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Sphinx (film)

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Director  Franklin J. Schaffner
Genres  Adventure Film, Mystery
Country  United States
5.2/10 IMDb

Budget  14 million USD
Language  English
Sphinx (film) movie poster
Release date  February 11, 1981
Based on  Sphinx by Robin Cook
Writer  John Byrum (screenplay), Robin Cook (novel)
Cast  Lesley-Anne Down (Erica Baron), Frank Langella (Akmed Khazzan), Maurice Ronet (Yvon Mageot), John Gielgud (Abdu-Hamdi), Vic Tablian (Khalifa), Martin Benson (Mohammed)
Similar movies  La sfinge doro (1967)
Tagline  Someone is hunting tourists out of season.

Sphinx is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. The screenplay by John Byrum is based on the 1979 novel of the same title by Robin Cook.


Sphinx (film) movie scenes

Sphinx trailer


Sphinx (film) movie scenes

Dedicated Egyptologist Erica Baron is researching a paper about the chief architect to Pharaoh Seti. Soon after her arrival in Cairo, she witnesses the brutal murder of unscrupulous art dealer Abdu-Hamdi, meets a French journalist named Yeon, and is befriended by Akmed Khazzan, who heads the antiquities division of the United Nations. When she journeys to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor to search a tomb reportedly filled with treasures, she finds herself the target of black marketeers determined to keep the riches themselves.


Sphinx (film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters376p376pv

Film rights were purchased by Orion Pictures for $1 million.

Interiors were filmed in Budapest. Egypt locations include the Cairo bazaars, Giza, the Winter Palace Hotel in Luxor, and Thebes.


  • Lesley-Anne Down as Erica Baron
  • Frank Langella as Akmed Khazzan
  • Maurice Ronet as Yeon
  • John Gielgud as Abdu-Hamdi
  • Vic Tablian as Khalifa
  • Martin Benson as Mohammed
  • John Rhys-Davies as Stephanos Markoulis
  • Nadim Sawalha as Gamal
  • Tutte Lemkow as Tewfik
  • Saeed Jaffrey as Selim
  • Eileen Way as Aida
  • William Hootkins as Don
  • James Cossins as Lord Carnarvon
  • Victoria Tennant as Lady Carnarvon
  • Behrouz Vossoughi as Menephta, The Royal Architect
  • Critical reception

    Vincent Canby of the New York Times said the film "never stops talking and never does it make a bit of sense. It's unhinged. If it were a person, and you were trying to be nice, you might say it wasn't itself." He continued, "Mr. Schaffner and Mr. Byrum have effectively demolished what could have possibly been a decently absurd archeological-adventure film. The locations . . . are so badly and tackily used that the movie could have been shot more economically in Queens . . . The performers are terrible, none more so than Mr. Langella, who is supposed to be mysterious and romantic but behaves with all of the charm of a room clerk at the Nile Hilton." In conclusion, he called the film "total, absolute, utter confusion."

    Variety described the film as a contemporary version of The Perils of Pauline and called it "an embarrassment," adding "Franklin J. Schaffner's steady and sober style is helpless in the face of the mounting implausibilities."

    Time Out New York thought the film made "striking use of locations" but criticized the "lousy script, uneasy heroine, and weak material." It called it a "clear case of a lame project that only a best selling (ie. heavily pre-sold) novel could have financed" and warned audiences to "avoid" it.


    Sphinx (film) Wikipedia
    Sphinx (film) IMDb Sphinx (film)