Land of the Pharaohs

Howard Hawks was always embarrassed by Land of the Pharaohs, considering it a lumbering spectacular compromised by his inability to imagine how the ancient Egyptian royalty actually spoke and comported themselves. However, many Hawks fans consider it one of his most entertaining movies. In his recent Film Comment confession of “Guilty Pleasures,” Martin Scorsese put Land of the Pharaohs at the top of his list, noting:

“When I first saw it, as a kid, Land of the Pharaohs became my favorite film. I'd always been addicted to historical epics, but this one was different: it gave the sense that we were really there. This is the way people lived; this is what they believed, thought, and felt. You get it through the overall look of the picture: the low ceilings, the torchlit interiors, the shape of the pillars, the look of the extras.... I watch this movie over and over again. I put it at the top of the list because it's my favorite.”

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