Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History  |  24 June 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,539 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 22 critic

A captured architect designs an ingenious plan to ensure the impregnability of tomb of a self-absorbed Pharaoh, obsessed with the security of his next life.


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Complete credited cast:
Alexis Minotis ...
Hamar, the High Priest (as Alex Minotis)
Luisella Boni ...
Kyra (as Luisa Boni)
Treneh, the Captain of the Guard
James Hayter ...
Mikka, Vashtar's Servant
Kerima ...
Queen Nailla
Piero Giagnoni ...


In ancient Egypt the Pharaoh Khu-fu is obsessed with acquiring gold and plans to take it all with him into the "second life." To this end he enlists the aid of Vashtar, an architect whose people are enslaved in Egypt. The deal: build a robbery-proof tomb and the enslaved people will be freed. During the years that the pyramid is being built a Cyprian princess becomes the pharaoh's second wife, and she plots to prevent Khufu from taking his treasure with him when he dies .. as well as helping him make the journey early. Written by Ron Kerrigan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Her treachery stained every stone of the Pyramid! See more »


Drama | History


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 June 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs  »

Box Office


$2,900,000 (estimated)


$1,500,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(optical prints)| (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was Howard Hawks's first commercial failure. It caused Hawks to take a break from directing and travel through Europe for a number of years. He made his next movie, Rio Bravo (1959), four years later - the longest break between two movies in his career. See more »


At the beginning of the movie, during the parade heralding the return of Khufu, a member of the public is shown with a parrot on a stand. It is a known fact that African Grey parrots were kept as pets by the Egyptians, but the parrot shown in this scene was an Amazon parrot from South America, a continent not discovered for thousands of years. See more »


[first lines]
Hamar: I, Hamar, Lord High Priest of Egypt, am preparing a chronicle of the reign of Khufu, ruler of Egypt. Word has come that again he has been victorious in the war against our enemies and now Egypt has taken its place as the greatest of all nations in the world! Today, Pharaoh and his armies return.
See more »


Referenced in The Jungle Book (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Actually better than most desert sands of ancient Egypt sagas.
17 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While this may be a somewhat Readers Digest-level glimpse of 'pharaonic' Egypt - at the height of pyramid building, it has both high production values (-for the 50s-) as well as making an earnest attempt at accurately depicting what we then knew of ancient Egyptian life. Jack Hawkins - as Pharaoh, gives a better than journeyman's portrayal of a kindly autocratic leader, his beliefs, strivings and motivations - all conveyed believably. A youthful (very) Joan Collins - and maybe a bit on the chubby side, does rather well with a weakly written and somewhat soap-opera'ish part as the conniving #2 queen. James Robertson Justice is superb as the captured and enslaved architect-engineer; the one whom designs and then oversees for Pharaoh the building of his funerary pyramid; a structure replete with multiple self-sealing stone doors ingeniously powered by the "hydraulics" of sand. The cinematography, pacing and continuity are at the very least good. Director Howard Hawks does masterfully as a story teller with something worth saying. For its genre and vintage this is both a story and movie worthy of a view - especially by those inclined to also be somewhat interested in the 'how' of those ancient times as well as the 'who' and 'why.' It would be nice if this was soon available on DVD.

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