Blu-Ray News #348: Arabesque (1966).

Directed by Stanley Donen
Starring Gregory Peck, Sophia Loren

Stanley Donen directed a couple of my favorite films of the 60s, Charade (1963) and Bedazzled (1967). In between, he did Arabesque (1966), a fun piece of Hitchcockian eye candy starring Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. It’s coming to Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber.

Donen offered the lead to Cary Grant, who’d starred in Charade. Grant turned it down, and the part went to Peck. He’s a hieroglyphics expert who can decode a secret message — and who ends up pursued by sinister agents with Sophia Loren in tow. The story’s slight, but Donen and cinematographer Christopher Challis more than make up for it with all kinds of Technicolor-Panavision loveliness.

Henry Mancini cooked up a great score, which The Ventures covered (only released as a 45). Robert McGinnis did the terrific poster art (up top) between his work for Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967).

Flashy 60s pictures like this are perfect for Blu-Ray, and this one comes highly recommended.

1 Comment

Filed under 1966, DVD/Blu-ray News, Gregory Peck, Kino Lorber, Robert McGinnis, Sophia Loren, Stanley Donen, Universal (-International)

One response to “Blu-Ray News #348: Arabesque (1966).

  1. Walter

    Toby, this is a wonderful, delightful, and fun suspense-comedy(as they were called, back in the day). I first viewed ARABESQUE(filmed 1965, released 1966) on television’s NBC SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES in 1969. I caught it again in rerun on the NBC MONDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES in 1970, and whenever it played on “Late Movies” throughout the 1970’s. What a pleasure it was, to finally see this movie in glorious technicolor on a MCA/Universal Home Video VHS pan/scan in 1991.

    The photography by Christopher Challis is dazzling to the eye, and when I say eye, I mean eye. If you have seen the movie, you’ll know what I’m getting at. Also, for the mind’s eye, two movie icons Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck. Besides the photography, a really good reason to view this movie is the cast, headed up by Loren and Peck. Loren transudes glamor to the maximum here, getting to wear the best in Christian Dior. Peck is handsome as ever and the scenes with Loren in which they trade in sharp witted dialogue is a joy. You have to have a good baddie in this type of movie and Alan Badel is at his smoothly, cool, and sinister best hiding behind his flinty sunglasses.

    Is ARABESQUE riffled Hitchcock? Sure it is, but it is a lively action-packed psychedelic chaser of a movie. So, just sit back in a good chair and enjoy the Blu-ray ride.


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