01/02/2011. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
region 2 DVD: pub: Network 7953500. 80 minute film. Price: GBP 10.20(UK) direct from them). stars: Robin Ellis, Harry Andrews, Angharad Rees, Eva Marie Saint, Tom Baker, Wendy Hiller, Barbara Murray and Raymond Burr.
check out website: www.networkdvd.co.uk
I wonder what's been unearthed here? Something dredged up from the vaults of a defunct TV company? Yes, I was right! ‘The Curse of Tutankhamen's Tomb’ is a TV production from 1980 about the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon and the curse associated with it.
Nonetheless, this isn't actually all that bad. The cast is quite impressive and includes Harry Andrews, Robin Ellis, Raymond Burr, Angharad Rees, Tom Baker, Barbara Murray and is narrated by Paul Scofield. Of course, being dated there are aspects which would no longer be tolerated today such as Raymond Burr and Tom Baker with boot polish on their faces in order to become foreigners but apart from that the cast is talented and the performances are acceptable bordering on very good at times.
The plot follows reality to a large extent. We are taken to Carter's initial discovery of the tomb in the 1920s. In those days, Egypt was dominated by other countries and a lot of its treasures were plundered. Rich collectors were also swarming around like flies and this is where the characters played by Raymond Burr and Tom Baker come in. Using unscrupulous methods, they try to get their hands on the fantastic relics discovered within the tomb.
Although much of this 80 minute drama is presented as a documentary, there is still plenty of action and dialogue to keep anyone happy. Basically, the plot revolves around the curse which is discovered on a plaque just outside the tomb. As events unfold, more and more deaths take place, enough to make one think that there is something behind the curse. To make matters worse, a séance held at Lord Carnarvon's house also warned people to keep away from the tomb. As most people know, Carnarvon died shortly after Tutankhamen's remains were discovered!
This is not the greatest 'curse of the mummy' movie ever made but perhaps it is the most realistic and sober. Good entertainment despite the fact that everyone knows what's going to happen, it doesn't have snazzy special effects but on the plus side it was made on site in the Valley of the Kings and the budget of GBP 2 million was large for a production of this time.
If you're into Egyptology then maybe this is a movie for you. It's based on real characters and doesn't contain mumbo-jumbo nonsense witnessed in virtually every other mummy's tomb movie. Not bad value for about GBP 10!
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