6.5/10
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Arabesque (1966)

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Man Who Made "Charade" See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last feature of John Merivale. See more »

Goofs

When Peck/Loren are escaping from a helicopter, the filming crew is clear visible on the right side of a bridge (in the helicopters' POV) See more »

Quotes

Yasmin Azir: [Addressing a uniformed Queen's Guardsman, under whose foot an important scrap of paper has lodged] Excuse me, soldier...
David Pollock: [correcting her] He's a Guardsman.
Yasmin Azir: Excuse me, Guardsman. I'm sorry to bother you. I know you're on duty, but... there is something under your foot that belongs to us.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Six Million Dollar Man: Walk a Deadly Wing (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Gaudeamus Igitur
Traditional tune, lyrics by Christian Wilhelm Kindleben
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Alfred Hitchcock Meets James Bond
12 December 2004 | by estabansmytheSee all my reviews

If I had the impossible task of naming one film as "My Favorite Most Enjoyable Movie" this and it's bookend, "Charade," would be it.

It is Stanley Donen's near perfect blend of Alfred Hitchcock meets James Bond. Donen made two simply wonderful films in the Hitchcock mold. The first was Charade in 1963 with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Arabesque is the second. They make a marvelous bookend set.

Both films are light, breezy and loaded with wit and humorous dialog. Both feature classic Henry Mancini scores, stylish female ward-robing by the likes of Givenchy and Christian Dior and both feature memorable titles by 007's legendary title master, Maurice Binder.

But it's Arabesque's wildly inventive cinematography which sets it apart from virtually every other action film. The cinematography is pure art school. It's amazingly inventive use of reflection and shot within a shot camera work is what first interested me in the art of cinematography as a teenager. The cinematography in Arabesque fascinates me and entertains me no end to this day.

Gregory Peck's square yet hip college professor plays perfectly with Sophia Loren's chic spy - and Sophia was never more flat-out stunning. Wow! Check out Arabesque. It's two hours of great fun.


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