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 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:

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

As many critics noted (not always approvingly), Stanley Donen filmed this thriller in an uncharacteristically flamboyant style, using bizarre camera angles and eccentric visual compositions throughout. He later admitted that he had never felt that the screenplay was quite right (many writers worked on it, and it was rumored to be still being re-worked during shooting), so he had given the film an unusual look to disguise its shortcomings. He had had to start filming before he was quite ready, in order to accommodate the busy schedules of Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. See more »

Goofs

In the aquarium scene, Mustafa is shot with a revolver fitted with a silencer. Silencers do not work on revolvers, only automatic pistols. This does not mean however, that a silencer can not be fitted to a revolver, only it is less efficient, and there existed cases of suppressed revolvers. See more »

Quotes

Hassan Jena: Mr. Pollock, what has happened?
David Pollock: Mr. Jena, there's been some trouble. A man was killed at Ascot today.
Hassan Jena: Yes, I heard. Have you also heard who it is they think killed him?
David Pollock: Mrs. Pollock's idiot son, David, that's who. I need your help.
Hassan Jena: I don't think there's anything I can do for you right now, besides suggesting you stay clear of the police.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original UK release Gregory Peck sings "Candy! I Call My Sugar Candy!" while in the US version he sings "Candy! I Keep My Candy Handy!". The US version is obviously dubbed while the UK retains the original line. See more »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Excellente-esquire
18 June 2005 | by bdonutSee all my reviews

Not only is the whole cinematography clever (love those shots with actors in the mirrors) but this is one of those hidden gems from the '60s. The whole look and feel just oozes what you imagine the '60s to be--intrigue, mysterious/swarthy foreign spies, a totally cool/hot babe (Sophia Loren could not be any more gorgeous) and a handsome yet bumbling professor (Gregory Peck out harrison Ford-ing Harrison Ford years ahead of the curve). The dialog also sparkles with that old sort of Kate Hepburn--Cary Grant type interplay albeit at a much more languid and sexier pace. There are also hints of Hitchcock and Orson Welles in the story telling and directorial style.


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