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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 21 April 2014
I brought this for my mum as its one of her favourite films (and mine ) was pleased with the speed it arrived had no problems with it and great quality
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on 2 August 2016
A lot of bit-part actors with the exception of Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. Bought the film because I was aware of the title, but had never seen the film. The acting and dialogue is awful. Don't buy it unless you want to laugh at some of the action, acting and dialogue!
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on 30 January 2017
superb
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on 2 March 2017
Good
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on 22 October 2010
From the director of Charade (with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant) and Indiscret (with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman) this film is funny as much as the two others and with two superstars again as the two others. I had missed it when it came up in cinemas about 45 years ago and could catch it in DVD two, three days ago. Do we realize how lucky we are? with just a small disc and with a small price we get 2 hours of fun.
In some ways this film reminds me some of James Bond films in which some mysterious exotic political affairs were involved.
Charade [1963] [DVD]Indiscreet [DVD] [1958]My Fair Lady (Special Edition) [DVD] [1964]Breakfast At Tiffany's (Special Edition) [DVD] [1961]Man Of La Mancha [DVD] [1972]Designing Woman [1957] ~ Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Gray, and Sam Levene (DVD - 2002)
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Arabesque is directed by Stanley Donen and collectively adapted by Julian Mitchell, Stanley Price and Pierre Marton from Gordon Cotler's novel The Cypher. It stars Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren, Alan Badel, John Merivale and Harold Kasket. A Panavision/Technicolor production with music by Henry Mancini and cinematography by Christopher Challis.

Hieroglyphics expert David Pollock (Peck) is thrust into a world of shifty political intrigue involving a Middle Eastern Prime Minister, a beautiful spy and a sinister rich businessman.

There's quite a bit wrong with Arabesque, with white actors made up as Arabs, a scatter-gun plot, weak finale, a barely threatening villain and Peck is no action hero! Yet if you can just run with it, to enjoy being in the company of the stars? Then there's fun to be had here.

Part comedy, part thriller mystery, Arabesque zips along at a decent clip and Donen inserts memorable scenes along the way. From a wonderful shower sequence to chase me perils at a Zoo and a building site, there's truly a great will of spirit involved in the production. Donen also at times chooses to shoot the movie through a kaleidoscopic prism, and uses canted angles to accentuate David Pollock's confusion. These are nice touches, as is Mancini's Eastern flavoured musical arrangement.

Peck may be no action hero type actor but his sense of fun here, and his all round classy charm, makes it very easy to root for him. Loren looks fabulous, a real sex-bomb pouting away with a glint in her eye. Not all of the Christian Dior costumes suit her character, but Loren, herself seemingly having a great old time of it, comes through the picture with flying colours. Elsewhere the performances are merely adequate, with Badel's villain coming off like a weak Peter Sellers clone!

So a mixed bag for sure and the shadow of Donen's wonderful Charade three years earlier looms large at times, but it's an enjoyable enough ride while it lasts. 7/10
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on 29 April 2006
Why it has taken so long for us to get this brilliantly entertaining movie on DVD is a mystery.

That the movie, essentially a typical 60s piece of fluff in the Charade vein, succeeds so well is due in no small part to director Stanley Donen's concept for clever and adroit staging enhanced by some of the very best repartee and cinematography of that period and Henry Mancini underlines it all with yet another of his witty soundtracks.

Gregory Peck, never renouned for comedy work here rises superbly to the challenge - he needed to as he is pitted opposite two of the best in the business.

Alan Badel is on top form as the suave cynical villain - no surprise there then.

However the main honours go to the comedy talent and timing skills of the gorgeous Sophia Loren - never has she looked more stunning and rarely has she had the opportunity to give such a top notch performance. Her acting and well deserved Oscar for Two Women pale into insignificance when measured against her star turn in Arabesque.
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An arabesque is an artistic motif with repeating forms and patterns. It seems like the ideal title for the movie "Arabesque," a fun if repetitive little thriller about a professor thrown into international intrigue. The middle of this movie is light on plot, but there's plenty of action, romance, large machines, and a rather surprising twist at the end.

At the behest of an Arab prime minister, Prof. David Pollock (Gregory Peck) is sent to spy on a corrupt businessman named Beshraavi (Alan Badel). Beshraavi needs a mysterious cipher decoded, and he keeps David a prisoner while he works on it. What's more, he plans to kill the professor once he's done.

But David is able to escape with the help of Beshraavi's mistress, Yazmin (Sophia Loren) -- who turns out to have a secret agenda of her own. Now the professor must weave his way through enemies at every turn, along with the mystery woman he can't quite bring himself to trust. And if he doesn't decode the cipher in time, the entire world could be in jeopardy.

"Arabesque" is a movie that doesn't know what to do with its middle section -- it starts off strong, spends a long time spinning its wheels, only to rise up and blossom again in the last twenty minutes. But if "Arabesque" is not a strong political thriller, it's certainly an enjoyable popcorn movie.

The middle section of it isn't bad, just repetitive: scrabble for cipher, fight, follow, rinse, repeat. And they put in some... interesting padding to spice it up, such as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment where a doped-up Peck meanders down a freeway, playing "matador" with the cars. That was a WEIRD scene.

So what does it have that's good? Director Stanley Donen packs the movie with some pretty strong action scenes (wrecking ball, aquariums, a THRESHER!), some mild comic relief, and a brilliant double-twist in the last twenty minutes. And since this came right after Donen's Charade, we have some mildly witty banter and dialogue ("Let us through! That man's about to be killed!" "I hardly think so, sir. This is ENGLAND!").

Peck and Loren have a fair amount of chemistry, and their characters are likable and pretty clever. Loren plays up her charming sex appeal to the absolute max, and Peck plays David with the right mixture of competence and naivete. And Badel is absolutely spine-chilling as a calm, cool killer who never gets ruffled by anything, even as he prepares to shoot you in the head.

The only problem is that I never entirely bought Peck and Loren's performances -- Peck is a bit too hard-edged for an academic nerd, and Loren's accent is this insane Italo-Anglo-Arab mutation that dies halfway through the movie.

"Arabesque" has some flaws, but it's a fun little thriller with plenty of action, romance and some killer plot twists. Have plenty of popcorn ready before watching it.
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on 18 May 2011
Arabesque, is a 1966 thriller starring Gregory Peck and the beautiful Sophia Loren. The Plot revolves around Professor David Pollock (Peck) an expert in ancient hieroglyphics at Oxford University and Yasmin Azir (Loren) who is a realy mystery lady intertwined into the plot.

Pollock needs her help to try and prevent an assassination taking place, but when she repeatedly seems to double cross him, he doesn't know if he can trust her.

The music is by the great Henry Mancini and Loren looks stunningly beautiful in costumes created for her by Marc Bohan who at the time was designing the Christian Dior Haute Couture collections.
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on 24 February 2001
I saw this Stanley Donen's treasure when I was just 16years old-in b/w television, and since I'v been real fan of La Loren. Now I'v got this movie to my own liberary and it's outstanding! VHS-tape is very good-and the film itself: one of the most entertaining thriller/comedy of all-time! Loren and Peck has their own rhytm of comedy-and hole story has filmed in fine artistic way.Sophia Loren can just stand in the shower, and she can express all emotions in one look. Acting, story, colour and music have been put forth exiting and beautiful movie-you can just love it!!
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