Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Egyptian (1954)

The Egyptian (1954) epic film. Directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It is based on Mika Waltari's novel and the screenplay was adapted by Philip Dunne and Casey Robinson. Cast: Jean Simmons (Meryt), Victor Mature (Horemheb), Gene Tierney (Baketamon), Michael Wilding (Akhnaton), Edmund Purdom (Sinuhe), Bella Darvi (Nefer), Peter Ustinov (Kaptah) and Tommy Rettig (Thoth). Cinematographer Leon Shamroy was nominated for an Oscar in 1955. At a cost of five million dollars, the film took two years to research, the designers ultimately cataloging five million items of clothing and properties for the epic.

I posted the first video of 24 to help get you started. Enjoy.

Jean Simmons (January 31, 1929 – January 22, 2010),began acting at the age of 14. She enrolled at the Aida Foster School of Dance and was spotted by director Val Guest, who cast her in, Give us the Moon. Prior to moving to Hollywood, she played the young Estella in, Great Expectations (1946) and Ophelia in, Hamlet (1948), for which she received her first Oscar nomination. It was the experience of working on Great Expectations that caused her to pursue an acting career more seriously. Playing Ophelia in Olivier's Hamlet made her a star, although she was already well-known for her work in other British films, including her first starring role in the film, Uncle Silas and Black Narcissus (both 1947).

In 1950, she married the English actor Stewart Granger, with whom she appeared in several films, successfully making the transition to an American career. She made four films for Hughes, including Angel Face, directed by Otto Preminger. In 1953, she starred alongside Spencer Tracy in, The Actress, a film that was one of her personal favourites. Among the many films she appeared in during this period were The Robe (1953), Young Bess (1953), Désirée (1954), The Egyptian (1954), Guys and Dolls (1955), The Big Country (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960), (directed by her second husband, Richard Brooks), Spartacus (1960), and The Happy Ending (1969), again directed by Brooks and for which she received her second Oscar nomination. She toured the United States in Stephen Sondheim' musical, A Little Night Music, then took the show to London, and thus originated the role of Desirée Armfeldt on the West End. Doing the show for three years, she said she never tired of Sondheim's music; "No matter how tired or off you felt, the music would just pick you up."She portrayed Fiona Cleary,  in the 1983 mini-series The Thorn Birds. Simmons won an Emmy Award for her role. In 1985 and 1986, she appeared in North & South. In 1988, she starred in The Dawning with Anthony Hopkins and Hugh Grant, and in 1989, she again starred in a mini-series, this time a version of, Great Expectations, in which she played the role of Miss Havisham. Simmons made a late career appearance in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Drumhead". From 1994 until 1998, Simmons narrated the A and E documentary television series, Mysteries of the Bible. In 2004, Simmons voiced the lead-role of Sophie in the English dub of Howl's Moving Castle.

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