Reviews

  • Sep 07, 2021

    Based on Ale Gordon's The Cypher, this movie nearly didn't have Gregory Peck in it. Cary Grant had just starred in another Hitchcockian film by the same director — Stanley Donen's Charade — but he retired from the screen. Dohen wasn't sure about the film, but the idea of this movie proved to be too good to pass up as he remembered in the book Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and His Movies: "[Grant] didn't want to be in it…It wasn't a good script and I didn't want to make it, but Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren, whom I loved, wanted to be in it and the studio implored me to make it, because, they said, ‘It's ridiculous not to make a film with Peck and Sophia.' They said it would make money, and they were right." To keep himself interested in the film, Donen tried to constantly keep the camera moving, giving this movie a handheld feel. It works really well and keeps things from getting too staid. Peck plays Professor David Pollock, an American hieroglyphics professor who is hired to uncode a secret message. Once the answer is found, he's marked for death by an oil magnate and finds himself falling for the evil boss' gorgeous lover, Yasmin Azir (Loren). So yes, the director Singin' in the Rain (and Kiss Them for Me, Funny Face, Bedazzled and, oh yes, Saturn 3) ended up making a Eurospy. The Kino Lorber blu ray of this movie comes complete with commentary by Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson, a feature on Henry Mancini, three different trailers, five TV commercials and an image gallery.

    Based on Ale Gordon's The Cypher, this movie nearly didn't have Gregory Peck in it. Cary Grant had just starred in another Hitchcockian film by the same director — Stanley Donen's Charade — but he retired from the screen. Dohen wasn't sure about the film, but the idea of this movie proved to be too good to pass up as he remembered in the book Dancing on the Ceiling: Stanley Donen and His Movies: "[Grant] didn't want to be in it…It wasn't a good script and I didn't want to make it, but Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren, whom I loved, wanted to be in it and the studio implored me to make it, because, they said, ‘It's ridiculous not to make a film with Peck and Sophia.' They said it would make money, and they were right." To keep himself interested in the film, Donen tried to constantly keep the camera moving, giving this movie a handheld feel. It works really well and keeps things from getting too staid. Peck plays Professor David Pollock, an American hieroglyphics professor who is hired to uncode a secret message. Once the answer is found, he's marked for death by an oil magnate and finds himself falling for the evil boss' gorgeous lover, Yasmin Azir (Loren). So yes, the director Singin' in the Rain (and Kiss Them for Me, Funny Face, Bedazzled and, oh yes, Saturn 3) ended up making a Eurospy. The Kino Lorber blu ray of this movie comes complete with commentary by Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson, a feature on Henry Mancini, three different trailers, five TV commercials and an image gallery.

  • May 11, 2021

    Sophia Loren dressed in Christian Dior clothes throughout, in every scene. She's always been at her best, no matter the film, and this one shows her off as undoubtedly the sexiest woman there has ever been.

    Sophia Loren dressed in Christian Dior clothes throughout, in every scene. She's always been at her best, no matter the film, and this one shows her off as undoubtedly the sexiest woman there has ever been.

  • Apr 25, 2021

    Gregory Peck in a light-hearted spy-thriller? Okay. Legend has it Arabesque was set more for Cary Grant (following the success of Charade), and Gregory Peck is stepping into those shoes. He does so pretty well. Sophia Loren is quite interesting. I think she might be more Angelina Jolie today. Alan Badel has a certain Peter Sellers quality. It's quite the enjoyable romp.

    Gregory Peck in a light-hearted spy-thriller? Okay. Legend has it Arabesque was set more for Cary Grant (following the success of Charade), and Gregory Peck is stepping into those shoes. He does so pretty well. Sophia Loren is quite interesting. I think she might be more Angelina Jolie today. Alan Badel has a certain Peter Sellers quality. It's quite the enjoyable romp.

  • Apr 24, 2021

    Loren, "I'm a spy!". Peck, "Why didn't you tell me?" Loren, "You'd never have believed me!" She's right, NO ONE would! Anyway, never mind the script, the story, whatever you want to call it. This film is about Sophia Loren's face and legs with titillating shots of her showering (with a clothed Gregory Peck), or shots of her upper thighs while she gets 'dressed'. (Why does she put on high heels then high-heeled leather boots on top of the shoes? Is it so she can lift her lacy nightie higher and higher? Well, yes.) She IS gorgeous, pantyhose be damned. Peck ain't so bad. You'd probably enjoy this more with the sound off. An okay example of 1960s B-Movies. And panty lines.

    Loren, "I'm a spy!". Peck, "Why didn't you tell me?" Loren, "You'd never have believed me!" She's right, NO ONE would! Anyway, never mind the script, the story, whatever you want to call it. This film is about Sophia Loren's face and legs with titillating shots of her showering (with a clothed Gregory Peck), or shots of her upper thighs while she gets 'dressed'. (Why does she put on high heels then high-heeled leather boots on top of the shoes? Is it so she can lift her lacy nightie higher and higher? Well, yes.) She IS gorgeous, pantyhose be damned. Peck ain't so bad. You'd probably enjoy this more with the sound off. An okay example of 1960s B-Movies. And panty lines.

  • Oct 27, 2020

    Typical Mid-60's spy 'Bond' knockoff. Unusual to see such highly regarded Oscar winners Peck and Loren in such a movie. Mildly entertaining and Loren is as lovely as always.

    Typical Mid-60's spy 'Bond' knockoff. Unusual to see such highly regarded Oscar winners Peck and Loren in such a movie. Mildly entertaining and Loren is as lovely as always.

  • Sep 11, 2020

    A rather clever spy thriller, with lots of back-stabbing, double-agents and interesting action sequences. The plot is convoluted, as a good suspenseful spy movie should be, but also followable if you are willing to pay attention. Gregory Peck's transformation from mild mannered professor to suave spy is a bit unbelievable, and of course he has to hook up with Sophia Loren because, it's Hollywood. There are some scenes where the attempt to build tension fails (like the long zoo scene) which makes the long run time unnecessary.

    A rather clever spy thriller, with lots of back-stabbing, double-agents and interesting action sequences. The plot is convoluted, as a good suspenseful spy movie should be, but also followable if you are willing to pay attention. Gregory Peck's transformation from mild mannered professor to suave spy is a bit unbelievable, and of course he has to hook up with Sophia Loren because, it's Hollywood. There are some scenes where the attempt to build tension fails (like the long zoo scene) which makes the long run time unnecessary.

  • Aug 03, 2020

    Not good, despite all the big names. 5.5/10

    Not good, despite all the big names. 5.5/10

  • Jul 08, 2020

    Mysterious and flashy, but messy.

    Mysterious and flashy, but messy.

  • Jun 28, 2017

    So much fun offered even much better than a post 1900 comedies. You can not predict anything as the movie flots with the time with a change in every second. Suffice to say : Brilliant movie in it;s all rights.

    So much fun offered even much better than a post 1900 comedies. You can not predict anything as the movie flots with the time with a change in every second. Suffice to say : Brilliant movie in it;s all rights.

  • Apr 07, 2017

    Kind of a screwball & campy '60's quasi-spy genre romp with a deciphering nod to "The Da Vinci Code" to come, minus the catholocism. Not really Sanley Donen's fare, it's light & goofy and, like an amusement park ride, kinda fun going nowhere!

    Kind of a screwball & campy '60's quasi-spy genre romp with a deciphering nod to "The Da Vinci Code" to come, minus the catholocism. Not really Sanley Donen's fare, it's light & goofy and, like an amusement park ride, kinda fun going nowhere!