All Women's Talk

7 Movies about Ancient Egypt the Empire and Egyptian Mythology ...

By Neecey

When I was younger I wanted to be an archaeologist (but that’s another story for another day) and so, I have always had a passion for movies about Ancient Egypt and its associated subjects. You only have to think of Ancient Egypt and images of temples to the Gods, pyramids, mummies and hieroglyphs immediately come to mind. Ancient Egypt may lack the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome but The Land of the Pharaohs has close associations with biblical history so there is plenty of scope for subjects when it comes to movies about Ancient Egypt. Here’s a few:

1 Cleopatra

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

This is the movie where the great romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton first blossomed. The lavish movie won four Oscars, though not for its cast, but despite this, it is one of Taylor’s more famous and memorable roles. Women have always been fascinated by the life and loves of the famed Queen of the Nile, so if you’re only even going to choose one of the movies about Ancient Egypt, you might as well enjoy the tempestuous romance and love triangle between Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.

2 Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

No one said films about Ancient Egypt had to be serious and there is nothing serious about this little gem, except that it’s seriously funny. The madcap twosome get up to their usual crazy antics in a plot that contains a murdered archaeologist, a sacred and cursed medallion, buried treasure and of course a mummy! And, the mummy really does look like a man in a Halloween costume of bandages and walks with his arms outstretched – priceless!

3 The Mummy

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Now this is more like it! Ancient Egypt gets the full-on Hollywood treatment with the first in a trilogy of movies about the O’Connells. Whatever you say about it, you can’t argue against the spectacular visual effects, and if you see past those into the story, there is actually quite a lot of information thrown at us about Ancient Egypt, regarding the religion and practices. It’s also a rip-roaring adventure with romance thrown in for good measure.

4 Agora

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Not content with battling mummies, Rachel Wiesz (who only appeared in 2 of The Mummy trilogy) gets more serious in Agora. I have to be honest, I found this movie pretty hard going, but I wanted to stick with it to see the fate of wise and beautiful astronomer and philosopher, Hypatia, and the two men in competition for her heart. It is also set at an interesting time when Egypt was under control of the Roman Empire and Christianity was on a rapid rise.

5 Stargate

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

I hmmed and ahhed about including this one in a list of movies about Ancient Egypt because it isn’t actually set in Egypt. In the end though, I decided it was right to include it because so much of the story is drawn from Egyptian history and Egyptian mythology. Plus the device that is pivotal to the plot line was discovered in Egypt. There is also a link to the concept that our ancient ancestors had encounters with spacemen. There are various ancient art forms – including Egyptian hieroglyphs – where figures, symbols and shapes have been interpreted as “spacemen” and space vehicles. So, other than the tenuous link, Stargate is actually just another good ‘ole adventure story to escape into.

6 The Prince of Egypt

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Are you up for some epic biblical history? Well you could watch The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. I think, however, every story is better when set to some rousing musical numbers so, if you think the same, turn to the Dreamworks animated production, The Prince of Egypt. Essentially, this is the second book of the Bible – Exodus – and tells the story of Moses. Voice artists include Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Helen Mirren, Sandra Bullock and Patrick Stewart (the best Star Trek captain ever!) and songs include numbers from Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

7 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

On iTunes: itunes.apple.com

Ok, so I’m cheating a little with this one because this isn’t really a movie, but it is one of the greatest stories set mostly in Ancient Egypt and I just knew you’d be clamouring for its inclusion. It is the famed stage production by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and luckily for us, they made a film of one of the performances. The performance took place at the historical London Palladium and features Donny Osmond in the lead role, legend Richard Attenborough as Jacob and Richard Torti as Pharaoh. Just sit back and enjoy or rock out to the memorable songs.

So, my list of movies about Ancient Egypt turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag, didn’t it? Have you seen any of these? Do you have any other suggestions?

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