how important such a canal was going to be and why various nations either favored or opposed its building.
Again, if you want to know the complete history of the canal, go to an encyclopedia. If you want to enjoy a very glossy example of 1930s A-budget film making,"Suez" will not let you down.
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