By the Gods!

Edmund Purdom and Victor Mature (between the women) are at a party in THE EGYPTIAN

A big budget existential PEPLUM which is mostly forgotten today. Nice sets, costumes, cast, etc...but story is not very compelling. It sorta resembles THE PRODIGAL, which also stars Purdom : man becomes obsessed with temptress who is out of his reach and this obsession almost destroys him. The film looks great but compared to other films set in Egypt, like PHARAOH, it now looks hopelessly cliched. The set here looks more like a living room in some Hollywood mansion than actual Egyptian architecture / design. Still, for its time it is a visual feast that leaves one hungry for more.

Purdom and Mature both became stars of the PEPLUM genre, whether it was by choice or by circumstance.

3 comments:

Scott Ochiltree said...

I agree fully with your view that THE EGYPTIAN is a lavish but disappointing film. Your comparison with THE PRODIGAL IS well taken.

In general the only movies set in Ancient Egypt that seem to work well are those involving Cleopatra and associated Romans and Greeks. THE SLAVE (aka THE SON OF SPARTACUS (Steve Reeves!) is a successful example.

The culture of pre Ptolemaic Egypt is so alien (gods with human bodies and animal heads, mummies, etc.) that it is difficult for an audience to appreciate.

The best pre Ptolemaic Peplum is probably LAND OF THE PHARAOHS, due to its spectacular ending and the famous scene where Joan Collins is whipped.

Albert said...

Great film with great music from Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Newman

Tim Mayer said...

Good film to watch on a rainy afternoon when you have nothing else to do.