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Professor David Pollock is an expert in ancient Arabic hieroglyphics. A Middle Eastern Prime Minister convinces Pollock to infiltrate the organization of a man named Beshraavi, who is involved in a plot against the Prime Minister. The nature of the plot is believed to be found in a hieroglyphic code. Beshraavi's mistress, Yasmin Azir is a mystery intertwined in the plot. Pollock needs her help, but when she repeatedly seems to double cross him in one escapade after another, he can't decide on whose side she is working. Ultimately working together, Pollock and Yasmin decipher the plot and set out to stop an assassination of the Prime Minister. Written by
E.W. DesMarais <email@example.com>
Someone's given ancient history professor Gregory Peck a message with a Hittite inscription on it and all he gets out of it is that fabled nursery rhyme. Of course there's a good deal more to the message and that's what he and Sophia Loren are jetting all around London trying to solve.
There's a lot of players involved here, Sophia as a Mideast general's daughter, Alan Badel as an Arab oil millionaire, Kieron Moore as a revolutionary. They're all after the meaning of that message, it could upset the balance of power in the Middle-east circa 1966.
In a role originally intended for Cary Grant before he announced that Walk Don't Run would be his final film, Gregory Peck ably fills the role of the debonair professor with a disarming quip for all occasions. My guess is that Cary Grant retired because he was getting on in years and he realized it himself in his last film where he's the old matchmaker not the leading man. Peck was ten years younger and cinematically speaking that showed.
He and Sophia made a real good team together, too bad they didn't do more features. Stanley Donen directed it in the sophisticated style of his acclaimed Charade. I remember seeing this at a drive-in movie on a double bill with Tobruk. This was far better.
And given the ever festering global sore in the Middle-East, Arabesque is actually rather timely.
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