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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
The sword fight towards the end presumes the use of bronze or iron. Since Khufu lived about 2575 B.C.E. and predated the Hyksos invasion about 1400 B.C.E. that introduced bronze and horses before the Hittite use of iron in 1000 B.C.E., it doesn't work. They might have used copper, but that cannot hold an edge. See more »
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.
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Actually better than most desert sands of ancient Egypt sagas.
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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