The Amarna Period: Nefertite, regina del Nilo (1961)

To start with: I will admit I am That Guy.  I am a lady, but nonetheless I am That Guy who, at any given ancient historical film, says, that’s not how it worked! They were using clay tablets for that, not papyrus or The nemes headress was for royalty only or She didn’t marry him, she married… In any case, it’s irritating of me.
For this movie, I hardly want to bother.  Sure, it’s a wildly inaccurate retelling of history, but then the flaxseed pita with American cheese I had for lunch is a wildly inaccurate sandwich, and who cares?  The point is not to be accurate; the point is to get the job done.
This 1961 film from Italy (see it here if you want) is a basic sword-and-sandal movie of the time.  I am reminded of what TV’s Frank once said about the TV movie Stranded in Space: “Let’s face it: People need to kill time – it’s human nature. And for anyone watching TV on the night it was first broadcast, Stranded In Space did indeed kill time. A whole two hours!”  That is what Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile did – killed time, provided jobs, put butts in seats, moved the economy along in its own little way.  Myself, I cannot say I do as much.
The plot centers on Tumos, a sculptor – there was a historical Thutmose the sculptor in the Amarna Period, which suggests that someone involved at some point read a book.  In any case, Tumos the sculptor is naturally best friends with Prince Amenophis, but what Tumos does not know is that Amenophis is going to marry the woman he loves, and she doesn’t know that either, and she also doesn’t know that she’s going to become Queen Nefertiti, because her evil father, whom she doesn’t know is her father . . .
Anyway, it is ridiculous throughout, and not in a campy or delightful way; it all becomes fairly dull in the middle.  Vincent Price does show up to do some quality Vincent Pricing as the High Priest, though, so there is that.  Interestingly enough, you can see that they couldn’t bring themselves to cast anyone who looked like Akhenaten as Akhenaten, and went with the basic ’60s-man looks of Amedeo Nazzari, who maybe had a longer chin than most guys, but only if you squinted.
In conclusion, if you want to experience being a sick child at home sometime in the late 1960s watching the matinee show that was the only bearable thing to stare at on one of the three channels you could get, Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile is indeed one of your options, but I don’t particularly recommend it.

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