George Sanders is "The Major," in Egypt to mastermind a heist of King Tut jewels
from the CairoMuseum. This was straight-up remaking of
The Asphalt Jungle by MGM British Studios Ltd., so-called (by them) "The Best
Studio In Europe," and it probably was, based on two new sound stages
added as of May 1962. Metro shot their ownstuff here and rented space besides,
their British arm being an almost equal to grounds back in Culver, USA.
Potential for worldwide grossing made Cairo
seem viable. Its source yarn was evergreen: The Asphalt Jungle could be updated
or done period (as in 1958 western The Badlanders) --- it was among most
useful properties MGM owned. Even bad filmmakers would have had trouble mucking up a story
this good. Cairo reunited the producer/director/star
team from recent sleeper hit Village
Of The Damned, to wit Ronald
Kinnoch, Wolf Rilla, and Sanders.
Variety announced that Cairo would be "the firstinternational
film to be made in the English language in the Egyptian city." There was
full cooperation from the United Arab Republic
(imagine that being accomplished today), though "all assignments in pix
shot in (the) country must be approved by the Egyptian government."
Location shooting is a boost, the Cairo
crew filming at street bazaars, among pyramids, sinister market places; the pic
is more than worthwhile just for access to sights not before captured by major
studio cameras. Variety gave Cairo
a harsh review; seeming not to realize this was an Asphalt Jungle remake, they
knocked Sanders' part for being a copy of Sam Jaffe in the "13 years
ago" film ("the device of having lechery serve as the undoing of this
character is hackneyed"). Cairo
currently plays on TCM in full-frame where it should, of course, be 1.85.
Hopefully, a Warner Archive release to come will sort that out and give us an