Land of the Pharaohs

Director: Howard Hawks
Year Released: 1955
Rating: 2.5

Tacky but fun big-budget saga by Hawks and William Faulkner has a mighty Pharoah Khufu (Jack Hawkins) utilizing slave labor to build his final resting place, the Great Pyramid (designed with super traps by architect Vashtar, played with husky aplomb by James Robertson Justice) - meanwhile, he's seduced by vampish Nellifer (vampish Joan Collins), who secretly wants to control the kingdom. Hammy acting (particularly by Collins) and some clunky dialogue aside, it's a briskly paced yarn with some imaginative sets, especially the Pyramid itself, which locks in (and out) those that don't belong when its final trap is set. Generally regarded as a flop, it's certainly better than some of Hawks' "serious" pictures (I, for one, would rather watch it than the inexplicably adored Rio Bravo or Air Force again).