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Arabesque


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren
  • Directors: Stanley Donen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004I1K066
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,629 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Enter the world of Arabesque – a high-speed, high-class tale of international intrigue starring Academy Award winners Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. In this exciting romantic thriller, an American hieroglyphics professor (Peck) is hired by a mysterious Arab oil magnate to decipher a secret message. When the hidden meaning is revealed, the chase is on as he and the oil magnate’s exotic yet unpredictable companion (Loren) find themselves caught in the middle of an assassination plot. Produced and directed by Stanley Donen (Charade) and filled with the stylish music of Henry Mancini, Arabesque is an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.

Customer Reviews

If you love Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren.....ditto.
dayoB52
Having said that, I would say to those who like action and suspense, you probably would enjoy this movie, though I believe it falls short of being outstanding.
Robert B. Prather
One of those great old movies that has a great plot and story.
Kenneth E. Armstrong

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Dorian Tenore-Bartilucci on January 6, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Another fab Universal romantic thriller in the grand CHARADE tradition, including some of the same personnel! If director Stanley Donen's classic 1963 comedy-thriller CHARADE is Hitchcock Lite, then ARABESQUE is Hitchcock Lite after taking a few classes in James Bond 101 (including an opening title sequence by Maurice Binder, who also did the honors for CHARADE as well as for most of the Bond movies). As the hieroglyphics expert embroiled in Middle Eastern intrigue while decoding the cipher everyone's after, Gregory Peck's usual woodenness is oddly effective as he tries to deliver Cary Grant-like witticisms (from co-scripter `Pierre Marton,' a.k.a. the late, great CHARADE alumnus Peter Stone). Peck may not be Mr. Glib, but he seems so delighted to get an opportunity to deliver bon mots after all his serious roles that he's downright endearing, like a child trying out new words for the first time. Co-star Sophia Loren, at her most alluring as an Arab femme fatale, can make any guy look suave and sexy! Christopher Challis's dazzling, inventive cinematography won the BAFTA (the British equivalent of the Oscars), and Christian Dior got a BAFTA nomination for Loren's elegant costumes. Suspenseful and sparkling as this twist-filled adventure is, ARABESQUE's biggest mystery is why it's still only available in VHS format. If this gem ever gets deluxe treatment as a DVD (including letterboxing, please!), I sure hope they get Donen to do the kind of entertaining, informative commentary he did with Stone for Criterion's CHARADE DVD -- perhaps they could even get Loren to put in her two cents!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Richard Brooks on August 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Director Stanley Donen tried valiantly to capture the magic of "Charade" with this first-rate pairing of Peck & Loren, and very nearly suceeded. Peck's in fine form and Sophia has never, for my money, looked so beautiful (she even does a semi-nude shower scene). Things move along swiftly and the film is chocked full of wonderful moments. There's a memorable Mancini score, too. However, the fine wide-screen cinematography is lost on this pan & scan version (the film was shot with zero regard for television viewing). Let's hope the folks at Universal realize the value of this gem and release it on DVD.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Zack H. on January 16, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
and yet, this SUPERB film isn't on DVD! ARGH!!!!
David Pollock (Gregory Peck) is an expert in ancient Arabic hieroglyphics. A Middle Eastern Prime Minister convinces Pollock to infiltrate the organization of a man named Beshraavi (Alan Badel), who is involved in a plot against the Prime Minister. The nature of the plot is believed to be found in a hieroglyphic code. Beshraavi's mistress, Yasmin Azir (Sophia Loren) is a mystery intertwined in the plot. Pollock needs her help, but when she repeatedly seems to double cross him in one escapade after another, he can't decide on whose side she is working. Ultimately working together, Pollock and Yasmin decipher the plot and set out to stop an assassination of the Prime Minister.

[...]
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
It is a long time since I have seen this movie but I remember much of it from over 20 years ago. That in itself says a lot about how good some things are. Arabesque is wonderful. Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren work wonderfully well together - their chemistry of a couple caught up in intrigue beyond their initial imaginings is fascinating.
It is beautifully shot in rainy London streets, and out in the glorious summer countrywide. The vividness of the colours remains memorable - her red Mercedes, some of her clothes, the rich colours of the countryside.
I am reminded of the tension and anxiety of the driving scenes in Taxi Driver. Scorsese's photographer did an excellent job of creating a sense of madness and isolation for Robert de Niro.
In Arabesque, Sophia Loren is neither mad nor isolated, but she searches anxiously in her car through busy London streets in the rain trying to catch up with Gregory Peck.
The danger of the scenes in the fields with his pursuers in the air gives Peck and the photographers the chance to film some wonderfully suspenseful footage not dissimilar to chase scenes in North By Northwest.
The title itself is intrigueing and so is the movie. I long to see it again and others like it made in the 50's and 60's.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Kaczmarek on January 8, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Though not as strong as Stanley Donen's earlier Hitchcockian pastiche, "Charade," "Arabesque" has enough going for it to merit repeat viewings--and release some day on DVD! Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren prove that true movie stars can overcome sometimes plodding pacing and creaky scripts to make two imperfect cinematic hours enjoyable. Here, Peck endures threats, chases, doublecrosses, and blows to the head with Cary Grant-ish aplomb (no surprise, as the script was originally written with him in mind). He's matched ably by Sophia Loren, who in addition to looking absolutely gorgeous, seems genuinely to be having fun. The plot involves Peck, an Oxford professor and cipher expert, being pulled into spy goings-on between Middle Eastern factions in England. Like "Charade," it's unclear until the end who is really working for whom, but that really isn't important anyway, as the script is often needlessly murky and sometimes too dry for what is essentially a light comedy-thriller. Alan Badel, though, is terrific as the Cobra-like villain, and the production is sumptuous, from Maurice Binder's stunning opening and closing sequences to Henry Mancini's suitably menacing but energentic score. Special recognition is deserved for the cinematography and Donen's direction, which in addition to being sparklingly beautiful, often reflect inventive photographic choices. Though "Arabesque" generally flies under the radar of today's moviegoers, fans of "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" might want to watch this film's assassination sequence, which to me bears remarkable, um, similarity to the one in the sci-fi flick.
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