Princess of the Nile


1h 11m 1954

Brief Synopsis

Time: A.D. 1249. Shalimar, an Egyptian princess, striving to rid her country of its Bedouin conquerors, forms an alliance with Prince Haidi, son of the Caliph of Bagdad. She practices her intrigues both at the court and, disguised as a dancing girl, in the market place.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 1954
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 Jun 1954; Los Angeles opening: 30 Jun 1954
Production Company
Panoramic Productions, Inc.; Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1
Film Length
6,383ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In Egypt in 1249 A.D., Princess Shalimar chafes under restrictions imposed by the Shaman, a mysterious advisor who has insinuated himself into the confidence of Shalimar's father, Prince Selim, and keeps him drugged. Hoping to lift the spirits of her oppressed people, Shalimar nightly swims out of the palace via a secret aqueduct and performs at the Tambourine Tavern as a scantily clad dancer named Taura. One day, Prince Haidi, the son of the Caliph of Bagdad, is traveling with his friend, Capt. Hussein, to tell his father of their victory over a horde of invaders. Haidi arrives in Shalimar's town of Halwan at the same time as Bedouin mercenary Rama Khan and his many soldiers. Khan, who is in league with the Shaman and hopes to plunder Halwan, has supposedly been summoned by Selim to guard him, although the people make clear their hatred of him by pelting his men with rocks. During the fray, Goghi, a thief befriended by "Taura," knocks Hussein from his horse with a rock, and while Haidi searches for the assailant, Khan's righthand man, Capt. Kral, advises him to kill Hussein so that they will be able to blame the people of Halwan and have an excuse to conquer them. While Khan is stabbing Hussein to death, Shalimar attacks Haidi with her dagger to prevent him from apprehending Goghi. Shalimar inflicts a minor wound on Haidi, whom she does not know, then swims back to the palace. Dressed in her royal raiment, which includes a veil and a different hairstyle, Shalimar is excited to learn Haidi's identity, for she hopes that he can summon the caliph's army and free her father. The Shaman forbids her from leaving her room to meet their guest, but she nonetheless enters the throne room, where her drugged father is telling Haidi that he fears being assassinated by his own people. Haidi swears that he will not leave Halwan until he has found Hussein's killer, but when Khan's men bring in Goghi, Haidi forbids Khan from torturing the prisoner and keeps him as a personal slave. Haidi then questions Goghi about the tavern wench who wounded him, as he believes that she can lead him to Hussein's murderer. Haidi and Khan then go separately to the Tambourine, where they are captivated by the dancing of Taura, whom they fail to recognize as Shalimar. After her dance, Shalimar, who saw Khan stab Hussein, tells Haidi what she witnessed and asks him to help her people. Haidi confronts Khan and engages in a fierce sword fight with him, and Kral eventually knocks Haidi into the water below the tavern's roof. Shalimar jumps in after Haidi and takes him to the palace, where her true identity is revealed to him and the amazed Goghi. Haidi confesses his love for Shalimar, but they are interrupted by a summons for Shalimar from the Shaman. In the throne room, Shalimar is told by Khan, who still does not know that she is Taura, that Haidi has been attacked by her people. Khan surmises that Haidi will bring the caliph's army to destroy Halwan and offers to kill Haidi first if Shalimar will marry him. The princess angrily declares that she will commit suicide rather than become Khan's wife, then storms back to her rooms. There, Shalimar tells Haidi that he must leave town to escape Khan, and although the prince states that he will go to Bagdad and return with an army, after he and Goghi reach the Tambourine, he decides to stay in Halwan. With the help of Goghi and a group of thieves loyal to Taura, Haidi leads attacks on Khan's soldiers, killing them one by one. Meanwhile, in the palace, Babu, the tavern's proprietor, has been captured and tortured by Khan. Using the same drug he gives to Selim, the Shaman induces Babu to reveal that Taura is Shalimar, and that she goes between the palace and the town via the secret aqueduct. Hoping to trap Shalimar into revealing her double identity, Khan tells her that if the theives stop their attacks, he will not exact any reprisals. Shalimar swims to the tavern to tell her friends the news but is briefly captured by soldiers before being rescued by Haidi. Although Shalimar is upset that Haidi has not left Halwan, he assures her that he will never leave without her. Shalimar, Haidi and their men swim back to the palace, but Khan's plan to capture Shalimar if her hair is wet is foiled when he bursts into her quarters, only to find her in her bath. Shalimar's handmaidens hide the thieves, then help to lure Khan's men to their chambers, where the thieves knock them out. Meanwhile, Khan reveals to Shalimar that he knows her secret and states that ten of her people will be killed for every one of his dead soldiers the following day. Desperate to avoid the massacre, Shalimar reluctantly promises to go away with Khan in the morning and marry him. Shalimar then returns to her quarters and tells Haidi about the bargain she has struck. The young lovers spend the few hours before dawn together, then Shalimar is forced to join Khan on his procession out of Halwan. Haidi and his men rescue Shalimar, however, and begin a prolonged battle with the Khan's men. Haidi himself defeats Khan, and the thief Little Tut kills the Shaman when he attempts to hold Shalimar hostage. With peace restored to Halwan, Shalimar agrees to accompany her beloved to Bagdad, and Goghi and Tut look on with approval.

Film Details

Release Date
Jul 1954
Premiere Information
New York opening: 11 Jun 1954; Los Angeles opening: 30 Jun 1954
Production Company
Panoramic Productions, Inc.; Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1
Film Length
6,383ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Some of the sets were reused from Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

Notes

According to a January 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, Princess of the Nile was originally set to be produced by Twentieth Century-Fox with Marilyn Monroe as the star. In August 1953, according to Hollywood Reporter, producer Robert L. Jacks took the property with him when he joined Leonard Goldstein's Panoramic Productions, which had been established to produce "B" pictures for Fox. According to the Daily Variety review, some of the film's exterior scenes were shot on existing backlot sets built for Twentieth Century-Fox's lavish 1953 production The Robe (see below).

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 1954

Released in United States Summer June 1954