• Arabesque
    1 minutes 23 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008


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Arabesque Reviews

Page 1 of 4

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
Do we ever figure out why the "bad guys" want to know what the hieroglyphics mean? I can't recall, and I don't think I understood this movie when I saw it. Maybe I need to watch it again, but this movie is really confusing, and boring at times. You'd think that Peck and Loren would bring some life to it, and I think they try, but the movie just isn't that good.

Super Reviewer

May 20, 2009
Fun mystery thriller. Sophia looks incredible as are her clothes. She and Gregory Peck have a good chemistry. Most enjoyable.

Super Reviewer

March 8, 2008
What a screen gem from the 1960's with Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck.

Both of these actors play in this mystery taking place in the UK. Fortune and information is what all people are vying for from an ancient script that one professor (Peck) can translate. No one can be trusted. Sophia is a spy that has a brutal killer in her home and keeps her on her toes....she always manages to look fantastic!!!

Super Reviewer

March 2, 2013
Frivolous espionage yarn, a charade of a Charade with a goofy Gregory Peck and sumptuous Sophia Loren; not the worst trade for Grant & Hepburn at all, in fact. Some ridiculous plot points rescued partly by some nimble allegiance twists. Who had these daffy ideas of putting lives in jeopardy via a wrecking ball and threshing machine??
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2008
Very Hitchcock.
November 14, 2013
Peck and Loren made this movie worth the watch. Overall the story wasn't that spectacular, but these are two attractive people with plenty of talent that you have to watch.
November 23, 2011
Ok once it gets going but the who is who seems so twisted that you actually get lost and don't care about the plot anymore.
June 28, 2014
Arabesque is an excellent film. It is about the story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics. Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren given amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. Stanley Donen did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and adventure. Arabesque is a must see.
March 25, 2014
Cold -war espianoge thriller that comes oh-so-close to succeeding. The nece twist here is that it is Britain vs Arabia, not the USSR. An American professor teams with an Arabic woman. A bit like Indiscreet or Charade, this film is worth seeing if only for the shower scene!
February 22, 2014
Convoluted, sixties stylized low grade Hitchcock thriller with too many twist and turns entertaining for no other reason than watching its stars Peck and Loren perform. Donen did better a few years earlier in CHARADE with this type of material.
March 5, 2013
Arabesque isn't in the same level of Charade (Stanley Donen earlier movie), but it's quite interesting and entertaining, especially for Gregory Peck's comedy turn.
December 27, 2011
I Don't Think Any of Them Know What's Going On, Either

It's quite obvious that this is intended to be the followup to [i]Charade[/i]; heck, Stanley Donan even cast Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn's first costar, when Cary Grant fell through. Even though you wouldn't know it just to look at the two stories on paper, the plots do have a lot in common. The jokes have a great deal in common as well, and the visual styling is that desperate attempt at modernity so common of movies of this vintage. Which, coincidentally, is probably the thing I like least about [i]Charade[/i]. I would say Donan's attempt to cash in on that first movie's success is probably the thing I like least about this one, though it's got a lot of competition. This is simply a much inferior movie, and probably the biggest problem with the [i]Charade[/i] feel is that it constantly reminds you of a better one, which is a fatal flaw for better films than this.

Here, Gregory Peck is stuffy Oxford professor David Pollock, an American abroad. One day, he is asked to translate an inscription on a scrap of paper for a very rich Arab of uncertain nationality called Beshraavi (Alan Badel). He declines, not being fond of what he knows about Beshraavi. He is then picked up by the prime minister and ambassador of that mystery country, I missed their names, and told that it is important to them that the inscription be translated. So he agrees to do it, and while at Beshraavi's, he meets Beshraavi's girlfriend, the lovely Yasmin Azir (Sophia Loren). Things end up getting so complicated for everyone that I'm not sure who half the cast was or was working for. Somehow, David got framed for murder, and Yasmin manages to keep her own name while going through more changes of allegiance than Cary Grant did during [i]Charade[/i]. And eventually, it turns out she's not the only one and that the plot, such as it is, is even more complicated than we thought.

It becomes obvious that the role wasn't written with Gregory Peck in mind. Not as obvious as some other miscast movies, but this was intended to be a movie about a man with wit and [i]savoir faire[/i]. Gregory Peck does sometimes exude a certain dry humour, but he had nothing on Cary Grant and knew it. In fact, he apparently even told everyone concerned that the lines might not come across as funny aw written. After all, he wasn't a comedian. And it is probably true that the movie would have been funnier with Cary Grant involved. On the other hand, I think the failings are more than Grant could have solved. It would have been somewhat more believable that Sophia Loren swooned over him right away, given that I'm pretty sure she really did, but the plot wouldn't have worked any better overall, and the lines which fell flat could only have been saved so much by funnier reading. Besides, that would logically only help his own delivery, given I didn't think he had bad chemistry with the cast, the only other thing which would have been improved by a single replacement.

Honestly, I find the title quite appropriate. The movie isn't Arabian; it's Arab-ish. None of the actors have any Arabic ancestry. There's nothing approaching a real discussion of the problems at hand beyond a couple of lines at the end discussing the fact that the people of Wherever It Is have oil, not water, and cannot drink oil. I realize, of course, that "arabesque" doesn't mean "Arab-ish," but it feels as though it should. There is essentially nothing in the entire story which couldn't work if the characters were from practically anywhere else in the world. The region just needs to be politically unstable, and that could be just about anywhere. Of course, it wouldn't be most places simply because it was less likely for Gregory Peck to end up with, say, Ruby Dee than Sophia Loren. But anywhere you can have the female lead be only borderline ethnic, because the location doesn't matter to the plot.

It's true that the story only kind of matters in [i]Charade[/i], because what you are really doing is watching Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn fall in love. However, attention is still paid to it for all that. The threats feel real, and while the characters are only borderline believable, they're believable enough so that you can really get involved in the dangers they're facing. And while what we think we know turns out not to be true half the time, that's by design and works. In this, it kind of feels as though everyone changed their mind and is running off in a different direction instead. And since the chemistry between Loren and Peck never quite meshes, we don't even get the joy of discovery that fills [i]Charade[/i]. On the one hand, I don't think it's fair to keep comparing the two movies; each movie should stand or fall on its own merits. On the other, the movie really wants you to make the comparisons, which means it only has itself to blame when that doesn't end well for it.
November 30, 2011
Peck's character is too much of a bumbling fool and the chemistry between the two leads seems forced and not credible. It's exciting and interesting at times.
August 18, 2011
I gotta say, I was not expecting to like "Arabesque", really at all. I adored "Charade", which was also done by Stanley Donen. Reading the reviews here, I was worried this would just be a carbon copy, but thank god it wasn't. "Arabesque" is stylish, "ultra mod", chic, and witty, which it does definitely have in common with "Charade". But there was something it has that "Charade" doesn't-- suspense and action. OK, it has some, but this is chocked full of it, and does not waste time on jokes. Modern is what ultra mod means, and seeing this, it is very obvious why that theme was so popular in the late '60's. Now that the Hays Code was long gone, movies could now have foul language and sex, and while I was expecting something more in that range, that's not what happened at all. This is in fact, a scenic, quick thriller that is smart and entertaining throughout. Donen makes the most of everything and brings out color and landscape, and makes use of great cinematography. Be on the lookout for some strange shots-- a lot of the film is seen through mirrors, doors, and even showers, which sounds odd, but is actually quite a sight. The highlight of "Arabesque" however, is its two stars, Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. They were already Hollywood royalty, both winning Oscar's a year apart, yet they still had not made a film together. I think this was the perfect movie for them to be in. Loren has here Italian charms, thus plays an exotic, sexy spy. Peck has always been the likeable guy, and here he's a college professor thrown into a labyrinth of crime. Even with their very different characters, they have terrific chemistry and are the perfect sidekicks to one another, creating a James Bond like persona. I really like them in here, and make the snappy dialogue there very own. I love when great actors get together! It's magic! "Arabesque" might be campy, and even cheesy, but heck, it is NOT "Charade" and proves to be one heck of a wild ride. Recommended.
January 25, 2011
a plot that doesn't come across many screens, with a twist after a twist after twist, definitely a film worth watching
January 22, 2007
All I could say about Casablanca has already been said. Its just as good as it can be. Buckaroo is totally off the wall and weird. Office Space is pretty funny. Arabesques's only hook is Sophia Loren in her prime.
September 1, 2005
[u]Arabesque[/u] is a Bond-style mystery and action romp created by Hitchcock for a wide audience - mimicking some of the humour and styles popular in other films at the time. It is a fun and delightful film - boy tries to break Egyptian code, boy meets girl, boy is confused by girl and romance is complicated, boy is threatened, and boy tries to save Egyptian leader from assassians. This film is packed with action and humour, and after several amusing sidetracks and incidents, everything miraculously falls into place. Some of the more amusing and thrilling scenes include the London Zoo chase, the royal guard scene, and the 'drunken' scene (done equally well in [u]North By Northwest[/u]). This film is worth a watch, and even those of you who dislike old films will probably enjoy this one.
March 23, 2005
When will Universal EVER release "Arabesque" on DVD? I found a couple of copies from dubious sources for big money.:mad:
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