In ancient Egypt the Pharaoh Khufu is obsessed with acquiring gold and plans to take it all with him into the “second life.” To this end he enlists the aid of Vashtar, an architect whose people are enslaved in Egypt. The deal: build a robbery-proof tomb and the enslaved people will be freed. During the years that the pyramid is being built a Cyprian princess becomes the pharaoh’s second wife, and she plots to prevent Khufu from taking his treasure with him when he dies .. as well as helping him make the journey early.
Cynical British journalist Fowler (Michael Redgrave) falls in love with a young Vietnamese woman, but is dismayed when a naïve U.S. official (Audie Murphy) also begins vying for the girl’s attention. In retaliation, Fowler informs the communists that the American is selling arms to their enemy. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s drama paints a rosier picture of U.S. involvement in French Indochina than Graham Greene’s provocative 1955 novel.