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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.
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The film itself certainly has its charms, especially photography and star-power, but the plot has such ludicrous moments that it's hard not to groan aloud. For example, if you're on horseback in a vast forest being hunted by a helicopter, do you (a) ride in a different direction, (b) dismount and wait til dark, (c) wait for the chopper to run out of gas, or (d) ride into an open field where you can be shot. This film is a parade of option (d)s. They spent a fortune on everything but rewrites.
There's not much of a story-line but this tale of spies and murder does hold your interest until the end. Its worth watching... wondering if Sophia's character really does like Gregory's character or is she just a bad girl stringing him along.
Writing, acting, direction, music, costumes, and cinematography are all first rate. Chills and thrills that impress even in this day of heightened special effects. Competes well with the early 007 flicks and "Charade." If you like Hitchcock, James Bond, the original Avengers, the Saint, and The Prisoner, you can't miss this one. Filmed at the height of London Mod.
Sophia Loren is ravishing. The villain is witty and ruthless. All in all, a worthy addition to one's video collection.