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Gregory Peck: An Agreeable Gentleman

Friday, June 29, 2012
7:00 p.m. Arabesque
Stanley Donen (U.S., 1966)

Stanley Donen’s follow-up to the successful Charade replaces that film’s Cary Grant-and-Audrey Hepburn pairing with an even more glamorous, handsome pair—Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren—all while amping up the globe-trotting intrigue, Dior fashions, and big-budget spectacle. A finely cheekboned hieroglyphics expert (Peck) winds up in the middle of an international plot, and is soon on the run with a mysterious femme fatale (Loren). It’s not the plot that matters, though, but the style, whether found in Loren’s fabulous wardrobe, Donen’s keep-it-moving choreography, or the hectic Pop-Art camera style. “Everything was shot as though it were a reflection in a Rolls-Royce headlamp,” memorably recalled one cowriter.

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Pierre Marton, Julian Mitchell, and Stanley Price, from the novel The Cipher by Alex Gordon. Photographed by Christopher Challis. With Sophia Loren, Alan Badel, Kieron Moore, John Merivale. (105 mins, Color, 35mm, From Universal Pictures)