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Death of a Princess (1980)

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A journalist investigates a newspaper story of the execution of an Arab princess.



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Title: Death of a Princess (TV Movie 1980)

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Credited cast:
Sawsan Badr ...
Princess (as Suzanne Abou Taleb)
Christopher Ryder
Elsa Gruber
Samir Sabri ...
Elie Salhawi
Ismet Raafat ...
The Old Princess
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Geoffrey Collins ...
British Diplomat
Steve Jackson
Zia Mohyeddin ...
Marwan Shaheen
Nimet Naguib ...
School teacher
Mohammed Tawfik ...
The Old Prince (as Mohammed Tewfik)


A journalist investigates a newspaper story of the execution of an Arab princess.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Also Known As:

La mort d'une princesse  »

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Did You Know?


Docudrama of the July 1977 execution of Princess Mishaal bint Fahd bin Mohammed and her adulterous lover Khalid Mahallal. See more »


Referenced in Yes Minister: The Moral Dimension (1982) See more »


Words and Music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Courtesy of Northern Songs Ltd./ATV Music
See more »

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User Reviews

25 Years Later & Nothing Has Changed
20 April 2005 | by (CANADA) – See all my reviews

Apparently the first time this excellent British-American docudrama was scheduled to be shown on PBS (way back in 1980) it met with an outcry of protestation from the Saudi Royal Family. It also met with an equally vociferous outcry from many Senators Congressmen and senior level diplomats within the Regan administration. Then acting Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrote a letter to then PBS president Lawrence Grossman, a letter which Christopher also simultaneously had released to the press, urging PBS to "reevaluate" its decision to broadcast the program, given the subject's "potential damage to our relations with an important ally." Very real pressure was also brought to bear by Mobil Oil, PBS's chief underwriter for many of its programs, when they very publicly urged the public broadcaster to not broadcast the program because it would reflect badly on Saudi life. The seed of fear was also planted that perhaps the Saudis would shut off the nation's oil supply leading to severe economic ramifications. To PBS's credit, they didn't back down. PBS has now revisited this 1980's program some 25 years later and it has just as much impact today as it did back then. Perhaps even more so, given the US's gentle treatment of Saudi Arabia post 9/11 and the US's use of the oldest sleight of hand trick in the book, the art of misdirection. Our "liberation" of Iraq and our colonial aspirations there have now resulted in a more fractious and radical Islamic state then the secular nation that existed before it...But of course, one we can control. (And yes Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator and I'm glad that he's gone, but that doesn't change the facts). This is a thoughtful and engrossing film and shows how things really haven't changed much for woman living in The Kingdom (Saudi Arabia). Like those hijacked planes that slammed into the WTC towers, the 'true' Islam faith was hijacked by an odd assortment of repressive and paranoiac men many years ago... and their actions are still resonating today.

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