Serpent of the Nile

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Serpent of the Nile
Directed by William Castle
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Robert E. Kent
Starring Rhonda Fleming
William Lundigan
Raymond Burr
Narrated by Fred F. Sears
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Henry Freulich
Edited by Gene Havlick
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
8 May 1953
Running time
81 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Serpent of the Nile is a 1953 low budget Technicolor historical adventure film produced by Sam Katzman and directed by William Castle. The film starred Rhonda Fleming, Raymond Burr, William Lundigan and Michael Ansara. In an early role, actress Julie Newmar (listed as Julie Newmeyer) appears as an exotic dancer clad only in gold paint.[1]


The film opens in 44 BC, just after the assassination of Julius Caesar, and tells the story of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra (Fleming) and her relationship with the Roman general Mark Anthony (Burr) from that time until their mutual suicide in 30 BC. It also stars William Lundigan as Lucilius and Michael Fox as Octavius.


The movie was reportedly based on Cleopatra by H. Rider Haggard.[2]

The film had a very low budget. It was shot on the sets left over from Rita Hayworth's Salome.[3] One sequence depicts a chariot racing through the sands of Egypt towards a sand dune in the distance, behind which looms a pyramid. It is extremely obvious that this composition is a matte shot: the pyramid in the background is a superimposed painting, with the sand dune concealing the join between the live action and the matte. Elsewhere in the film, Rhonda Fleming as Cleopatra is clearly wearing a "bullet bra" of the style that was fashionable in the 1950s.


  1. ^ p.47 Dixon, Wheeler W. Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood 2005 SIU Press
  2. ^ Drama: Dunne and MacMurray Reunion Hinted; Sam Katzman Slate Notable Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Nov 1951: A7.
  3. ^ p. 25 Parla, Paul & Mitchell, Charles P. Screen Sirens Scream!: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction 2009 McFarland

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