Synopsis: Professor David Pollock is an expert in ancient Arabic hieroglyphics. A Middle Eastern Prime Minister convinces Pollock to infiltrate the organization of a man named Beshraavi, who is involved in a plot against the Prime Minister. The nature of the plot is believed to be found in a hieroglyphic code. Beshraavi's mistress, Yasmin Azir is a mystery intertwined in the plot. Pollock needs her help, but when she repeatedly seems to double cross him in one escapade after another, he can't decide on whose side she is working. Ultimately working together, Pollock and Yasmin decipher the plot and set out to stop an assassination of the Prime Minister.
Director(s): Stanley Donen
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
  Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

Professor Ragheeb.

Send him in, will you?

Good afternoon.

Mr. Saeed?

Mr. Saeed's away,

I'm afraid.

My name's Sloane.

Why is he away?

Flu, Professor.

Medical men aren't immune.

He asked me to look after his appointments.

I'm only going

to check your glasses.

You look as though I want

to drill your teeth.

Do sit down,



That doesn't sound English.

Are you English,

Professor Ragheeb?

Why do you ask?

Oh, small talk, merely small talk.

The weather's too dull

and politics too explosive.

I certainly

didn't mean to pry.

May I see your glasses?

I can't see anything without them.

Hmm. Yes.

Yes, indeed.


Have you been exposed

to flu recently?

Does that weaken the eyes?

No, merely the eye doctors.

There's so much close

personal contact in our line, we can't be too careful.


let's just

try these.


Just read those letters

in the mirror, will you, please?


"N, D."

"A, O, H, T."

Hmm, not bad.

Now the other eye.

"H, C, U."

"D, H, L, E."




Jolly good.

Look up at me, Professor.

I want to put some drops in your eyes.


To dilate the pupil.

It's quite all right, Professor.

You won't feel anything.


That didn't hurt,

did it?

No, it was-

Now here on the final slide is an example...

of a more cursive form

of hieroglyphics,

probably from the reign

of the great Pharaoh Remesus II.

Now we can still recognize what

many of the signs represent.

Here, for example,

is the word for "heart,"

written simply with

the picture of the heart.

But here,

above the monster Amensit-

who, as you can see,

is part crocodile, part lion and part hippo,

and who waits to devour

the heart of the dead man if it is found wanting-

is the glyph for a house.

Below it is a mouth.

These signs have phonetic value only.

They are followed

by a drawing of a pair of legs,

which, in this case,

has no phonetic value.

However, as an ideogram,

it does give us the clue...

to the meaning of the word...

"to go forth."


I thought there must be some way

of attracting your attention, Mr. Fanshaw.

I seem to have been talking

in your sleep.

That will be all for today.

Professor Ragheeb

will be back tomorrow.

Good morning.

May I have a word

with you, please, Professor Pollock?

If it's about that

small, outstanding bill at the bookstore,

there's a simple


- No, it's nothing like that.

- In that case, how do you do?

My name is Sloane.

Major Sylvester

Pennington Sloane...

of Her Majesty's


Yes, quite.

I'm private secretary

to Mr. Nejim Beshraavi of the shipping lines.

- The Nejim Beshraavi.

- I didn't think there could be two.

Mr. Beshraavi would like

to see you in London now,

so if you'll follow me,

please, the car is waiting.

Mr. Sloane,

this is Wednesday.

Shall I tell you

about my Wednesdays?

Right now:
a healthy jog

and a couple of tutorials,

an indescribable lunch

with the faculty at 12:45-

Mr. Beshraavi is prepared

to pay you well for your time.

And I could use it,

I don't mind telling you.

But, as I said,

not on Wednesdays.

Good morning, Mr. Sloane.

You people really can't take no

for an answer, can you?

What do you think

you're doing?

Let me go!

Good Lord,

a-aren't you-

Mr. Pollock, may I present

His Excellency, Mr. Hassan Jena.

- Well... Mr. Prime Minister.

- Good morning, Mr. Pollock.

And I am Mr. Jena's

Ambassador to Great Britain, Mohammed Lufti.

- Mr. Ambassador.

- I beg you to forgive this unorthodox method...

of making your acquaintance.

Please, don't mention it, Mr. Prime Minister.

There's nothing like a little

kidnapping every now and then to keep the circulation going.

The fact is that there are

very few men on this Earth whom I admire more than you.


a very great man.

No man is greater

than the people he serves. Your respect must be for them.

Yes, sir.

I didn't know that you were in England.

You are quite right.

I am not.

You have not seen me.

The first favor I would ask

of you is to help keep my visit to England a secret.

Of course, sir.

And the second?

You know a fellow countryman

of mine, Mr. Nejim Beshraavi.

The Nejim Beshraavi.

Yes, our richest and most powerful citizen.

We have every reason to believe

he intends approaching you...

with a business proposition.

He already has, sir, but I turned him down.

- Oh, dear.

- Wrong?

Your association with Beshraavi

could have been extremely valuable...

to the cause of freedom, Professor.


All we know is that Beshraavi

is supposed to have problems...

and plans some violent

exercise of that opposition in the near future.

We have to find out what

he intends doing and when.

You want me

to reestablish contact,

accept his offer

and see what I can find out.

We want that very much.

But you must not accept

until you know all the possibilities.

The assignment carries

a certain amount of risk.

Is that a statesmanlike

way of saying that I could get killed?

Mr. Beshraavi respects

no one's life but his own.

If you wish, I will stop

the car and let you out with nothing further being said.

For generations, the Pollocks

have devoted themselves...

to uncovering the past.

I think it's probably

about time that a Pollock...

involved himself

in the future for a change.

As soon as you have

any information,

you will at once contact

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Julian Mitchell

Charles Julian Humphrey Mitchell FRSL (born 1 May 1935) is an English playwright, screenwriter and occasional novelist. He is best known as the writer of the play and film Another Country, and as a screenwriter for TV, producing many original plays and series episodes, including at least ten for Inspector Morse. Mitchell was born in Epping, Essex, and educated at Winchester College, where he won the English Verse and Duncan Reading Prizes. He did his national service in submarines 1953-55 as a Sub Lt RNVR. He then went to Wadham College, Oxford and received a BA with first class honours in 1958. This was followed by a period as a Harkness Fellow in the USA (1959–61). He earned an M.A. in 1962 at St. Antony's College, Oxford. Since 1962 he has been a freelance writer. In the late 1960s, Mitchell co-wrote the teleplay Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) with Ray Davies of The Kinks. It was never produced, though it gave rise to the band's concept album. He recently recalled the aborted project: "Arthur had a most unhappy history. It was originally meant to be a ... sort of rock opera, and we got as far as casting (excellent director and actors) and finding locations and were about to go when the producer went to a production meeting without a proper budget, tried to flannel his way through it, was immediately sussed and the production pulled. I have never been able to forgive the man." Mitchell has written nine produced plays, including Another Country, which won the SWET (now Olivier) Award for best play of the year (1981), and After Aida (1985), a play-with-music about composer Giuseppe Verdi. Mitchell has screenplay credits for five feature films. The earliest was Arabesque (1966), which was directed by Stanley Donen. Another Country (1984) is based on Mitchell's own play, and directed by Marek Kanievska. Vincent & Theo (1990) is a biographical film about the famed painted Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo, and was directed by Robert Altman. August (1996) was directed and starred Anthony Hopkins, and was adapted from Anton Chekhov's classic play Uncle Vanya. Wilde (1997) is based on the life of Oscar Wilde, and was directed by Brian Gilbert. In 2007 he wrote the BBC4 drama Consenting Adults about Sir John Wolfenden and his celebrated 1957 report. more…

All Julian Mitchell scripts | Julian Mitchell Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Arabesque" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Apr. 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!





    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.