Land of the Pharaohs

Jack Hawkins as Pharaoh Koufu in Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  Howard Hawks said one of the reasons for the box office failure of Pharaohs was that he had no idea how an ancient pharaoh talked, so he and the writers settled on a kind of high brow British dialect.

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Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins as Nellifer in a publicity still for Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  Joan was born in London and turned 83 in May 2017.  She has 124 acting credits so far, from an uncredited bit in a 1951 short, to four episodes of a British tv series, 2014-2017 and a film now in pre-production.

Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins behind the scenes of Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Joan Collins behind the scenes of Land of the Pharaohs (1955).

Land of the Pharaohs

Jack Hawkins and Joan Collins are a rare married couple in a Howard Hawks film in Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  They are also the only British leads in a Hawks film.

Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins steps out on husband Jack Hawkins in Land of the Pharaohs (1955) with Charlie’s kid, Sydney Chaplin as Treneh, Captain of the Guard.  Sydney was born in Beverly Hills and had 38 acting credits in his career, from a small part in his father’s Limelight (1952) to Satan’s Cheerleaders in 1977.

Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins as Nellifer in Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  While the dramatic moments were weak for a Hawks film, the building of the pyramids more than justified Hawks’ first use of the wide screen.  After the box office failure, Hawks took four years off in Europe.  He returned with one of his biggest hits and creative masterpieces, Rio Bravo (1959), a film much more in his wheelhouse.

Land of the Pharaohs


Joan Collins behind the scenes of Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Land of the Pharaohs


Dewey Martin as slave Senta, son of the master architect of the Pyramids in Land of the Pharaohs (1955).

Land of the Pharaohs

Dewey Martin and Jack Hawkins in Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  This is Dewey’s third Howard Hawks movie, after The Thing and The Big Sky.  Dewey has 50 acting credits so far, from an uncredited bit in 1949 to an episode of Police Woman in 1975.  Dewey will turn 96 on Dec 8, 2017, the day before his co-star in The Big Sky, Kirk Douglas, turns 101.

Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins tempts Sydney Chaplin in Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  This was Howard Hawks’ first big flop in almost 20 years.  His previous box office dud before Pharaohs was Bringing Up Baby.  Part of the box office failure of Pharaohs is that the main characters were unlikeable schemers.  One of the keys to Hawks’ success is likeable stars seen at their most likeable, often in heroic roles.

Land of the Pharaohs


foreign lobby card for Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins in a publicity still for Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  Joan was an unlikeable character in the film, contributing to the film’s failure at the American box office.

Land of the Pharaohs

Jack Hawkins and Dewey Martin in a publicity still for Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  This was Dewey’s third film with Howard Hawks, after The Thing and The Big Sky.

Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins poses seductively with a stone Egyptian mummy for Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

Land of the Pharaohs

Joan Collins as Nellifer in a publicity still for Land of the Pharaohs (1955).  It was her first film with a Hollywood director.