Modern espionage escapism story of international intrigue involving a college professor , an Arab prime minister , a ruthless businessman , an ambiguous spy and hieroglyphics . Ingenuous Gregory Peck and enigmatic Sophia Loren involved in sinister goings-on around . Both of them adrift in a tourist-eye as well as beautifully photographed London and on the run from sinister crooks and death-dealing , double secret agents who want to take a hieroglyph .
This is a sparklingly sophisticated comedy/thriller/romance with Donen's stylish direction and full of plot twists , suspense , fast moving , red herrings and adding enough effects gimmicks . Exciting and clever ¨pursuit film¨ about a naive professor and his unsettling involvement with all kind of baddies along with a beautiful as well a suspicious woman . From the opening credits by Maurice Binder to the ending entertainment and amusement are well provided . It is thrilling and intelligent at times , but results to be pretty amusing , being very sub-Hitchcock and in James Bond style . Interesting screenplay by Peter Stone , alias Pierre Marton , being much flashier than Donen's earlier ¨Charade¨ also written by Stone . Although the part of David Pollock was originally scripted for Cary Grant . Stanley Donen is prepared to resort to all the tricks in the cinematic trade to make this a fascinating thriller and he carries out a conscious effort to capture the peculiar look of the sixties . It packs fun scenes with Gregory Peck in the shower , along with moving action sequences . Peck is perfect as a botcher professor who is drawn into espionage . However , Gregory found the stunts particularly difficult because of an old leg injury due to horseback riding . This was last picture Peck made for three years while he concentrated on his humanitarian efforts that included the American Cancer Society . Gorgeous Sophia Loren is amusingly enigmatic and provides the glamorous mystery element in the plot , she manages to change her Christian Dor's dresses at various scenes . Support cast is frankly good , such as Alan Badel , George Coulouris , Carl Duering , Duncan Lamont and last feature of John Merivale . Colorful and glimmering cinematography in Panavision by Christopher Challis . Enjoyable score by Henry Mancini , including catching musical leitmotif .
This espionage adventure picture was stunningly directed by Stanley Donen who made in similar style ¨Charade¨ with Gary Grant and Audrey Hepburn who was never more beautiful . Donen directed some of the best musicals of history such as ¨On the town¨, ¨Singing in the rain¨, ¨Royal Wedding¨ , ¨It's always fair weather¨, ¨Seven brides for seven brothers ¨, ¨Funny face¨ , among others . The posterior Donen films were heavy-handed , exception of ¨Two for the road¨ again with Hepburn , and too few to show if the magic had really gone . ¨Arabesque¨ rating : 6,5/10 . Agreeable film , enough to entertain young and eldest people . It is essentially a hollow and calculated attempt to cash on the Continental spy trend -the Eurospy Subgenre- of the time .