Tuesday, February 05, 2013


In 1900, Eleanor Parker has come to Cairo; her late father, an archeologist, had spent much of his professional life trying to find artifacts that would confirm Old Testament stories, especially those of Joseph in Egypt, and she's looking to finish his work. Robert Taylor, leading his own digs in the desert, agrees to help her. If they can find evidence in the tombs that the pharaoh Ra-Ho-Tep was monotheistic, it would bolster her father's reputation. Parker's new husband (Carlos Thompson) is along for the ride, though Taylor is suspicious of him—partly because he's falling for Parker himself. They discover clay tablets in the catacombs beneath a monastery in the Sinai which lead them to the Valley of the Kings and Ra-Ho-Tep's tomb. Along the way, Taylor and Parker have to deal with tomb-robbers, and it turns out that Thompson is in league with them—they get the artifacts and he smuggles them out of the country. The main appeal of this film is that it was shot it on location in Egypt, and the views are indeed quite nice. The plot is slow to develop and Taylor is not the most compelling lead, though it's fun to see Parker, whom I always think of as the mean Baroness in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, as a leading lady. I'd never heard of Thompson—he's actually more interesting than Taylor. Kurt Kasznar and Leon Askin make effective bad guys. Overall, it's a little on the boring side, but the landscapes might keep you awake. [TCM]

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