Suez misses out on its epic aims. Film's shortcomings are chiefly psychological, although a lethargic pace in the forepart almost counts too heavily against it.

Suez misses out on its epic aims. Film’s shortcomings are chiefly psychological, although a lethargic pace in the forepart almost counts too heavily against it.

The fictional liberties taken with history come under acceptable Hollywood license. There’s considerable theatrical abracadabra with the manner in which the young Ferdinand de Lesseps (Tyrone Power), with his dream of a big ditch from the Mediterranean into the Red Sea, wins over the Egyptian viceroy’s heir – parlor magic, boxing and fencing lessons, horsemanship, etc – and there’s also the inconclusive relationship with the beauteous Countess Eugenie (Loretta Young), who forgets Power for Louis Bonaparte of France.

Annabella, co-starred with Power and Young, is a child of the desert, enamored of the young Frenchman, a quondam hoyden in her Moroccan fez and general masculine attire, and at the same time some sort of a symbolic inspiration.

The sepia tinting and the general photography is splendid as are the arresting montage effects when called into play, notably, of course, that simoon that almost completely wrecks the well-nigh bankrupted de Lesseps. The desert storm is an unquestionable sock as are such other productional punctuations as the sabotage by the Turks, for example [battle sequences directed by Otto Brower].

Suez

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Allan Dwan; Producer Gene Markey; Screenplay Philip Dunne, Julien Josephson; Camera Peverell Marley; Editor Barbara McLean; Music Louis Silvers; Art Director Bernard Herzbrun, Rudolph Sternad

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Tyrone Power Loretta Young Annabella J. Edward Bromberg Joseph Schildkraut Henry Stephenson
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more