Nefertite, regina del Nilo Film Details
Overview: Chronicles the rise and fall of the woman who eventually became known as Queen Nefertiti.
Review: Fernando Cerchio is not a director as famous as top Hollywood names of his time. Very few people know his films, partly because he has not become worldly famous. But it is important to state that he also made quite a considerable number of ancient epics, including this one, NEFERTITI, QUEEN OF THE NILE. What is striking at this point is that the movie is similar, almost identical in style, convention, colors to other Italian productions of that time, including GIUSEPPE VENDUTO DAI FRATELLI (“Joseph Sold by his Brothers”) (1959), HANNIBAL (1959) and IL SEPOLCRO DEI RE (“Cleopatra’s Daughter”) (1961). However, it is also similar to one American hit of its time… If you consider the content of the movie, you may be misled by its striking similarity to a Hollywood production made almost 10 years earlier by Michael Curtiz, “The Egyptian” (1954). Although this view turns out to be a bit exaggerated, it is partly true. There are two major aspects both of the movies have in common: the historical period the actions are set in (the time of a monotheistic religion in Egypt during the reign of Amenophis) and the main star, actor Edmund Purdom who played Sinuhe in Curtiz’s movie. This time, however, he is not a physician who searches for the answer on psychological questions, but a lover… moreover… a lover of the queen. As a result, the film cannot be treated as the remake of Curtiz’s film whatsoever since, except for the two aforementioned aspects, it is an ENTIRELY different film. The first major difference is the story itself. Tutmosis (Edmund Purdom), a sculptor, is in love with Tenet (later queen Nefertiti). At the same time, he is a dear friend of Amenophis (Amedeo Nazzari) and works as a sculptor. All changes at one night when the worshiper of a new God, one God Aaton, a prophet and priest Seper (Carlo D’Angelo) foresees the death of the Pharaoh and the coming reign of Amenophis. The prophecy comes true. The father of Tenet, Amon Ra priest Benakon (Vincent Price) plans a marriage of his daughter with the new Pharaoh. She is no longer Tenet, but Nefertiti, the Queen of the Nile. However, Tutmosis, an obstacle in the whole plan, is arrested and said to be dead but he soon escapes from prison and finds himself as a sculptor on the court. He is to sculpt the famous bust of Nefertiti which survives for centuries to prove the queen’s magnificent beauty and great feeling to the man who really loved her. The end of the film concentrates on religious war in Egypt and shows the slaughter of Aaton worshipers (here, similarly like in the aforementioned movie, “The Egyptian”). The end, however, is quite optimistic. Nevertheless, the film lacks the grandeur, lavish sets, psychological ambiguity that the American productions of the time can boast. The cast of the film are not that famous actors and actresses like in most American movies of the 1950s and 1960s, but they perform quite well. Jeanne Crain is particularly great as Nefertiti, she is very beautiful and her face really fits to the role. Edmund Purdom does a good job as her lover, Tutmosis. Except for Amedeo Nazzari and Carlo D’Angelo who do not particularly shine in their roles, there is one more star worth attention – Vincent Price as Nefertiti’s father, Benakon. There is something ancient in his face, something that we find in the mummies… Although the film is not a hit and does not have an outstanding cinematography, there are some memorable scenes that have remained in my memory for long. The first of such scenes is when Nefertiti listens in secret to the meeting of Amon Ra priests plotting against Amenophis and the new religion. She looks at them through the eye of the great statue of Sphynx and a mysterious Egyptian melody is being played as the background. Another scene is the dance of a harlot in the headquarters of the Egyptian army. I don’t know if there are many films of that time which so sexually show the dance of a woman. And indeed very well played! Yet, the final shot is great, the camera moves from Nefertiti and Tutmosis kissing to the close-up of her sculpted bust. Intentionally, this is a symbolic reference to modern times when the bust can be still admired at the Egyptian museum in Berlin. Of course, NEFERTITI, THE QUEEN OF THE NILE (1961) is no masterpiece. If you expect much from this film after seeing the one about Sinuhe, you may be disappointed. Nevertheless, if you regard any historical epic worth a look, this film is really for you.
Duration: 97 min
Genre: Drama, History
Also known as: Nefertite, regina del Nilo,Nefertiti, i vasilissa tou Neilou,Nefertiti, Nilens dronning,Nefertiti Koningin van de Nijl,Nefertiti, reine du Nil,La reina del Nilo,Нефертити, кралицата на Нил,Queen of the Nile,Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile,Nil Sultani Nefertit,A Rainha do Nilo,Nefertiti, a Rainha do Egito,Nefertiti Reine Du Nil,Nefertiti, la reina del Nilo,Nilens drottning,Nefertiti reina del Nilo,Nofretete – Königin vom Nil,Nefertite – Niilin kuningatar