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THE CURSE OF TUTANKHAMEN'S TOMB
DVD region 2. Network.

The Curse of Tutankhamen's TombAs Egypt rocks to the revolution beat in January 2011, Network bring us this vintage TV movie set among the tombs of the Valley of the Kings.

Telling the story of the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb by Howard Carter, the film follows the trials and tribulations surrounding the amazing find, as Carter (Robin Ellis) deals with his aristocratic and glory-hogging backer Lord Carnarvon (Harry Andrews), is undermined by sinister collector Jonash Sebastian (Raymond Burr) and finds time to vaguely romance Carnarvon's daughter (Angharad Rees) and a reporter (Eva Marie Saint), all the while dealing with story of the ancient curse - a curse that seems to be manifesting itself with a series of accidents.

This 1980 production is slickly shot on film, and moves at a steady pace as it takes liberties with the facts and does its best to make it look as if a lo more is happening than actually is. The title is somewhat misleading - the curse is hardly to the fore here, and the film is at pains to suggest that all these accidents could have logical explanations (as they did) - if you go into this expecting The Awakening (made the same year) then you'll be disappointed. This is not even remotely a horror film.

Performances range from the solid to the ridiculously hammy (Wendy Hiller, as a medium, chews the scenery like a starving man) and the production values are impressive enough. Apparently you could still get away with blacking up actors like Burr and an underused Tom Baker in 1980, which is disconcerting (especially as Burr's headpiece keeps slipping to reveal the white skin beneath), but that aside, this is a decent enough time-waster. A rampaging mummy would've perked it up no end though.

Available only from www.networkdvd.co.uk

DAVID FLINT

 

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