78 user 18 critic

Arabesque (1966)

Unrated | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 5 May 1966 (USA)
Story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Prof. David Pollock
Yussef Kasim
Carl Duering ...
Hassan Jena
John Merivale ...
Maj. Sylvester Pennington Sloane
Duncan Lamont ...
Ernest Clark ...
Harold Kasket ...
Mohammed Lufti


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 <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

professor | cipher | spy | double | code | See All (34) »


Ultra mod, ultra mad, ultra mystery


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stanley Donen's Arabesque  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The steamer trunk has both padlocks intact once it has been removed from the truck despite the fact that the good professor broke them both when rescuing the prime minister from within. See more »


There is no reference to the movie's title, "Arabesque". The references are all to the original book's title, which was "The Cipher". See more »


Webster: That cipher, *where is it*?
David Pollock: Ask me later alligator.
Webster: *Where is it*?
David Pollock: I left it at Beshraavi's. After all, it belongs to him.
Yussef Kasim: Wrong again teach. He snatched it. Belongs to this cat right here. Now where is it?
David Pollock: Miss Azir, after all we've been through together couldn't you find it in your heart to put in a small word on my behalf?
Yasmin Azir: He told me he had it in his pocket.
David Pollock: [shaking head] Tattle tale.
See more »


We've Loved Before (Yasmin's Theme)
Written and conducted by Henry Mancini
See more »

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User Reviews

18 June 2005 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

Not only is the whole cinematography clever (love those shots with actors in the mirrors) but this is one of those hidden gems from the '60s. The whole look and feel just oozes what you imagine the '60s to be--intrigue, mysterious/swarthy foreign spies, a totally cool/hot babe (Sophia Loren could not be any more gorgeous) and a handsome yet bumbling professor (Gregory Peck out harrison Ford-ing Harrison Ford years ahead of the curve). The dialog also sparkles with that old sort of Kate Hepburn--Cary Grant type interplay albeit at a much more languid and sexier pace. There are also hints of Hitchcock and Orson Welles in the story telling and directorial style.

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