De Lesseps is a young aristocrat who conceives the idea for the Suez Canal. When Napoleon fails him, the British show interest. Though the production values make the film entertaining its historical content is generally agreed to be awful.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Probably one of the least accurate historical dramas done by the old Hollywood Studio System is Suez with Tyrone Power cast as Ferdinand DeLesseps, the builder of the Suez Canal. Any resemblance to the facts involving the canal and its construction are purely coincidental, in fact both English and French history gets badly skewered in Suez.
Ferdinand DeLesseps should only have been as dashing and as handsome as Tyrone Power, he probably wishes he was. He was never involved in any romantic way with the Empress Eugene of France played by Loretta Young. As for the character that Annabella who was Mrs. Tyrone Power at the time plays, we've sure got no basis in fact for what she does to save Power and the canal itself. Take my word it's quite the sacrifice.
The film has DeLesseps taking over the assignment his father had as consul general for France to Egypt. While there DeLesseps conceives the idea of rebuilding the ancient canal over the isthmus of Suez. And as the film's story unfolds he sacrifices everything to get it. Of course it's all fiction.
The name of Benjamin Disraeli is as linked in history to the Suez Canal as DeLesseps. But how he got involved is also complete fiction. It took place after the canal was complete and while quite a coup for the British at the time, it was hardly anything heroic. Miles Mander plays Disraeli without quite the same flair as George Arliss did nor even Ian McShane in the acclaimed BBC series in the Seventies.
But if you like historical romance than Suez is definitely the film for you.
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