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directed by: Jerzy Kawalerowicz
produced by: "Kadr" Film Unit Film Polski
starring: George Zelnik, Barbara Bryl, Piotr Pawloski, Krystyna Mikolajewska
based on the novel by: Boleslav Prus / running time: appr. 144 minutes
Academy Award Nominated (1967)
Cannes, Golden Palm Nominee (1966)
While on military manoeuvres in the Nile basin, the young prince Ramses heir apparent to his father the Pharaoh Ramses XII - and commander of the imperial armies, meets the beautiful young girl Sarah. He is attracted to her and brings her back to his palace to be his mistress. In the temple of Amon, a messenger from Assyria arrives, who by means of coercion, seals a peace treaty with the priests, under which Egypt may retain control of Judah but must relinquish any claims to Phoenicia. Fearful of falling under Assyrian domination, the Phoenicians approach prince Ramses, in an effort to incite him to make war against the Assyrians, a course to which he is already inclined...........
About the picture:
PHARAOH was one of the most ambitious wholly European productions in cinema history with a budget of equivalent value to US $ 15.000.000. After 3 years of preparation, shooting began in July 1964 in the Kisil Kum desert in the republic of Uzbekistan. For five months, several hundred technicians and actors as well as some 2000 Russian soldiers, employed as extras, worked on this huge project. In 1966, PHARAOH was selected as the closing film of the 20th Cannes Film Festival and in the same year received an Academy Award nomination for best foreign language picture.
What the press said:
FRANCESOIR: (...) i shall have to revert to this important work, full of fantastic images and made in marvellous color, at the time of the Paris release.
FILMS AND FILMING: (...) it certainly stands comparison with any epic Hollywood has produced.
NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE: (...) Polish Cecil B. DeMille.
FILM QUARTERLY: (...) PHARAOH is the best spectacle dealing with ancient times to have been made in the entire history of motion pictures until now. (Albert Johnson)
JOURNAL DE GENEVE: (...) it is without doubt the best film in the Festival (Cannes).
About the director:
Jerzy Kawalerowicz, born in 1922, figures as one of the most noted and internationally renowned of Polish film directors. A graduate from the Cracow Film Institute and a student of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, he was appointed as artistic director of the KADR Film Unit in 1955. Among his most important works are "Mother Joan of the Angels", which was awarded a Special Price of the Jury "The Silver Palm" at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival and of course "Pharaoh", the most ambitious and important film of his career.