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The Awakening (1980)

R | | Horror | 31 October 1980 (USA)
An archeologist discovers his daughter is possessed by the spirit of an Egyptian queen. To save mankind he must destroy her.

Director:

Mike Newell

Writers:

Allan Scott (screenplay), Chris Bryant (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... Matthew Corbeck
Susannah York ... Jane Turner
Jill Townsend ... Anne Corbeck
Stephanie Zimbalist ... Margaret Corbeck
Patrick Drury Patrick Drury ... Paul Whittier
Bruce Myers Bruce Myers ... Dr. Khalid
Nadim Sawalha ... Dr. El Sadek
Ian McDiarmid ... Dr. Richter
Ahmed Osman Ahmed Osman ... Yussef
Miriam Margolyes ... Dr. Kadira
Michael Mellinger ... Hamid
Leonard Maguire Leonard Maguire ... John Matthews
Ishia Bennison Ishia Bennison ... Nurse
Madhav Sharma Madhav Sharma ... Doctor
Michael Halphie Michael Halphie ... Doctor
Learn more

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Storyline

An American archaeologist is in Egypt with his pregnant wife, searching for the tomb of a long-lost Egyptian queen. At the same moment he discovers the tomb and opens it's accursed seal, his wife gives birth to his daughter. Years later it transpires that the malevolent spirit of the Egyptian queen left the tomb just as he was entering, and possessed his baby girl. As the truth becomes clear, the archaeologist realizes that he must destroy his daughter in a ceremonial ritual, before she uses her awesome powers to threaten the safety of mankind. Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They thought they had buried her forever!

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlton Heston's character Matthew Corbeck is seen in this film over an eighteen year time span and ages from 43 years to 61 years. Heston was aged 56 when he acted in this movie. See more »

Goofs

The shard of glass that stabs Jane in the neck. Before the shard falls from the panel, the pointy end is facing downwards. However, when it stabs Jane, the pointy end is facing upwards. See more »

Quotes

Margaret Corbeck: Hi.
Paul Whittier: You're American aren't you?
Margaret Corbeck: How did you know?
Paul Whittier: The one word, "hi".
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Awakening (1980) has two endings: SPOILERS AHEAD! For the U.S. dvd, the film ends with Margaret- now possessed- staring with crazed eyes and Egyptian makeup. For the U.K. dvd, the film ends with Margaret stepping outside the museum at night, and her shadow is superimposed over the skyline of London to suggest her evil or plans. See more »


Soundtracks

Ankara Streets
(uncredited)
Music by Ali Isfahan (i.e. John Leach
KPM Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Archaeologists never know when to leave well enough alone.
24 August 2015 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Matthew Corbeck (Charlton Heston) is a veteran Egyptologist who discovers the tomb of Queen Kara. As fate would have it, her spirit leaves the tomb at the moment he enters it, and possesses his newborn daughter. 18 years later, the headstrong daughter (Stephanie Zimbalist) determines to reunite with her father in Egypt. She becomes concerned over her blackouts, and fears the worst. And the somber Matthew believes that in order to stop the evil queen, he will have to kill his girl in a ritual sacrifice.

It does sound like a good plot, doesn't it? It's based on the novel "The Jewel of the Seven Stars" by Bram Stoker of "Dracula" fame, which was previously filmed by Hammer as "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb". The Hammer version is more entertaining than this plodding effort, however. Director Mike Newell treats the material as straight drama for the most part, with thrilling and creepy moments few and far between. In his hands, the story just isn't as interesting or compelling as one might like it to be. Still, some genre fans may appreciate it for taking a more adult, restrained approach than a traditional one. Major assets include an excellent score by Claude Bolling and cinematography by the great Jack Cardiff.

Heston does a good job, as could be expected. He's actually rather low key in the leading role. Susannah York, as his associate Jane, and Jill Townsend, as his wife Anne, are fine. Zimbalist, unfortunately, just doesn't come off that well. There are some strong actors in the cast, though: Nadim Sawalha, Ian McDiarmid, Miriam Margolyes.

On location shooting in Egypt, and the resulting atmosphere of the settings, help to make this passable if never really exciting. It only picks up a little during its last third.

Five out of 10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Awakening See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,728,520, 2 November 1980

Gross USA:

$8,415,112

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,415,112
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

EMI Films, Orion Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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