Tuesday, May 16, 2017

By the Gods!

Pharaoh Khufu (Jack Hawkins) celebrates the dead with 'thousands' of his people in LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (1955)

One of the best scenes in this film. In fact, it's one of the best scenes in any PEPLUM film made by Hollywood. It looks and sounds great even 60+ years later. The film's starkness seen at the start eventually gives way to more typical Hollywood drama (mainly provided with the introduction of Joan Collins). Had the film maintained the same approach throughout the film, it would have been a masterpiece. The film wasn't a success and Howard Hawks eventually disowned it, leaving it out from future retrospectives of his career, which, imo, was ridiculous. This was the director's first and last 'epic' film and it does stand out from his other films, which is most likely the real reason why he dismissed it.

6 comments:

Scott Ochiltree said...


This interesting Peplum is best remembered today for two scenes: (1) Joan Collins getting whipped, and (2) The ingenious closing of the pyramid with people trapped forever inside it.

LAND OF THE PHARAOHS is a much better Egyptian Peplum than is THE EGYPTIAN.

The best Pharaonic Egyptian Peplum by far remains DeMille's THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. His CLEOPATRA is easily the best film set in Roman occupied Egypt.

Paul Schembri said...

You mean Jack Hawkins, not Richard Hawkins. Just clarifying a point. Thx for the wonderful articles you upload. I never miss one. Am a peplum enthusiast too. In Malta, we saw these movies in their original versions (in Italian).

Anonymous said...

Not made in Hollywood at all. Land of the Pharaohs was filmed on location in Egypt with interiors filmed at Cinecitta in Rmoe.

PEPLUM Cinema said...

Dear anonymous, made in Hollywood = produced by a Hollywood studio (regardless of the locations it was shot)

You knew that

Anonymous said...

WIth a considerable amount of British financing behind it as well.

orsh549 said...

This is a favorite of mine and I think one of the better of Hawks movies. The music score is Epic in it's own right. The sets are outstanding and on location filming make up for a so-so script. The ending was quite well done. Jack Hawkins as the Pharaoh I thought was a very good choice. Overall I thought the movie was worth a 6.5 rating.