This is one of my favourite films made about Ancient Egypt (without all the Hollywood HoHa)
My favourite actor was Peter Ustinov as the servant.
I attended an live Evening with Ustinov and he spoke of his many films.
He mentioned the worst one he had ever done was The Egyptian and said he had never
seen the finished film, so therefore his performance in it. What a shame, for he shines.
Agreed that Purdom was the worst, however watching it again, he was not as bad as I remembered.
Victor Mature was good in his portrayal of Horemheb (although he did not come to the throne after AkhenAten).
This film has always had a bad reputation with critics. Leonard Maltin, for one, famously dares us to understand one word from Bella Darvi who plays the Babylonian harlot Nefer but I have always found her English clear enough if accented. Perhaps our critic didn't notice her talking to the servants in Babylonian. Englishman Edmund Purdom was particulary slated for wooden acting and an inability to roll his rrs (not true just English) and he did play this role of a vulnerable, awkward idealist perfectly to my mind. No one seems to have objected to Michael Rennie's similar portrayal of that idealist and equally awkward pharaoh Akhnaten. But critics of the period were loving the over-the-top western style portrayal of Moses by Charlton Heston. The rest of the cast plays well and it is a distinguished one. Curtiz was a much more subtle director than de Mille but perhaps he was courting trouble by casting his girlfriend Ms Darvi in the film. Otherwise I have always found this film a faithful and moving evocation of the Finnish novelist Waltari's novel. The sets are gorgeous as they often were in that pre-digital age, and thank goodness for real not virtual extras. Not least the film is worth getting to know for the music Newman and Hermann wrote for it. Pity that they waited too long to transfer this film to dvd. This copy at least had parts of the film sticking. I have seen some Chinese and European transfers which were in better condition.