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In 1977, an Arabian princess and her 19-year-old lover were publicly executed. British journalist Antony Thomas investigated this contemporary example of Middle Eastern jurisprudence; he then transformed his research into this 1980 docudrama. Suzanne Abou Taleb plays the unfortunate title woman in this unvarnished dramatization.
The government of Saudi Arabia demanded that the film not be shown in Great Britain, but the BBC refused to buckle under.
In America, Death of a Princess was telecast as an episode of the PBS series World on May 12, 1980. Despite the protests of the Saudi-Arabians and alleged pressure from certain oil-company underwriters of public television, the film attracted one of PBS's biggest-ever audiences.