Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Land of the Pharaohs|
Actors: Jack Hawkins, Joan Collins, Dewey Martin, Alex Minotis, James Robertson Justice
Director: Howard Hawks
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
The Great Pharaoh orders architech Vashtar to build him the highest pyramid in the world as his tomb. After fifteen years, the work slows as the treasury diminishes. The Pharaoh tries to exact tribute from Cypress, which i... more »
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Barefoot Boy | 04/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I thought it would never come out on DVD. Perhaps it's my passion for all things ancient Egyptian, but I have always loved this wonderfully enjoyable epic. Howard Hawks was a director who steadfastly refused to be pigeon-holed, making everything from Bogey's "The Big Sleep" to sci-fi classic "The Thing" (although he credited editor Christian Nyby instead of himself) to stock car racing "Red Line 7000." Here he takes a shot at "historical" epic and does a damned entertaining job of it. Pharaoh Jack Hawkins plays straightman to Joan Collins' campy concubine while James Robertson Justice does a terrific job of keeping a straight face as a tomb architect. Amidst all the stone monuments, the only thing wooden is Dewey Martin as Justice's son. All this may not sound like a **** movie, but it's a guilty pleasure I've watched so many times on VHS that it's embarrassing. That's gotta be worth extra credit."
The Bogdanovich Commentary Stinks
Mario Beguiristain | 07/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The only thing that mars this beautiful presentation is Bogdavoch's commentary. Not only does he have nothing positive to say about the film, he actually has NOTHING to say at all. His presence on the track can only be explained by his having an old taped interview with Hawks in which he leads the director to discuss DeMille and dump on his movie. A total waste of time when there is so much to behold on screen. But get it anyway! It's a great 'Land'.""
Lavish 1950's Historical Epic Starring A Perfectly Cast Joan
Simon Davis | 05/15/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've always found Howard Hawk's "Land of the Pharoahs" a masterful production full of pagentry, excitment, colour, intrigue and also a bit of a history lesson. Far from being the empty spectacle that alot of people dimiss it as, I feel the story being told is done in an intelligent and informative way that is an excellent introduction to this era of Egyptian history.
Famed director Howard Hawks assembled excellent expertise in every aspect of this production from stars, production team, costumne designers down to location scouts and the film is a testament to all of their efforts. I think the intelligent way Hawks has gone about depicting the building of the great Pyramid in particular is most impressive. It is the centrepiece around which the whole story revolves and at times it takes on an almost documentary feel as it shows the painstacking attention to detail that went into the planning and then construction of the Great Pyramid over many years.
Hawks chose most suitably appropiate people to fill this huge story. Jack Hawkins I feel is excellent as the Pharoah Cheops. In his autobiography Hawkins dismisses the film as a whole as " a waste of time" but I feel he is being overly harsh in his assessment and he really lends a very commanding an totally authentic air to his depiction of the Pharoah who moves a nation to create a home for his own eternal life. I feel a special credit must also go to Joan Collins who excels as the wicked Princess Nellifer who arrives at Pharoah's court as part of the tribute from the isle of Cyprus and through her own machinations, which include seduction and murder, ends up the sole Queen of Egypt. She is both exotically seductive and evil as the queen and adds a wonderful element to the proceedings. The excellent conclusion to the film where she gets her just rewards (I wont reveal what actually happens for the benefit of those who haven't seen the film)is terrific and a total surprise.
As with most 1950's epics the supporting cast is top notch and Greek actor Alex Minotis deserves special mention for his dignified playing of Hamar, Pharoahs life long friend and trusted advisor who choses to go into the next life with his master. James Robertson Justice as the architect of the Pyramid also adds much to the films authentic flavour in his efforts to create a robber proof eternal resting place for the Egyptian ruler.
The visual look of the film is breathtaking with many months of location shooting in Egypt in intense heat greatly adding to the overraul look of the film. It is easy nowadays to dismiss films such as this, so numerous in the 1950's, as pure hokum but I believe this film is worthy of a far better press than it obtains. The thought of how much this type of production would cost to produce nowadays, both in time and effort, is astronomical and considering the limitations of the time this effort is magnificent.
"Land of the Pharoahs" is a wonderful excursion back to not only another period of history but back to another period of film making when computers were not available to do alot of the work it now takes to produce a film. The sheer human effort alone should win your admiration for this production any time you view it."
"LAND OF THE PHARAOHS A LONG OVERDUE CLASSIC FOR WIDESCREEN
Sandra Levin | NY NY | 04/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Am sure that we all are glad that finally TIME/WARNER decided to release this Movie on DVD. Hopefully soon followed by other long neglected films of the 1950th vintage. Like "THE EGYPTIAN" and "VALLEY OF THE KINGS," (ALL STILL GATHERING "STAR DUST," ON THE TIME/WARNER FILM LIBRARY VAULT).
The screenplay for this CLASSIC MOVIE was written by no other than the great American literary genius: "WILLIAM FAULKNER."
Director Howard Hawks, worked brilliantly on this large scale epic, a gigantic production filmed on location in Egypt, using thousands of extras. This movie plot would take you to the time of the building of the Great pyramid at Giza, for Pharaoh Khufu, this Pharaoh is been played here by Jack Hawkings (who also starred on the epic film "Ben Hur.")
Also as the Pharaoh's second wife mistress, you can see the sexy newly arrival to Hollywood of "Joan Collins" (in one of her first starring roles) long before her "Dynasty's Persona Character," whose insatiable lust-greed, would lead to murder, betrayal and much more on this movie plot.
"Land of the Pharaohs" is a very entertaining film, which along with the story featuring the saga of an slaved conquered nation, one which is finally allowed to return to their promise land along with their fellow architect, the designer of this "Seven Wonder of the World," after the death of the conquering Pharaoh. All of them set free by a benevolent "High Priest," upon the completion and sealing of the Great Pyramid as this wonderfull film ends.
"Land of the Pharaohs" with detailed sets, some showing the intrircate complex pyramid's inner labyrinths, booby traped as so no one can learn this Pyramid secrets; along with these film vast desert vistas which so marvelous fill the screen for you, are all very astonishing to the eye in grandeur.
I srongly recomend this film, particularly if it is now finally been released on an "Anamorphic Widescreen DVD Format" fully restored for color and sound, in order to preserve the aspect ratio of its original grand theatrical exhibition presentation in Cinemascope.
Am sure that the late Henry Luce (Yale alumnus & founder of "Time/Life Inc.") would have felt very proud that this long overdue film, written by William Faulkner, would at last see the light of day once more, for all of us collectors of classic movies to own, therefore on account of all this "Thank you TIME/WARNER."