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The Egyptian (1954)

In ancient Egypt, a poor orphan becomes a genial physician and is eventually appointed at the Pharaoh's court where he witnesses palace intrigues and learns dangerous royal secrets.


Michael Curtiz


Philip Dunne (screen play), Casey Robinson (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Simmons ... Merit
Victor Mature ... Horemheb
Gene Tierney ... Baketamon
Michael Wilding ... Akhnaton
Bella Darvi ... Nefer
Peter Ustinov ... Kaptah
Edmund Purdom ... Sinuhe
Judith Evelyn ... Taia
Henry Daniell ... Mekere
John Carradine ... Grave Robber
Carl Benton Reid ... Senmut
Tommy Rettig ... Thoth
Anitra Stevens Anitra Stevens ... Queen Nefertiti
Donna Martell ... Lady in Waiting
Mimi Gibson ... First Princess


In eighteenth dynasty Egypt, Sinuhe (Edmund Purdom), a poor orphan, becomes a brilliant physician and with his friend Horemheb (Victor Mature) is appointed to the service of the new Pharoah (Michael Wilding). Sinuhe's personal triumphs and tragedies are played against the larger canvas of the turbulent events of the eighteenth dynasty. As Sinuhe is drawn into court intrigues, and bizarre secrets are revealed to him, he learns the answers to the questions he has sought since his birth. Short on historical accuracy, but strong on plot and characterization. Written by Molly Malloy

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"I, Sinuhe, The Egyptian, have committed every crime against man, woman and the Gods..." See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Michael Curtiz was utterly confused by Marlon Brando's acting style and had him replaced by newcomer Edmund Purdom just before filming began. See more »


At beginning Sinuhe write on papyrus letter from right to left, somewhere in middle Keptah read final father of Sinuhe words from left to right. See more »


[first lines]
Sinuhe: [Older Sinuhe voiceover] I, Sinuhe the Egyptian, write this. In my place of exile on the shores of the Red Sea. There is no more desolate spot on earth. Soon the jackals and the vultures will make a poor meal of what is left of me. No monument will mark my resting place. I will leave only this, the story of my life. I have lived fully and deeply. I have tasted passion, crime and even murder. It is for you to judge me. You must weigh the good against the evil, the passion against the...
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Alternate Versions

The version released on VHS in the U.S. removes some scenes (3 minutes or so of footage) to accommodate a 136-minute runtime. See more »


Referenced in The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: Pieces (2018) See more »

User Reviews

Swords and Sandals Saga
16 January 2007 | by MISSMOOHERSELFSee all my reviews

I'll start off right at the beginning by saying "I like this movie." It's sweeping, it's grand, it's gripping and it's fun. Sinhue the physician,sits in front of his small stone hut writing his memoirs. And what a story it is! Taken from a river and reared by an elderly couple who doted on him, he becomes a physician to the poor. He befriends Horemheb who sees glory while Sinhue sees healing. And both run into the future pharaoh Anknaten (forgive my spellings), who endures an epileptic fit.

And this pharaoh has another "flaw": He believes in one god instead of a pantheon of gods. Back then, this was totally revolutionary. Sinhue and Horemheb grow up. One night, Sinhue sees a woman who makes him lose his senses. He gives up his practice, sells his parents' home and even their tombs just to spend a night with her. Does he? I won't tell. Meanwhile, Merit, a tavern maid played with sweet simplicity belying strength by Jean Simmons, falls in love with Sinhue. She falls under his spell and under the spell of the belief in one god.

Victor Mature overacts perfectly as Horemheb. Edmond Purdom is sincere as Sinhue the lost physician (does he find redemption? Stay tuned). Even Bela Darvi, the woman who steals Sinhue's heart isn't as bad as everyone has said. The fact that she was Daryl F. Zanuck's mistress had nothing to do with the casting - right? Yeah, right...still, she wasn't that bad _ I've seen worse. I think she did better in "The Egyptian" than many of today's young actresses have done in anything. I said it before and I'll say it again -- I like this movie. I recommend it. It makes you think despite some hammy acting. Have fun with this movie; it's worth it.

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English | Greek

Release Date:

17 December 1954 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Egyptian See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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