Pharaoh's Curse


1h 6m 1957

Brief Synopsis

A reincarnated vampire and his sister menace an Egyptian expedition.

Film Details

Genre
Horror
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
Feb 1957
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Bel-Air Productions, Inc.; Sunrise Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Death Valley, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

In 1902, as the British garrison in Cairo is under siege and numerous uprisings are occuring elsewhere in Egypt, Col. Cross assigns Capt. Storm to locate a missing Anglo-American archaeological expedition, led by American Robert Quentin. Cross is particularly concerned that the Egyptians, who are looking for any opportunity to end the British occupation, will assume that the expedition is violating the tombs of their kings. The colonel can spare only two men, sergeants Smollett and Gromley, to accompany Storm, who is also to escort Quentin's wife Sylvia, recently arrived from America to join her husband. The next day, Storm and the others set out on horseback across the desert to the Valley of Kings. One night, a lone, native, Simira, appears in their camp and tells them that she is walking through the desert in search of her brother Numar, who joined an expedition in search of a king's burial site. Although the mysterious Simira offers to show Storm a shorter route, he declines and continues on his original route. Simira decides to accompany them on foot. While asleep at night, Sylvia is stung on the arm by a scorpion and, although Storm cuts her arm and sucks out the venom, she becomes delirious. Simira tells Storm that Sylvia needs immediate medical treatment and persuades him to take a shorter route although he fears an ambush. Meanwhile, the six members of the expedition, Quentin, Frenchman Claude Beauchamp, German Hans Brecht, Scot Walter Andrews, medical doctor Michael Faraday and their Egyptian aide Numar, have entered a burial vault and decipher an inscription that warns them of a curse if they open a pharaoh's tomb therein. Even though Andrews advises against it, Quentin decides to open the tomb. As Storm and his companions reach the area, Simira tells Storm that she senses they are probably too late to avert disaster. After the tomb is opened, Faraday cuts the wrapping around the mummy's face. Numar reacts as if he feels the cuts and collapses. Just then, Storm and the others arrive and the officer orders Quentin to reseal the tomb and prepare to return to Cairo. After Faraday treats Sylvia's wound and Numar reunites with sister Simira, Quentin tries to persuade Sylvia to pretend she is too ill to travel so that he can continue his work. When Sylvia declines and explains that she has come to Egypt to end their marriage, Quentin wonders if Storm, with whom Sylvia has been romantically sparring, might have something to do with her decision. That night, Storm follows Quentin back to the tomb where Quentin has discovered that the mummy has been removed and finds cat-like tracks leading from the tomb. Quentin thinks Numar has concealed the mummy and tries to coerce him into revealing its location, but is stopped by Faraday who points out that Numar's face and skin are aging and drying and that he appears to have aged fifty years in a matter of hours. Because Faraday wants to hospitalize Numar in Cairo, Storm announces they will leave in the morning. Later that night, Gromley is killed and his blood drained by Numar, who has aged enormously. After Storm finds Gromley's body, Brecht and Andrews complete their translation of a cartouche that instructs a king's high priest to guard the tomb against grave robbers. Should the tomb be disturbed, the priest's soul will pass into a mortal body and gain strength from blood of the living until the last intruder is killed. When Quentin suggests to Storm that they must be very close to the royal tomb and that they should try to find it, he is surprised when Storm, who wants to solve Gromley's mysterious death, agrees. Later, Brecht locates an antechamber behind a stone slab, but is killed by Numar. Brecht's screams bring Storm to the scene, and in attempting to stop Numar from escaping, Storm grabs him by his arm, which breaks off. Quentin then accuses Andrews of learning from his translation of the cartouche the exact location of the tomb and, at gunpoint, demands to know how to enter it. Suddenly, the wall swings open revealing Numar, who leads Quentin inside where he meets his death in a rock fall. After Simira and Numar disappear, the mummy reappears in the tomb and, when Faraday removes the facial wrapping to reveal Numar and his death mask as the high priest, Andrews theorizes that Simira was probably also a protective cat goddess. Storm, who has been comforting Sylvia, states that they will seal the tomb and that the official record will show that the area was not entered. After they all agree that none will speak of what occurred there, they begin their return journey to Cairo.

Film Details

Genre
Horror
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
Feb 1957
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Bel-Air Productions, Inc.; Sunrise Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Death Valley, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7 reels

Articles

Pharaoh's Curse


A reincarnated vampire and his sister menace an Egyptian expedition.
Pharaoh's Curse

Pharaoh's Curse

A reincarnated vampire and his sister menace an Egyptian expedition.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to contemporary reports, Pharaoh's Curse was shot in Death Valley, CA. Ziva Shapir is an Israeli actress who changed her name to Ziva Rodan, then Ziva Rodann shortly after making her American motion picture debut in this film. Trade reviews of Pharaoh's Curse in January 1957, refer to her as Rodann.