Africa & The Middle East | Inspiration

11 magnificent movies filmed in Egypt

Recently updated on July 24th, 2023 at 04:58 pm

Agatha Christie’s famous 1937 novel is set to come back to the big screen this year with Kenneth Branagh directing the new Death on the Nile movie. The iconic Belgian detective Hercules Poirot is back on the case after a passenger is found murdered on the S.S. Karnak, and he must discover who the killer is before they strike again. 

The film is due to be released in September 2021. But if you can’t wait that long for some stunning Egyptian scenery, we’ve got you covered with our favourite movies set and filmed in Egypt. From romantic love stories set amongst the pyramids to historical epics inspired by Ancient Egypt, here are 11 movies that are sure to have you planning your next trip to Egypt.

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1. Death on the Nile (1978)

Before you watch the new Death on the Nile, you’ve got to watch the original. This 1978 film is the first movie adaptation of Death on the Nile, based on the famous Agatha Christie novel. The movie was also set and filmed in Egypt, with locations including Cairo, the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, Aswan, Luxor and the temples at Abu Simbel and Karnak. It’s the perfect visual feast to get you in the mood for the new Death on the Nile movie. 


2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

If you love action films and Egypt, you’ve got to watch the second Transformers movie. It was partly filmed in Egypt, with the great showdown between the Autobots and the Decepticons filmed around the Great Pyramids and in Luxor. The film crew received special government approval before shooting around the pyramids. They spent three days shooting there in what was supposed to be a top-secret set… but almost everyone in Egypt knew they were in town anyway. 

RELATED CONTENT: Your questions answered: What is the best time of year to do a Nile cruise?

3. Cleopatra (1963)

It’s one of Elizabeth Taylor’s most iconic movies and the film where she famously began a love affair with future husband, Richard Burton. It’s also one of the most expensive movies ever made, almost sending the 20th Century Fox film studio into bankruptcy. The movie tells the story of Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, who seduces Julius Caesar of Rome, then Mark Antony, to save her kingdom. It’s full of love, betrayal and lavishness… Both in the film and behind the scenes! The movie was shot all over the world from Italy to Spain and of course Egypt. But did you know the Egyptian government originally banned Elizabeth Taylor from entering Egypt because she was Jewish? They later changed their minds when they realised the film would pour millions of dollars into their economy.

EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF: Wonders of Ancient Egypt

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4. Jumper (2008)

Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Hayden Christensen among others, this thrilling science fiction film tells the story of a man with teleportation powers, who is being hunted by a secret society. The movie was filmed in 20 cities in 14 countries between 2006 and 2007 including Egypt. Plus, of all the filming locations, it’s the Great Pyramids and Sphinx that feature on the movie poster! 

RELATED CONTENT: 8 of the biggest misconceptions about the Pyramids of Giza

5. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

James Bond has been all over the world – even Egypt! Roger Moore’s Bond came to this beautiful country for the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, and you might recognise Karnak Temple in Luxor in some scenes. Sean Connery’s Bond also came to Egypt in Diamonds Are Forever, but the Cairo casino scenes are actually filmed in a studio, not in the real city.


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6. Fair Game (2010)

Stars Sean Penn and Naomi Watts came to Cairo to film some of the undercover operations scenes in this 2010 spy drama based on Valerie Plame’s 2007 memoir Fair Game, and Joseph C. Wilson’s 2004 memoir The Politics of Truth. The movie is all about a CIA operative who investigates weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but her husband reveals her position when he releases an article telling the truth about the sale of uranium in Iraq. The movie also features Egyptian actor Khaled El-Nabawy as an Iraqi scientist and the late Egyptian actor Hanaa Abdel Fattah, who played an Iraq nuclear scientist disguised as a professor at Cairo University.

7. Land of the Pharaohs (1955)

This 1955 film is one of the largest-scale, most epic films ever made. Warner Bros. even said there were 9,787 extras in just one scene! It stars Jack Hawkins as the ‘second-life’ obsessed Pharaoh Khufu and Joan Collins as his ruthless second wife Nellifer – but the filming locations almost outshine them. Most scenes are the real deal including Cairo, Aswan and the Unfinished Pyramid of Pharaoh Baka at Zawiyet-el-Aryan.

RELATED CONTENT: Where to go to discover the real history of Egypt

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8. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

If you’re a Marvel comics fan, you might be surprised to know that Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer was partly shot in Egypt. The 2007 movie was filmed in 14 stunning locations, and one of them was Giza, where you’ll find the Great Pyramids and Sphinx. Give it another watch and see if you can spot the scenes filmed in Egypt!

9. Malcolm X (1992)

This incredible biographical film tells the story of Malcolm X, an African American civil rights activist and Muslim minister. Starring Denzel Washington, it delves deep into the life of Malcolm X, including his visit to Egypt where he worshipped at the Mohamed Ali Mosque in Cairo. The film also shows scenes portraying Mecca in Saudi Arabia, but the director also shot these in Egypt.

RELATED CONTENT: Food in Egypt: 11 dishes and drinks you have to try

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10. The Ten Commandments (1956)

This epic religious saga is the original Exodus film, partly based on the Book of Exodus and Prince of Egypt by Dorothy Clarke Wilson, among other inspirations. It tells the story of Moses, an adopted Egyptian prince who discovers his true heritage, and denounces the Egyptian pharaoh. He begins a mission to demand freedom for his people, the enslaved Hebrews, and you can watch the whole legendary story while enjoying the scenes set and filmed in Egypt, including Mount Sinai and the Sinai Peninsula.

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11. Cairo Time (2009)

This romantic drama is about an unexpected, whirlwind love affair between a woman who is meeting her husband for a holiday in Cairo, and her husband’s friend who escorts her around the city. The gorgeous shots of Egypt, the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Khan El-Khalili Market in Cairo and more are sure to have you dreaming about your next trip to Egypt.

Are you planning on watching the new Death on the Nile movies? Let us know in the comments below!

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