Suez (1938)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  28 October 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 523 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 13 critic

Ferdinand de Lesseps, disappointed in love, is sent as a junior diplomat to the Isthmus of Suez, and realizes it's just the place for a canal.



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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Prince Said
Vicomte Rene De Latour
Henry Stephenson ...
Marquis Du Brey
Maurice Moscovitch ...
Mohammed Ali (as Maurice Moscovich)
Sig Ruman ...
Sergeant Pellerin (as Sig Rumann)
Sir Malcolm Cameron
George Zucco ...
Prime Minister
Rafaela Ottiano ...
Maria De Teba
Victor Varconi ...


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 Though the production values make the film entertaining its historical content is generally agreed to be awful.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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE CHANGED THE MAP of the World! See more »


Drama | History | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

28 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Suezu  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(FMC Library Print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 as 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 »


Prime Minister: [to the House of Commons] Our first duty is to the mother country, England.
Members: Hear, hear!
Prime Minister: I would not trade the meanest English county for all our colonial possessions!
See more »


Referenced in The James Dean Story (1957) See more »


God Save the King!
(1744) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Carey (unconfirmed)
In the score when de Lesseps receives his award
See more »

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User Reviews

Ty builds the Suez Canal
19 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tyrone Power plays the beleaguered Ferdinand de Lesseps in this big-budget retelling of the building of the Suez canal, appropriately called "Suez." Power, a huge star, was so often involved in these big budget films, truly the "Airport"-type movies of their day, that the poor man ended up taking part in the Chicago fire, the Suez sandstorm, and an Indian earthquake! Loretta Young is again his costar, this time as Eugenie, and she is her usual gorgeous self in magnificent gowns. The two made a ravishing couple - and in real life, he once called her on a Saturday night, lamenting that despite their big stardoms, they were dateless on date night, and asked her to a movie in Westwood.

The third prong of the love triangle is Annabella, a marvelous actress who became Power's first wife - and they were most definitely the Brangelina of their day! Unfortunately, Zanuck was so furious that his star broke the hearts of millions of women by marrying, that Annabella was blackballed. It's a shame, because on a radio retelling of "Rage of Manhattan" with Power, her fabulous acting is evident. Pity there were not more opportunities for her.

"Suez" is a little slow-going and nobody ages except for the touch of gray given Power, but the windstorm is magnificent. Power, who was only 23-24 at the time of filming, does a wonderful job, and is certainly up to his dramatic scenes. The later one with Annabella is most touching. The next to final shot of him receiving his award from Eugenie is memorable, as he walks, in a half bow, down the stairs backwards. Finally, the "Queen Christina" type close-up of Power's amazing face must last three minutes, but I could have stared at it for another hour.

All in all and despite the fact that it is probably the most historically inaccurate real-life story ever filmed, "Suez" is worth the watch, especially for the effects, done without computer generation and blue screens.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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