Arabesque (1966)

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Arabesque (1966) Poster

Story of international intrigue involving a university professor, an Arab prime minister, a ruthless businessman, a beautiful spy, and hieroglyphics.


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12 May 2007 | winner55
| carried by Peck and Loren
Sometimes it's difficult to say why one likes a film.

Undoubtedly, what is most memorable about this film is Sofia Loren (as with any of her films). She remains beautiful and charming regardless of the script's worth Admittedly, the script isn't worth much; Peck's character is given all these imitation-Bond one-liners that are like listening to a relative speak only in bad puns, as some of my relatives do. The plot is only fair, and some of the plot-twists absurd. The film is over-long and wallows in its own cleverness. Undoubtedly, some of the visuals in this film are just experiments in '60s psychedelic 'hip' - occasionally confusing, utterly annoying.

But the film gets carried by Peck, hammy but companionable, and Ms. Loren. It's definitely entertaining, and more than one scene may stick with you for some years - although I find it difficult to say just why. My suspicion is that the glittery surface of the film, which is very light, is used to make palatable realities that are very dark - like the drowning of the killer in the aquarium. Ultimately the film feeds on the ambivalence of the audience, because in part it generates this ambivalence intentionally.

Hardly a great film, in some ways a bad film, but worth a couple hours entertainment.

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