14 – 17, 2000

In the Land of the Pharoahs: Ancient Evenings at the Egyptian


Series Compiled by Dennis Bartok.

Special Thanks to: Cathye Clark/PARAMOUNT REPERTORY; Marc Bovee/20TH CENTURY FOX; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Peter Langs; Brian Claussen/SWANK MOTION PICTURES; Rick Mitchell.








The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in November, 1922 set off a wave of Egypt-mania that continues to this day. Ironically, in a feat of incredible foresight (or coincidence), Sid Grauman opened our own Egyptian Theatre a month before the discovery of Tut’s treasure- !

Ancient Egypt has always been a fertile ground for filmmakers from Cecil B. de Mille to Steven Spielberg, combining images of grand and ageless splendor with a deliriously ripe sense of exoticism and kitsch. As we approach the 2nd Anniversary of the Cinematheque’s re-opening of the Egyptian Theatre, we’re taking the opportunity to revisit some of the most spectacular visions of this ancient empire, in one of Hollywood’s most glorious temples.

Thursday, September 14 – 7:00 PM


Charlton Heston In-Person with Actresses Lisa Mitchell & Joyce Vanderveen (introduction to screening.)

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, 1956, Paramount, 219 min. "Let his name be stricken from every pillar and obelisk!," orders imperious pharoah Yul Brynner, as favored son-turned-religious rebel Charlton Heston prepares to lead his people from bondage in Egypt. Cecil B. De Mille’s glorious remake of his earlier 1923 TEN COMMANDMENTS emphasized the colossal spectacle of the Biblical epic, but never downplayed the tremendous human emotions at the core of the story. "De Mille presented a fantasy, dreamlike quality on film that was so real ... I’ve seen THE TEN COMMANDMENTS maybe forty or fifty times!" – Martin Scorsese.


Friday, September 15 – 7:00 PM


LAND OF THE PHAROAHS, 1955, Warner Bros., 106 min. Dir. Howard Hawks. Truly phenomenal CinemaScope fantasia of ancient Egypt, with pharoah Jack Hawkins obsessed with building an eternal monument to his glory, while nympho wife Joan Collins (at her slinky, scheming best) tries to orchestrate his murder. Stunning technical credits all around, with a script co-written by William Faulkner (!), and sumptuous art direction by the legendary Alexander Trauner. "When I first saw it as a kid, LAND OF THE PHAROAHS became my favorite film." – Martin Scorsese.


Friday, September 15 – 9:15 PM


Actress Peggy Moran In-Person!

THE MUMMY, 1932, Universal, 72 min. Boris Karloff gives one of his finest performances as the 3,000-year old Egyptian who returns from the dead to reclaim reincarnated love Zita Johann, in cinematographer-turned-director Karl Freund’s marvelously atmospheric chiller – easily the best of many Mummy films to come.

THE MUMMY’S HAND, 1940, Universal, 67 min. Dir. Christy Cabanne. The first of the Universal MUMMY sequels returns to Egypt, as Indiana Jones-style adventurer Dick Foran squares off against nefarious George Zucco and the immortal mummy Kharis (played by a surprisingly effective Tom Tyler.) First-rate matinee style entertainment. With Peggy Moran.


Saturday, September 16 – 6:00 PM


4-track Stereo Print!!

THE EGYPTIAN, 1954, 20th Century Fox, 140 min. CASABLANCA director Michael Curtiz blew out all the stops – CinemaScope! 5,000 dancing girls!! – in this stupendous attempt to out-do De Mille. Victor Mature, Gene Tierney, Peter Ustinov, Jean Simmons and Michael Wilding star in this epic story of pharoah Akhenaton’s conversion to monotheism, and the lives and loves of the court-members surrounding him. Look for Darryl F. Zanuck-protégée Bella Darvi (who died a tragic death from suicide in 1971) in one of her few screen appearances.


Saturday, September 16 – 9:15 PM


RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, 1981, Paramount, 115 min. Archaeologist Harrison Ford battles occult-obsessed Nazis and former girlfriend Karen Allen, as he attempts to wrest the Ark of the Covenant from the lost Egyptian city of Tanis. Brilliant, non-stop adventure from director Steven Spielberg that mixes 1930’s-style matinee thrills with the ominous threat of Hitler’s henchmen controlling one of history’s most powerful objects.


Sunday, September 17 – 5:00 PM


Robert Forster In-Person!

JUSTINE, 1969, 20th Century Fox, 116 min. Director George Cukor’s lush, rarely-screened portrait of a wealthy Egyptian family in 1930’s Alexandria is a ripe, melodramatic treasure trove of incest, transvestitism, child prostitution and more, with a superb cast including Michael York, Anouk Aimee, Dirk Bogarde, Anna Karina and Philippe Noiret. Based on Lawrence Durrell’s acclaimed "Alexandria Quartet" novels.


Sunday, September 17 – 7:00 PM


DEATH ON THE NILE, 1978, Paramount, 140 min. Dir. John Guillermin. High-spirited, picture perfect adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, with Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot (a beautifully fussy Peter Ustinov) taking a pleasant cruise down the Nile – and discovering murder on board, courtesy of shipmates Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, Jane Birkin, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Simon MacCorkindale and Lois Chiles. Watch for Angela Lansbury as a delightfully florid romance novelist spouting purple prose while she works on her latest book, "Snow on the Sphinx’s Nose" - !! A true gem.