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The Awakening


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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Susannah York, Jill Townsend, Stephanie Zimbalist
  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0082G8SLC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,054 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Mention Bram Stoker's name, and literature and movie buffs will conjure up Count Dracula. But there was more blood in Stoker's pen. He also wrote The Jewel of the Seven Stars, later filmed with chilling effect as The Awakening, grippingly directed by Mike Newell (Dance with a Stranger, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and sensuously shot on Egyptian locations by veteran cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Charlton Heston stars as an Egyptologist with a passion that will trigger several mysterious deaths. He's obsessed with a sorceress whose return has been prophesied - and whose tomb he opened at the exact moment his daughter was born. Can ancient evil reach forward in time to curse the present? Horror movie fans know the terrifying answer.

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Customer Reviews

Perhaps, like Kara, it might have been better left entombed.
Diotima
If the producers had spent the same energy to simply build the story as written, what a wonderful movie it could have been!
ALEXISK
Many may say that this is not one of Heston's best films, but I love it!
Sayward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Rux on June 13, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Egyptologist Charlton Heston has had a string of bad luck, ever since unearthing evil old Egyptian sorceress queen Tara. His wife died in childbirth, and numerous colleagues associated with the find suffered dreadful accidents. Still, the find made him famous.
Eighteen years later, his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist (in her first film role) is coming into her own, and wanting to travel with dad to Egypt and get to know him better - she's often been away, while Heston was making time with his new wife and former assistant, Susannah York, and conducting his lecture tours. Stephanie's a sweet kid, even if she is suddenly developing problems. Seems she doesn't always know where she's been at night - or what she was doing. In fact, she isn't even sure who she is, anymore, half the time.
Heston is equally afraid he is losing his own appreciable mind. He's coming to recognize that he is the fulfillment of Queen Tara's prophecy for her own resurrection in a later age. As before, those near and dear to him are dying, paving his way to become Tara's new prophet, and Heston is beginning to think the ancient Egyptian magic has more going for it than any of his own modern science. The problem is, it appears his daughter may have to die to fulfill the prophecy...
This movie was one whole star better, before the releasing studio completely reshot its ending. What was a clever conclusion became instead more heavy-handed and far less satisfying, and even somewhat comical. It also occasionally suffers from a bit of heavy-handedness in direction, inadvertently turning some melodramatic moments into humorous ones.
However, the production itself is superior. Maurice Binder did the stylish opening credit sequence. Robert H.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marte on April 14, 2010
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This movie's really, really bad. And I love it. I have pretty well worn out my old VHS tape so it's time to buy the digital version. It's an over-the-top potboiler only distantly related to its alleged source material, Bram Stoker's "Jewel of the Seven Stars." It has lots more in common with the original Boris Karloff mummy movie. Both Charlton Heston and Stephanie Zimbalist chew the scenery with vigor, which makes it all the more fun to watch. Ian McDiarmid, erstwhile Emperor, has a small role.

Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch it. Don't go into it expecting high art. Just settle yourself in for a great stinkbomb of a movie and have a lot of fun.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sunnchilde on November 7, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
"The Awakening" isn't a summer blockbuster; it was never meant to be. This is a story about an archaeologist trying to break ground despite being the 17 millionth person studying ancient Egypt. He is a believer and his passion consumes him. He is also not a perfect man. He is a man of science who's work defines his whole being. This is why I think the audience may have a hard time warming up to him.
I don't like to give details in my reviews. What this story has to offer is a realistic horror film. Even though there are virtually no special effects, we are still drawn in to a world of silent malevolence.
This is not a "slasher" film. There is much weight given to suspicious happenings and ancient curses that frankly, makes this story much more creepy. There is virtually nothing offered in the movie that I couldn't see actually happening. Not that I believe in curses, but you never know, there are things in the universe that you don't want to piss off. Leave them alone, you may live longer.
Some have said that is story is "slow". Yes. It is a drama. It's trying to weave a tale for you that is intelligent, thoughtful and if you're willing sit and be invested in the story, it may scare you more than Freddy Kruger ever could.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Susan Waszak on November 4, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The spirit of a dead, evil Egyptian queen reincarnates as the daughter of an archeologist. "The Awakening" is a tantilizing thrill ride complete with incest, betrayal, and murder. A young Stephanie Zimbalist gives an eerie performance as the young innocent daughter who tries to combat the demon within her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sayward on May 20, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many may say that this is not one of Heston's best films, but I love it! Based on a short story by Bram Stoker, it's a creepy, although predictable, movie. Don't over analyze it. Just pop some popcorn. Grad a cold soda. Dim the lights. And sit back and enjoy this creepy little tale about an E-VILE Queen and her over powering hate and the man (Heston) who is destined to release her on an unsuspecting world. This film should be in the collection of every fan of Charlton Heston. A fun movie to watch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Melton on January 26, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this on TV waaaaayyy back in the day, sometime in 1980. The Awakening had good actors, Charleton Heston, Stephanie Zimbalist, and Susannah York. It has a good plot (good versus evil), interesting possibilities (reincarnation), and great suspense. Of course, I pretty much like all things Egyption!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. I. Shipley on March 31, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
The Awakening was the second adaptation of Bram Stoker's The Jewel of the Seven Stars. Hammer's Blood from the Mummy's Tomb being the first. Many have compared The Awakening unfavourably with the first film, a comparison that I consider to be unfair becauise they are two very different adaptations and both succeed in their own right.

Of the two films, The Awakening has by far the higher production values and benefits from its stunning Egyptian locations.

It also has a superb and eerie music score and has one of my all time favourite credit sequences, showing the Nile and the surrounding scenery. The music to this opening piece is simply sublime and sets the viewer up nicely for the rest of the film.

Charlton Heston plays an archeologist looking for a fabled lost tomb, of a nameless and apparently evil Egyptian queen. Needless to say he uncovers an ancient and vile power which starts to kill off his friends, and to threaten his daughter (played by Stephanie Zimbalist).

The film has a good narrative which is also suspenseful, as the events unfold.

Unfortunately the ending is weak and appears to be rushed. This is a great shame because otherwise the film would have been worthy of five stars. The makers would have done better to stick with a similar ending to Blood from The Mummy's Tomb.

That said, The Awakening remains a very good film and is well worth a look. I own the film on dvd and it is available in Australia on Region 4. Sound is Dolby Digital Mono. Unfortunately the picture transfer is not as good as it could have been and is little better than on vhs.

It would be nice to see a Region 1 or 2 dvd of this film, with a proper transfer and 5.1 sound. Now that really would be something.
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