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Land Of The Pharaohs

Land Of The Pharaohs

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Land Of The Pharaohs In ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh Khufu (Jack Hawkins) is obsessed with acquiring gold and plans to take it all with him into the “second life”. To this end, he enlists the aid of Vashtar (James Robertson Justice), an architect whose people are enslaved in Egypt. The deal: build a robbery-proof tomb and the enslaved people will be freed. During the years that the pyramid is being built, Cyprian Princess Nellifer (Dame Joan Collins) becomes the Pharaoh’s second wife, and she plots to prevent Khufu from taking his treasure with him when he dies, as well as helping him make the journey early.

STARS: Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins, Dewey Martin

106 min | Adventure, Drama, History | 1955 | Color


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superlative conception, and beautifully executed
I will not add any details that have not been mentioned before.
True, the film is a melodrama, but only a melodrama because some of the smaller details should have been better researched; for example, at the beginning of the film, Hamar (Hermiun ?) says "..this was pharaoh, direct descendant of our god Amun, who rules the heavens: as pharaoh rules the earth.." - a small boo-boo, Ra was the sun-god then. This is about the only criticism I can make, in fact I think that writers, actors, director and sets did an expert job of suspending my disbelief and on the strength of it the film deserves at least a 9: but I have given it a 10, and I'll tell you why:
A lot of people give excellent reasons why they liked this film, but no one made much of Vashtar's mechanism and yet this was the star of the show. What I loved about it was the self-evident truth staring every cinema-goer in the face; there was no celluloid fancy or anachronism here. This was a piece of engineering that could really have been devised then; and the real Khufu would have inscribed Vashtar's name alongside his own! What can I add? Only my enjoyment of how it all worked: The drama and the look on Khufu's face as Centar lowered the great stone single-handed.. And the monolithic grind of a mechanism which "..once set in motion no power on earth could stop.."

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