Production info

Das Weib des Pharao
Germany, 1922

Emil Jannings, Dagny Servaes, Paul Wegener
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch

  

Pharaoh Amenes loves the slave girl Theonis, but his romance and country are threatened by the possibility of war. When the Ethiopian King Samlak tries for a truce, he brings his daughter as a wife for Amenes. Samlak is enraged when the rival king marries the slave girl, and the two countries are plunged into war over the subsequent rejection of Samlak's daughter. (based on a summary from www.checkout.com)

The German film "Das Weib des Pharao" was one of the most expensive productions of its time. This was largely due to the vast number of props and stages that had to be built, among them an Egyptian village with more than 50 houses, several temples and a high town-wall. This caused the production to extend for an unusually long time. From the film’s initial conception to its premiere took seven months, a period in which director Lubitsch would normally have shot at least three or four movies. The film's impressive shots include big battle scenes between Egyptians and Ethiopians, with thousands of extras playing the soldiers of both sides. The German cinema magazine "Der Kinematograph" reported in the December 1921 issue that some 250,000 Berlin schoolchildren and their teachers were invited to visit the set to study Egyptian culture after filming was finished. After its release, the film was distributed to various countries in Europe and was highly praised. For the US market a shortened version was issued under the title "The Loves of Pharaoh". Among the scenes that were cut was the stoning of Ramphis and Theonis at the end of the film, to give the Americans the necessary happy ending.


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