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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.


Stanley Donen


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




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


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


Ultra mod, ultra mad, ultra mystery See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The sequence on the railway viaduct was filmed on the Crumlin Viaduct in South Wales between the closure of the railway to traffic on 13 June 1964 and the demolition of the structure, which began in June 1966. It was built in 1853-57, and at 200ft was the highest in the British Isles (and the third highest in the world). See more »


In the final chase scene the helicopter continues to fly past and around the characters on the bridge while the bad guys are attempting to shoot them from a moving vehicle. If the helicopter had just hovered in place the shooters would have easily been able to kill the three on the bridge and avoided the chance for Peck to drop the ladder into their blades. See more »


Webster: That cipher, *where is it*?
David Pollock: Ask me later alligator.
Webster: *Where is it*?
David Pollock: I left it at Beshraavi's. After all, it belongs to him.
Yussef Kasim: Wrong again teach. He snatched it. Belongs to this cat right here. Now where is it?
David Pollock: Miss Azir, after all we've been through together couldn't you find it in your heart to put in a small word on my behalf?
Yasmin Azir: He told me he had it in his pocket.
David Pollock: [shaking head] Tattle tale.
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 »


Featured in Biography: Sophia Loren: Actress Italian Style (1997) See more »


We've Loved Before (Yasmin's Theme)
Written by Henry Mancini, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Conducted by Henry Mancini
See more »

User Reviews

A Fun Thrilling Mystery That Keeps You On The Edge Of The Seat
23 April 2010 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

'Arabesque' has often been compared to 'Charade' and the story does follow a similar path of twists and turns. This time it's throughout the city and countryside of London. The visualizations of the sights of London are pleasing to the eyes. The movie itself moves at a steady pace and there are a few over the top sequences but the twists keep the viewer at the edge of the seat. Moreover, it makes sense to the story which only enriches its entertainment value. The solid writing also includes some funny witty dialogues. I'm glad Cary Grant turned down the role as Gregory Peck, a much better actor, ended up with the role. He and dazzling beauty Sophia Loren make an awesome pair on screen. The chemistry is sizzling and they're both very charming actors. Overall 'Arabesque' is great fun and it is the movie to watch especially when one is feeling bored.

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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 »


Box Office


$4,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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