Cleopatra's Daughter

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Cleopatra's Daughter
Directed by Fernando Cerchio
Written by Damiano Damiani
Fernando Cerchio
Music by Giovanni Fusco
Cinematography Anchise Brizzi
Edited by Antonietta Zita
Explorer Film '58
Comptoir Français de Productions Cinématographiques (CFPC)
Distributed by Medallion Pictures (USA)
Release date
  • February 27, 1960 (1960-02-27) (Italy)
Running time
109 minutes
Country Italy, France
Language Italian

Cleopatra's Daughter (Italian: Il sepolcro dei re) is a 1960 historical drama film set in Egypt during the reign of the pharaoh Khufu (r. 2589-2566 BC). The film starred Debra Paget and was directed by Fernando Cerchio. For some reason, the English version was translated very differently from the original Italian script, setting the film in the 1st century BC, rather than the early Bronze Age.


After the death of Antony and Cleopatra, Egypt is ruled by the young tyrant Pharaoh Nemorat and his mother Tegi. Cleopatra has left a surviving daughter, Shila, raised by the king and queen of Assyria. When Nemorat conquers Assyria, Shila is brought to the Egyptian court; and, at the instigation of Nemorat's mother, marries the pharaoh. The pharaoh, who is a mentally disturbed hypochondriac, has a good and wise physician, Resi, who falls in love with Shila, and encourages her to go on living despite the killing of her Assyrian surrogate parents by Tegi. When Shila spurns an amorous Nemorat one evening, he goes into a violent rage causing him to faint. He is then poisoned by his ambitious chief overseer Kefren and his mistress. Shila is convicted of the murder and is sentenced to be buried alive with Nemorat. Resi comes up with a plan to save Shila by having her take a drug, which causes her to lapse into a temporary coma, while he bribes the chief of the "house of death" to allow him to take Shila away in the dead of night. The chief of the house of death proves treacherous by not allowing Resi to rescue Shila, but in a struggle with Resi he is killed. Resi, though, is seriously wounded and is rescued and tended by his faithful servant, but he does not recover before Shila is entombed with Pharaoh Nemorat. The common people, who have benefited from Resi's kind care of them, aid him in capturing the royal architect, who helps Resi and his associates, greedy tomb robbers, to break into Nemorat's tomb and save Shila. Shila and Resi ride off in freedom while Kefren gets his just deserts when Tegi finds out that he really poisoned Nemorat: he is killed by the palace guards.


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