The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Comic Critic Reviews "The Egyptian"

During World War II, a Finnish writer by the name of Mika Waltari explored an ancient Egyptian text known as the Story of Sihuhe. Waltari’s goal was to create a narrative so thoroughly researched that it would entertain not only a casual reader but also bring a smile to the lips of Egyptologists. The book “Sinuhe egyptiläinen” was published in 1945. The book became very popular and was printed in English in 1949 under a simpler title, “The Egyptian.” Its tale of the hero’s disillusionment and war-weariness impressed readers who had just endured a world war. 20th Century-Fox thought The Egyptian perfect for CinemaScope. Never to let a good  thing go to waste, another studio, Paramount, would reuse The Egyptian’s wardrobe, props and sets two years later for The Ten Commandments. And, as was often the case in the studio era, some of the actors and extras appeared in both movies. Also, two well-known studio composers shared the workload to create the score for the soundtrack. The Egyptian fared well at the box office. And was nominated for an Academy Award for its cinematography. While it didn’t win an Oscar, Bella Darvi did receive a New Star of the Year - Actress award at the Golden Globes for her portrayal of Nefer, the seductive Babylonian courtesan. I always loved watching The Egyptian. I saw it regularly on television when I was growing up. And it was in our family’s collection of books, where I discovered a copy of the novel that inspired the movie. I was overjoyed to read a lavishly expanded version of the story where I envisioned Victor Mature, Peter Ustinov and others in their designated roles. When I discovered the musical score was available digitally, it didn’t take me long to find my wallet. It’s hard to explain why The Egyptian captivates me so much, why I’m such a fan. I’ve been rattling off trivia about the film, but not going into the story. I guess the same chord that struck readers in 40 countries through the novel and millions via the box office struck me, too.


Tudza White said...

So do you have a copy of this movie in some format? Only thing I could find was no-use region issues.

I'm going to see if I can get my computer to play one of these I just ordered from Amazon.

Mark Monlux said...

I don't have a copy. I've seen this film so many times, plus reading the book, that I had no problem drawing the review from memory. Let me know how your purchase from Amazon works out. I have been trying to keep away from movies that have licensing issues. There's a whole slew of them that came out on VHS which since gone into ownership dispute and thus have not surfaced again on DVD. Like "The Keep" or "Meet the Applegates" or one I'd really like to do "Ben."

Tudza White said...

One of the choices was "Chinese sub-titles which cannot be removed." May be true, but I thought it was odd given the artwork featured Korean.

It's like the only version of Incubus you can find has titles *right in the middle of the screen* Although they have the excuse that this is the only complete version they could find.

Used to be able to play region 2. Even had a non-region DVD player, but that's gone away somewhere. Let you know.