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THE EGYPTIAN to be shown in December on FMC


Arturo
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I don't remember who has been requesting this movie, or on what post these requests were made. But now that the FMC Website schedule is again being posted (although for now it goes to Dec.9, and seems to not be complete), THE EGYPTIAN is scheduled to be shown TWICE on December 6, on Fox Movie Channel. Assuming it remains on the schedule, I will post the times on the "Upcoming Fox Classics...." thread in the Hot Topics Forum, a couple or so days before.

 

As for TE, it was another early star-studded Cinemascope epic. Featuring among others, Jean Simmons, Gene Tierney, Victor Mature, Bella Darvi, and Edmund Purdom (making his debut I believe), the back story to this is probably more riveting than what's on screen. Originally, Marlon Brando signed on for the lead role. However, he detested the script, and in the end, no amounts of rewrites or cajoling (or threatening) from Darryl Zanuck could convince him to accept it. Edmund Purdom was selected to take over. Brando avoided a lawsuit by agreeing to star in another costume epic, DESIREE, playing Napoleon.

 

Marilyn Monroe desperately wanted to play the Babylonian temptress, Nefer Nefer, but Zanuck chose to overlook her wishes (again), and chose his current temptress, er, mistress, Bella Darvi for the role. Might've been interesting if Monroe had been cast, and Brando played opposite her; there is a publicity still of the two together, he in his Napoleon getup.

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>Edmund Purdom (making his debut I believe)

Off the top of my head, he was in Titanic the year before

 

Fox sued Brando after he rejected the role and as a settlement he agreed to do Desiree. Too bad he was in that chatfest instead of this. And why didn't Fox replace him with their own rising contract star Richard Burton ("I'm the British Marlon Brando" -- RB) ? He would have been much more fun than the rather wooden Purdom.

 

Anyone here read the novel? It's an entertaining tour of ancient Egypt.

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I watched it the other night. Comcast in my area (Cape Cod) features a slate of FXM films under Free Movies By Network and "The Egyptian" is already posted, with about two dozen others. It's in its original ratio, which you can't always count on with Fox, but not HD, so the image is somewhat degraded when you zoom to fit a widescreen TV. (And even then it doesn't fill the screen; there are black borders on all four sides. Maybe that won't be the case when it's broadcast.) You're right that what's onscreen isn't as riveting as it could be, but I sure do love this movie. It's hard to imagine Marilyn in the role (though it couldn't have been any less suitable than "River of No Return"), but I think she and Brando had a brief thing around that time, so maybe her interest coincided with his being attached to the project. Bella Darvi is compelling (or is it just that wig?) in an OMG kind of way. For me the weak spot is Victor Mature. I've never had much of a problem with him in modern dress, but in a toga? Not convinced. Michael Wilding should also get a mention for a role that stradles a complicated line between idealist and weakling. Thanks for your on-going efforts to keep us TCMers up-to-date on the Fox schedule. FMC has a way to go if it wants to be a first class channel (and website), but Fox is sitting on such an amazing stash of films that they should always be on our radar.

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Thank you Arturo! I've been wanting to see this movie again for some time. I was taken to see it as a very small boy and had dreams about it -- something about Peter Ustinov taking a gem out of his eye socket, so that he could pay passage on a ship for himself and a small boy. This film is my favorite epic of all time. The score is great -- by two giants: Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Newman.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a reminder....THE EGYPTIAN may or may not be shown tomorrow on FMC.....the FMC Website has shown inaccuracies in the schedule recently. TE is on schedule for 12/06 twice, at 3:30 am EST (12:30 AM PST), and at 12:30 PM EST (9:30 AM PST). My Directv schedule has it only for the latter showing, and in the last few days, it has been more accurate than the FMC Website schedule.

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>Just a reminder....THE EGYPTIAN may or may not be shown tomorrow on FMC.....the FMC Website has shown inaccuracies in the schedule recently. TE is on schedule for 12/06 twice, at 3:30 am EST (12:30 AM PST), and at 12:30 PM EST (9:30 AM PST). My Directv schedule has it only for the latter showing, and in the last few days, it has been more accurate than the FMC Website schedule.

 

Directv lists DANTE'S INFERNO, 1935, with Spencer Tracy, on FXM at 6 AM Eastern Time tomorrow morning, before THE EGYPTIAN.

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Thanks for the reminder, Arturo! My cable company -- RCN -- has it listed for tomorrow (Friday, December 6) at 12:30 pm EST; also for 3:30 am on Saturday, December 7. If the first one isn't on, I'll set the DVR for the second.

 

Wish I had Fox Movies in HD (does it exist?) I do have Fox News in HD, but who needs that?

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DirecTV has it listed.the same as your system. So the first showing tomorrow morning won't be shown, but the second should be, plus the early morning airing on Saturday.

 

 

And Fred....looks like the amazing DANTE'S INFERNO should be on tomorrow morning.

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It's good to see so much discussion of "The Egyptian." I've always loved this movie, and what a great cast! Someone mentioned the Alfred Newman score. This is by far my favorite movie score. Mr. Newman really outdid himself with this one. I know it's not the greatest movie ever made, but I love it. And no, this was not Edmund Purdom's first movie. He has an unbilled small part in "Titanic." Fortunately, I have a very good DVD of this in my llibrary.

 

Terrence.

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*The Egyptian* is my favorite epic film. Brad Searles, in his massive book Epic: History on the Big Screen, writes: "The Egyptian... is one of the finest of historical spectaculars, combining a production as lavish as any that had come before with a script containing a certain amount of depth and resonance." He also writes: "The Egyptian settings were magnificent and more authentic than most."

 

Btw, the score was by Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann.

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I finally watched the tape I made of this movie last night. I've long heard it was a real "turkey" but nothing could be further from the truth. I was blown away by it from all angles.

 

The music was indeed beautiful. I heard bits of the love them from *The* *Robe* and it did sound more like Alfred Newman than Bernard Herrmann but the colaberation worked. The melodies worked well with the ancient Egyptian settings and each one suited the specific scenes.

 

As for the acting, Edmund Purdom was not wooden as I've heard but believable enough that I found Sinuhe interesting. Peter Ustinov was delightfully funny - this man was Quo Vadis?'s Nero? - and Jean Simmons perfect. Perhaps another actor might have been better than Victor Mature in that department but he had the size and force to pull off Horemheb. Michael Wilding was totally believable as Pharaoh. The only problem I had was with Bella Darvi's Nefer and that was because I couldn't believe that any woman could be so callus an amoral. It was the writing, not her acting.

 

As this is a religious themed story the accuracy of it is open to discussion. I have no idea if such a movement really happened in Egypt at that time or if it paralleled Judism or Christianity as was presented. Are the signs-Sinuhe being left in a floating basket as was Moses, the similarity of the Ankh symbol and the Cross or Sinuhe's exile to an island where he writes his story as John was to Patmos where he wrote his Gospel-meant along with that ending claim that this all occurred 1300 years before Christ to make all the sin and sex more appealing to an audience that was then more church going? Yes, I am a Christian but know that my faith doesn't need to be manipulated in such a way to stand the test of truth. The tenants of mercy and forgiveness were well presented and I enjoyed the film for the most part.

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The Michael Wilding character was probably loosely based on Akhenaten, who instituted a period of monotheism in Egypt. There is a lot of conjecture about his ideas and other monotheistic currents which were swirling around from time to time. Cross-shaped symbols were used throughout the Ancient Near East, long before the time of Jesus.

 

The Egyptian is of course a fiction story based on Mika Waltari's novel, but the historical context is partly based on fact. Another work of interest is the Philip Glass opera, Akhenaten, which explores the period of monotheism in Egypt.

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you once again Arturo! As you know I'd been waiting for The Egyptian for ages, but the last time it was on I didn't realize that I do indeed have Fox Movies in HD, which will be a much better way to watch this 2.55:1 widescreen film!

 

Well -- I just checked. The Fox in HD looks the same for this film as SD. Letterboxed, but not filling up much of the screen. Too bad.

 

Edited by: Swithin on Jan 19, 2014 1:02 PM

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