6.5/10
6,425
99 user 31 critic

Arabesque (1966)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 18 August 1966 (France)
Story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics.

Director:

Stanley Donen

Writers:

Julian Mitchell (screenplay), Stanley Price (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Prof. David Pollock
Sophia Loren ... Yasmin Azir
Alan Badel ... Beshraavi
Kieron Moore ... Yussef Kasim
Carl Duering ... Hassan Jena
John Merivale ... Maj. Sylvester Pennington Sloane
Duncan Lamont ... Webster
George Coulouris ... Ragheeb
Ernest Clark ... Beauchamp
Harold Kasket Harold Kasket ... Mohammed Lufti
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Storyline

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 beautiful mystery who becomes intertwined in the plot. Pollock needs her help, but she repeatedly double crosses him in one escapade after another, he can't decide on who she is working for. Ultimately working together, Pollock and Yasmin decipher the message and set out to stop an assassination of the Prime Minister. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ultra mod, ultra mad, ultra mystery See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is a follow-up of sorts to its director Stanley Donen's 1963 classic thriller Charade. Arabesque was originally intended to star Charade's Cary Grant as Professor Pollock, but the role eventually went to Gregory Peck after Grant retired from the screen. Both films feature an eye-popping visual style, gorgeous leading ladies in haute couture (Audrey Hepburn in Charade and Sophia Loren in this) byzantine plotlines and musical scores by Henry Mancini. Both were also international box office hits. See more »

Goofs

Sloan says he was with the 42nd Highland Fusiliers. The 42nd is in fact the Black Watch and no one from that regt would ever refer to themselves as anything other than the Black Watch. See more »

Quotes

David Pollock: I'll meet you in Knightsbridge at the Kelly Hotel. I'm registered there under the name of O'Malley.
Yasmin Azir: [confused] 'O'Malley'?
David Pollock: Yeah, there's a discount if you're Irish.
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Alternate Versions

For the UK theatrical release, the BBFC removed a few seconds of the drowning in the aquarium and the sight of a man being bloodily shot in the face in order to obtain an 'A' rating (the equivalent of today's 'PG'). All later releases have been uncut and rated '12'. See more »


Soundtracks

""The Fountain in the Park" (aka "While Strolling Through (or Thru') the Park One Day")
Written by Ed Haley
Heard when Pollock is pushed out of the van
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User Reviews

 
Funny Rip-off of 007 and North by Northwest
4 December 2012 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

A man kills Professor Ragheeb (George Coulouris) and takes a hieroglyphic from his glasses. Then he seeks out the American Professor David Pollock (Gregory Peck), who is an expert in hieroglyphics at the Oxford University, and tells that his name is Major Sylvester Pennington Sloane (John Merivale). He invites Pollock to travel to London to meet the wealthy Nejim Beshraavi (Alan Badel) to translate a cipher in a hieroglyphic, but Pollock refuses the work.

Soon Pollock is summoned by the Arabian Prime Minister Hassan Jena (Carl Duering), who is unofficially in England and asks him to accept the assignment and spy the activities of Beshraavi that might be plotting something evil.

Beshraavi offers 30,000 dollars to Pollock to work in his mansion deciphering the hieroglyphic. Pollock meets Beshraavi's mistress Yasmin Azir (Sophia Loren), who tells him that he is in danger and Beshraavi will kill him in the end of his work the same way he did with Professor Ragheeb. Pollock and Yasmin flee from the mansion with the hieroglyphic, but he is double-crossed by Yasmin and captured by Yussef Kasim (Kieron Moore). Soon the professor is deeply involved in an international conspiracy where everybody wants the cipher and he does not know who is trustworthy.

"Arabesque" is a funny rip-off of "007" movies combined with "North by Northwest". The story of a clumsy professor from Oxford that is involved in an international conspiracy in London has hilarious moments, like for example the shower scene with Sophia Loren that makes this movie worthwhile. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Arabesque"


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 August 1966 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Stanley Donen's Arabesque See more »

Filming Locations:

Hurley, Berkshire, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,800,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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