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 »
Reviews
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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

Last feature of John Merivale. See more »

Goofs

Sloane says that he was formerly with the 42nd Highland Fusiliers Regiment. The 42nd Regiment was known as the Royal Highland Regiment or the Black Watch, and was never known as a Fusiliers Regiment. See more »

Quotes

David Pollock: You're not with the authorities and you're not with Beshraavi. And you can't be with Prime Minister Jena. Who are you with?
Webster: Her.
David Pollock: Swell.
See more »

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 »

Connections

References The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
carried by Peck and Loren
12 May 2007 | by winner55See all my reviews

Sometimes it's difficult to say why one likes a film.

Undoubtedly, what is most memorable about this film is Sofia Loren (as with any of her films). She remains beautiful and charming regardless of the script's worth Admittedly, the script isn't worth much; Peck's character is given all these imitation-Bond one-liners that are like listening to a relative speak only in bad puns, as some of my relatives do. The plot is only fair, and some of the plot-twists absurd. The film is over-long and wallows in its own cleverness. Undoubtedly, some of the visuals in this film are just experiments in '60s psychedelic 'hip' - occasionally confusing, utterly annoying.

But the film gets carried by Peck, hammy but companionable, and Ms. Loren. It's definitely entertaining, and more than one scene may stick with you for some years - although I find it difficult to say just why. My suspicion is that the glittery surface of the film, which is very light, is used to make palatable realities that are very dark - like the drowning of the killer in the aquarium. Ultimately the film feeds on the ambivalence of the audience, because in part it generates this ambivalence intentionally.

Hardly a great film, in some ways a bad film, but worth a couple hours entertainment.


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