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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 »
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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
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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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Maldição do Vale dos Faraós 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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many critics and readers of The Awakening (1980)'s source Bram Stoker novel "The Jewel of Seven Stars" commented on the book's gruesome finale. According to Wikipedia, "When republished in 1904...the original ending was retained, but when Stoker attempted to republish it once more, shortly before his death in 1912, he was told that he would have to change the ending. As a result, Stoker removed Chapter XVI "Powers - Old and New" and gave the book a new, happier ending. For many years the original ending was unavailable to most readers. The 2008 Penguin Classics edition of 'The Jewel of Seven Stars'...restored the original text, including the original ending and Chapter XVI, and included the second, happier ending as an appendix". See more »

Goofs

When Jane and Matt discover the tomb entrance, Jane reads the hieroglyphic inscription from left to right, but the direction in which the inscription is written is right to left, as shown by the birds in it which face the start of the line by convention. 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 »

Connections

Version of Mystery and Imagination: Curse of the Mummy (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
All this time we thought it was the big sleep...
26 May 2002 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

This movie isn't as terrible as some reviewers have made it out to be. Let's say, overall, about average for its type. The photography is more than adequate, the locations unmistakably including Egypt. The score does its job well. And the acting is on par with Charlton Heston's usual. He can do better when he wants to, as in "Khartoum." Stephanie Zimbalist is fresh, attractive, and seductive -- both before and after she is possessed by the spirit of Kara. She's pretty sexy too, decked out in tight bell-bottomed slacks and wearing her long auburn hair held back by a barette -- is that the word? One of her more exciting moments comes when she steps down in the tomb and kisses her father warmly on the lips. She seems to have not much more than a few expressions to work with, which is okay; Gary Cooper only had one and a half. She relies mainly on an intense stare and half smile, which can signal either happiness or evil intent. The editing is confusing and the ending leaves the story open for a sequel which will probably never come. The story itself is dated, although spiced up with some Omen-like executions.

Heston would never get away with removing those artifacts from Egypt today. Not unless there was a huge under-the-table payoff made. No more Elgin-marble controversies. The archaeological techniques are dated as well. The archaeologists we seem to think of as heroes would be considered criminally sloppy by today's standards. If you excavate a site now, you don't just dig into it to see what you can find. You dig a trench into the site, from the outside inward, so you leave most of the site intact for future research. We don't know what analytic techniques will be available a hundred years from now, anymore than Carnaveron and the rest could foresee Carbon dating. Brouilloin, the information theorist, called this "the principle of fundamental surprise." If we knew now what we will have discovered a hundred years from now, we would already have discovered it. What Schliemann did at Troy was simply dig it up until all the information was gone, the archaeological equivalent of strip mining. King Tut's tomb was handled just as badly. When they first cracked the wall of the as-yet unsullied part of the tomb, a breath of air whooshed out from the opening. That air was three thousand years old. It was the same air breathed by the Egyptians who built the tomb. We will never know its chemical composition or what kind of particulate matter might still have been floating around. And the soil of the tomb, which surely contained biological materials like pollen and the residue of three-thousand-year-old microorganisms, was treated like -- well, like ordinary dirt.

The movie has few zingers. It moves slowly and deliberately, a pace that many modern moviegoers are no longer used to, after so much exposure to MTV techniques. And the director -- all directors -- need to have it pounded into their skulls that when a character looks into a mirror on screen, the audience is not supposed to see her staring obliquely into the camera lens. Not only does the use of this stupid trick contribute absolutely nothing, but it is distracting and jarring, and an insult to at least some of the viewers.


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