Starring Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel, Carl Duering, Kieron Moore, John Merivale, Duncan Lamont
Entertaining. Vibrant. Superficial.
David Pollock: Let us through! That man’s about to be killed!
Policeman: I hardly think so, sir. This is England!
Written with Cary Grant in mind to star, Stanley Donen (the director), himself, admitted to the script not being very good, “Our only hope is to make it so visually exciting the audience will never have time to work out what the hell is going on.” I think his comments are spot on and I guess, with that in mind, he succeeded. Arabesque, off the heels of Donen’s Charade (which had a phenomenal script), is convoluted rather than clever, exciting rather than romantic. As far as I could work out, Peck plays a professor, David Pollock, asked to spy on a nefarious middle-eastern tycoon, Nejim Beshraavi (Badel), who wants him to crack a code. David gets tangled up with Beshraavi’s mistress, Yasmin (Loren), who is hard to trust but even harder to ignore. Arabesque is solid light entertainment but far from essential.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-