6.7/10
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Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, History | 24 June 1955 (USA)
A captured architect designs an ingenious plan to ensure the impregnability of tomb of a self-absorbed Pharaoh, obsessed with the security of his next life.

Director:

Howard Hawks
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Hawkins ... Pharaoh Khufu
Joan Collins ... Princess Nellifer
Dewey Martin ... Senta, Vashtar's Son
Alexis Minotis Alexis Minotis ... Hamar, the High Priest (as Alex Minotis)
James Robertson Justice ... Vashtar, the Master Architect
Luisella Boni Luisella Boni ... Kyra (as Luisa Boni)
Sydney Chaplin ... Treneh, The Captain of the Guard
James Hayter ... Mikka, Vashtar's Servant
Kerima ... Queen Nailla
Piero Giagnoni Piero Giagnoni ... Xenon
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Storyline

In ancient Egypt the Pharaoh Khu-fu is obsessed with acquiring gold and plans to take it all with him into the "second life." To this end he enlists the aid of Vashtar, an architect whose people are enslaved in Egypt. The deal: build a robbery-proof tomb and the enslaved people will be freed. During the years that the pyramid is being built a Cyprian princess becomes the pharaoh's second wife, and she plots to prevent Khufu from taking his treasure with him when he dies .. as well as helping him make the journey early. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HER BLOOD STAINED EVERY STONE OF THE PYRAMID See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Land of the Pharaohs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,900,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Continental Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Hayter is dubbed See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, during the parade heralding the return of Khufu, a member of the public is shown with a parrot on a stand. It is a known fact that African Grey parrots were kept as pets by the Egyptians, but the parrot shown in this scene was an Amazon parrot from South America, a continent not discovered for thousands of years. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hamar: I, Hamar, Lord High Priest of Egypt, am preparing a chronicle of the reign of Khufu, ruler of Egypt. Word has come that again he has been victorious in the war against our enemies and now Egypt has taken its place as the greatest of all nations in the world! Today, Pharaoh and his armies return.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Filmmakers in Action (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Biggest Tomb Of Them All
16 May 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Land Of The Pharaohs will go down in cinema history as Howard Hawks's attempt to out DeMille, the great Cecil B. in DeMille's own territory of cast of thousands spectacle. Hawks got a rather mixed reception for his film in that regard.

In its way Land Of The Pharaohs is as campy a film as any DeMille ever gave us even without the arcane writing that typifies a DeMille product. Jack Hawkins as Pharaoh Khufu is the ruler that stretched Egypt's hegemony over its widest area and he's decided that he's going to have the biggest tomb around to symbolize his glory. To design such a tomb he drafts James Robertson Justice who is an architect among the prisoners of a recently conquered people. In a package deal Hawkins gets the son as well who grows up to be Dewey Martin and who during the course of the film incurs a big debt from Hawkins.

The biggest problem in this film is that ultimately the subject of the film is ego and vanity. Hawkins with his bloody conquest and his desire to have a monument to stand for all time to his ego and vanity is just not a terribly sympathetic figure.

But he's positively heroic to the vixenish young Joan Collins who starts out as a Cyprian princess given to Hawkins in return for tribute of a few thousand bushels of wheat. Right there Hawkins should have sent the baggage packing, trophy concubines he can get anywhere, but that grain was to feed his army of workers on that tomb.

Once in the palace, Collins starts intriguing in her best Alexis Carrington manner, but she gets a rather fitting fate in the end.

Land Of The Pharaohs does have some nice crowd scenes that DeMille might have envied. Some of the best scenes show the ancient methods of construction of the tomb with nice Dimitri Tiomkin music accompanying.

But story and characters are the base of a really good film and Jack Hawkins is not a heroic Khufu by any means.


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