Friday, October 22, 2010

Girls and the Summer (1960)

This was a three-part film, each part a different cast, different story, different director, each a story by the writer Ihsan Abdul-Qudus. There was a separate poster for each story. Each poster had the same title Girls and the Summer [al-banat wal-seif] with the secondary designations first story, second story, third story. The most notable of the three was the third story, which featured Abdel Halim Hafez, Zizi El-Badrawy and Soad Hosny. All three segments were photographed by cinematographer Wahid Farid.

Girls and the Summer First Story (Mariam Fakhr Eddine) directed by Ezzel Dine Zulficar

Girls and the Summer Second Story (Samira Ahmed) directed by Salah Abuseif

Girls and the Summer Third Story (Soad Hosny) directed by Fatin Abdel Wahab

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Salama (1945)

This film was one of almost 40 by director Togo Mizrahi (1905-1986). It is considered one of his best and features the best acting performance in the long career of singer Om Kolsum (ca. 1900 - 1975). Cinematography was by Abdelhalim Nasr, distributed by Behna Films. Starring Om Kolsum, Yehia Chahine, Zouzou Nabil, Fouad Shafik, Abdel Waress Assar, Fakher Fakher and Stephan Rosti.

Salama (23.5" x 35.5") (1945) - (Om Kolsum) Egyptian blue stone litho film poster printed by Nasr printers.

Salama (23.5" x 35.5") Egyptian stone litho film poster, distributed by Behna films, printed by al-Fann Printers of Alexandria.

Salama Egyptian film program

Salama Egyptian lobby card (12" x 17.5")

Salama undated rerelease Egyptian film poster (27" x 39") art by Ahmed Fouad. This poster shows an iconic image of Om Kolsum as she was known to her fans in stage performances in later years; it is not taken from a scene in the film Salama.

Salama undated rerelease film poster (27" x 39") distributed by al-Qawmia films, printed by Arabic Cinema Printers

Watch Salama on YouTube

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stormy Night [leilet momtera] (1939)

Stormy Night [leilet momtera] (1939) - (Laila Mourad) Egyptian one-sheet

This old poster (27" x 39") is in remarkably good shape for its age, printed with stone lithography in Alexandria by Dar al-Tabaa. This was Laila Mourad's second film and her first starring role, directed with story and screenplay by Togo Mizrahi, cinematography Abdelhalim Nasr. Starring Laila Mourad, Youssef Wahby, Taheyya Cariocca, Ferdoos Mohammed, Stephan Rosti and Mansi Fahmi

Watch clip on YouTube

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Determination [al-azima] 1939

Determination [al-azima] (1939) - (Fatma Rouchdi) very rare Egyptian film poster 27" x 39" printed by Matabi Masr of Cairo

In the 1995 Cairo 100 Years of Egyptian Cinema Festival this film was ranked number one among the top 100 films. Directed by Kamal Selim, cinematography Very Varkash. Starring Fatma Rouchdi, Abd Al-Aziz Khalil, Zaki Rostom, Hussein Sedki, Anwar Wagdi, Abbas Fares, Marie Munib, Mokhtar Osman, Mokhtar Hussein, Hikmat Fahmi, Souraya Fakhry, Hassan Kamel.

In his 1969 book An Introduction to the Egyptian Cinema Egyptian director Mohamed Khan says of this film: "The story of Determination is only a skeleton to serve the film's other deeper aims. It takes place in a poor district in Cairo and concerns, among others, Mohamed, the local barber's son, who resists becoming a government official after finishing his secondary school. Mohamed hopes to better himself through a business deal with a rich man's son. This deal fails and while Mohamed is awaiting his government appointment he is threatened with the loss of his sweetheart to the local butcher. Eventually Mohamed succeeds in becoming a business man and marrying his girl. Determination is regarded as the first film of a school which was new to the Egyptian scene: the realistic school. For the first time an Egyptian film-maker dealt realistically with a social problem drawn from real life and conditions in Egypt. The deepest traditions of the Egyptian people reflect the respect and esteem accorded to officials, to the exclusion of other social classes such as tradesmen, craftsmen and independent workers. The official in his suit and Tarboosh (the Effendi) is compared with the tradesman or craftsman in his galabia, the official and his fixed regular salary and the independent worker and his uncertain earnings. This grave problem produced consequences which had a great influence on Egyptian society, especially during this period. If a young man were fortunate enough to obtain his secondary school certificate or university degree, his only hope of a stable income was to become a government employee. The result was that only foreigners went into trade or industry. The owners of the commercial or industrial companies in Egypt were Italians, Greeks, French, Swiss or British, and it was unusual to find a single Egyptian among them. Egyptian families of the middle class always chose an official to marry their daughters, however small his income might be, rejecting an independent worker even if his income was higher. Selim's film had a really overwhelming success, such as had never previously been known in the Egyptian cinema."

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Thug (1952)

The Thug (1952) - (Farid Shawqi) oversize 35" x 45" Egyptian film poster

Story by Farid Shawqi, cinematography Mahmoud Nasr, screenplay by Naguib Mahfouz, Atef Salem, Farid Shawqi and Mahmoud Sobhi; starring Farid Shawqi, Hoda Soltan, Mahmoud El-Meliguy, Abdel Waress Assar, Mahmoud Ismail and Said Abu Bakr.

A destitute youth who could not find a way to support himself was treated harshly by circumstances. He lived in a humble room in an old quarter. He was pursued by creditors and had no consolation other than his love for the owner of the house, who gave him food. This overpowered him with despair. He tried to hang himself but the ceiling fell in with his weight and a flood of currency came crashing down with him that was hidden in the floor of the room above his. He found himself awash in cash and free to begin living a life of luxury. He adopted the outlook of an arrogant wealthy person; this led him into a boistrous life where he was fascinated by money. He hid his past and chased beautiful women, neglecting his fiance and provoking the feelings of the people in the quarter. Blinded by money, he had become a thug. However the blessing did not continue for the money had been stolen from a bank by a criminal who had hidden it in the floor above the room he had been renting. The criminal came back to the room one day and did not find the money. He realized the thug had stumbled across his treasure. He went looking for him, discovered his identity and told him he could not spend those currency notes because the police knew the serial numbers. However the police came and arrested the criminal as they were planning what to do with the money.The thug stopped his fiancee's marriage to someone else and married her after deciding to return the money to the authorities, even as he was surrounded by police who had come to arrest him.

Cast and crew: Atef Salem, Naguib Mahfouz, Hoda Soltan, Mahmoud El-Meliguy, Abdel Waress Assar, Mahmoud Ismail, Said Abu Bakr, Mahmoud Sobhi, Mahmoud Nasr, nmsp, Farid Shawqi, El-Sayed Bedeir

Watch on YouTube

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lobby Cards with Matching Key Art

Pistol Harvest (1951) - (Tim Holt) #6 lobby card

Road Agent (1952) - (Tim Holt) #8 lobby card

My liking for cards like this is purely a matter of visual aesthetics. I like the symmetry and the contrast between the colored and duotone versions of the images. You don't see cards like this in every set.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Raya and Sekina (Egypt 1953)

Ria and Sekina (1953) - (Anwar Wagdi) original Egyptian film poster

Based on a true story, directed by Salah Abouseif, story and screenplay by Naguib Mahfouz and Salah Abouseif, art by Solly, printed by Orfand and Sons, distributed by Al-Hilal Films, cinematography Wahid Farid, starring Anwar Wagdi, Negma Ibrahim, Zouzou Hamdy El-Hakim, Farid Shawqi, Shukry Sarhan, Samira Ahmed, Berlanty Abdel Hamid, Reyad El Kasabgy, Shafik Galal, Said Khalil and Seraj Munir.

English Plot Summary from Film Program: Ghoulish fiends in female shape, murderesses without parallel in the annals of criminology in Egypt! Though thirty years have elapsed since the hangman's noose throttled forever their foul activities, those who remember still shake with horror when thinking of them.

The curtain is raised in Alexandria, the second largest city of Egypt, where for two consecutive years its inhabitants were living under a spell of terror: young women were disappearing into thin air one after the other, leaving absolutely no trace; the police were at their wits end and it was certain that these disappearances were caused by a most highly organized gang and could not be brought about by an individual single-handed.

117 women had disappeared and still the entire police force of Alexandria were baffled and seemingly powerless to deal a death blow to the gang... until one day an apparently insignificant information pricked the ears of a smart young police officer, who at the risk of his life set about to free the country from these murderers: he was certain now that all the missing victims had been murdered, and that the motive was robbery, since all the women wore on them gold jewellery.

These horrible crimes could not go on indefinitely and the old dictum 'crime does not pay' had to be proved correct once more: after breath-stopping incidents the country at last learnt with immense relief the arrest of the gang of assassins; after their arrest only 37 bodies could be found out of the 117 missing.

The scenario of the film Raya and Sekina on the basis of which the film has been made is nothing more than a complete reporting of the case, dramatically brought to screen-life following a thorough study of the Criminal Investigation Department's old files.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Big Buffoon (Youssef Chahine, 1952)

Big Buffoon, The [al-muharrig al-kabir] (1952) - (dir: Youssef Chahine) Egyptian film poster

Directed by Youssef Chahine, cinematography Abdelhalim Nasr, starring Faten Hamama, Hassan Fayek, Youssef Wahby, Masud Isa, Mahmoud Ismail, Nabil Al Alfi, Ferdoos Mohammed, Wedad Hamdy, Seraj Munir and Hassan el Baroudi. Art by Dimitri and Studio Adly, printed by Saied Aly Litho, Cairo.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rhonda Fleming as Little Egypt and Cleopatra

Little Egypt (1951) - (Rhonda Fleming) US Lobby Card

Serpent of the Nile (1953) - (Rhonda Fleming) US Lobby Card

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Samia Gamal (1924-1994)

Samia Gamal, cover of Al-Kawakeb magazine 19 September 1961.

Samia Gamal was born Zaynab Ali Khalil Ibrahim Mahfouz in Bani Swaif, Egypt. She got her stage name from Badia Masabni, who was the founder of modern oriental dance and who ran a dance company of which Samia was a member. Samia Gamal was one of the greatest Egyptian dancers and appeared in many films during her active years as a performer (1942-1963). There is an article and filmography in Wikepdia. I have some images here of some of my favorite Samia Gamal posters:

Night Train [qattar al-leil] (1953) directed by Ezzel Dine Zulficar

First Romance [awwal gharam] (1956) directed by Niazi Mostafa

Father of Darkness [abul-lail] (1960) directed by Houssam El-Din Mustafa

Valley of the Kings (1954) (Robert, Taylor, Eleanor Parker) US one-sheet

Valley of the Kings (1954) (Robert, Taylor, Eleanor Parker) US lobby card showing Samia Gamal dancing the Dance of the Houris

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Cairo 1963 (George Sanders)

Half Sheet for the 1963 Wolf Rilla film Cairo

Watch the film on YouTube here.

This film was a remake of John Huston's 1950 Asphalt Jungle, based on the novel by W.R. Burnett. Most reviewers have considered it much inferior to the Huston version.

The cast was George Sanders, Richard Johnson, Faten Hamama, John Meillon, Ahmed Mazhar, Eric Pholmann, Walter Rilla, Kamal Al-Shennawi, Salah Nazmi, Shouweikar, Mona, Abdel Khalek Saleh, Said Abu Bakr, Salah Mansour, Mohamed El Sayed, Youssef Chaban, Ezzat El Alaili, Mohamed Abdel Rahman, Nahed Sabri and Aziza Hassan.

Some people may recognize the names Ahmed Mazhar (who was Saladin in the 1961 Youssef Chahine film Salah al-Din the Victorious) and Kamal Al-Shennawi, who has had a career of great prominence in Egyptian cinema for over 50 years. Salah Mansour had a role in this film as a doctor, but I will always associate him with his later role as the lecherous ill-fated village mayor in the 1967 Salah Abouseif film The Second Wife.

This film is interesting to me because it was made in Cairo and includes so much important Egyptian talent. The only Egyptian name on the poster is Faten Hamama, who was Egypt's most important actress at the time, married to Omar Sharif. Some people think the dancer pictured on the poster must be Hamama, but the dancer is actually the film's first dancer, Nahed Sabri, who is not named on the poster.

Nahed Sabri on the cover of the 19 September 1961 issue of Al-Kawakeb

Faten Hamama appears on one of the lobby cards:

Faten Hamama bidding farewell to George Sanders in a scene from the film. She was a major star in Egypt at that time, but in the lobby card caption she is identified simply as "Egyptian girl Faten Hamama."

She is also pictured in one of my film stills:

Faten Hamama as Amina sitting at the bedside of an injured George Sanders in his role as The Major

Faten Hamama shown (upper right) speaking with Cecil B. DeMille in the 19 October 1954 issue of Al-Kawakeb

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Amal [امال] - (Shadia) Oversize Egyptian Poster (1952)

Amal [امال] (1952) - (Shadia) Egyptian oversize poster 47" x 36" art by Farag printed by Raghaeb Printers distributed by Lotus Films

Shadia [Fatima Ahmed Kamal] as she appeared in her role as Amal

Black and White (110 min.)directed by Youssef Maalouf, based on a story and screenplay by Henry Barakat, cinematography Mostafa Hassan; starring Shadia, Mohsen Sarhan, Farid Shawqi, Zouzou Nabil, Mimi Shakeeb, Mohamed Kamel, Choukoukou, Souraya Fakhry, Salah Mansour and Afaf Shaker.

The plot as summarized in the studio film program: "Hussein belonged to an old family in Alexandria and went to Cairo now and then. He knew the dancer Soheir, loved her and married her without telling his family, in order not to anger them. He chose a house for her in Cairo and made a habit of visiting her there from day to day. After months passed Soheir gave birth to a child named 'Widad.' When Hussein learned about this he went quickly from Alexandria to witness the birth, which was difficult in a way. After he was assured of the health of mother and child he arranged to return to Alexandria and to explain the matter to his family. He believed it would be easy to persuade his father to accept Soheir into the family, since he was his only son and because his father would be sympathetic to the little granddaughter. However fate was unkind to the wife and her daughter. Hussein's automobile turned over in a horrific accident. As a result he was taken to the hospital and there his uncle came to see him, since the father was bedridden. Hussein told his uncle about the secret marriage and then died. The uncle, named Amr, saw what was coming, because with the death of Hussein he would be the sole heir to his brother's enormous fortune were it not for the unexpected marriage. He therefore decided to make plans to make himself the sole heir of the enormous wealth; he was was encouraged by his wife Doria to carry out this evil plan, and the child Amal became an orphan. He turned her over to the costodian of the estate. The years went by and Amal became a lively, vigorous girl, but she lived like a stranger in her own house, an abject person in her own land. Was she destined to know her origins? Was she destined to win her beloved? You will find out in the film."

Cast and crew: Youssef Maalouf, Shadia, Mohsen Sarhan, Farid Shawqi, Zouzou Nabil, Mimi Shakeeb, Choukoukou, Souraya Fakhry, Salah Mansour, Mostafa Hassan, Afaf Shaker, Henry Barakat

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Salah Abouseif, Emile Zola Poster #2

The Criminal [al-mogrem] (1978) - (Shams El-Barudy) 27"x39" film poster, art by Walid Wahig, distributed by Dollar Films, printed by Al-Nasr Printers.

This film is a remake of the collaboration between Salah Abouseif and Naguib Mahfouz on a screenplay for the 1867 Emile Zola novel, mentioned in the previous post. The two versions are 26 years apart, the first was in black and white, the second was in color, both with completely different casts. It is the only collaboration they did that was produced and marketed twice.

Color (100 min.) cinematography Mahmoud Nasr. Starring Shams El-Barudy, Hassan Youssef, Mohamed Awad, Gamal Ismail, Nabil Badr, Hamdy Ahmed, Amina Rizk, Soheir El-Barouni and Anwar Mohamed.

Zaghloul married his cousin Ensaf even though he was a fool. The two of them lived under the support of her mother. Monir met the family through Zaghloul, who was a colleague at work. He began working a fiendish plan to take over the family, which he saw as a source of income for his constant gambling. He finally succeeded in eliminating Zaghloul by drowning him in the Nile during a boating trip. The people in the neighborhood claimed he was not able to save him because he did not know how to swim. Monir asked the aunt for Ensaf’s hand and she agreed. After he married her he began plotting against her. He obtained the right to take over the aunt’s property. In the neighborhood there was doubt about the activities of this person. It was discovered he had a relationship with a dancer and knew how to swim. Ensaf was told about this but she did not believe it. They took her to see him swimming with her own eyes, and the aunt was paralyzed with shock when she heard the story. The people in the neighborhood knew what had happened. They rushed in upon them and threw the aunt upon the ground. Meanwhile Monir tried to steal the jewelry and the people in the neighborhood chased him. The chase ended with him falling into the public bath.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Salah Abouseif, Emile Zola Poster #1

Your Day is Coming [lak yom ya zalem] (1952) - (Faten Hamama) Stone litho film poster (23.5 x 35.5 inches) art by Gasour, distributed by Dar al-Halal Films, printed by Raghaeb Printers

Black and White (110 min.); the film was directed by Salah Abouseif adapted from Emile Zola’s 1867 novel Thérèse Raquin, screenplay by Naguib Mahfouz and Salah Abouseif, cinematography Wahid Farid. Starring Faten Hamama with Mohsen Sarhan, Mohammad Tawfik, Mahmoud El-Meliguy, Abdel Waress Assar, Said Abu Bakr, Adly Kasseb, Wedad Hamdy and Ahmed Al-Gezeiry.

A man falls in love with the wealthy wife of a friend. He kills his friend, marries the widow, steals her money and jewelry and mistreats her. He is then arrested and punished.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Adventures of Antar and Ablah مغامرات عنتر وعبلة (Seraj Munir) - (1948) Egyptian one-sheet

The Adventures of Antar and Ablah (1948) - (Seraj Munir) Egyptian one-sheet

The theme of this film is idealistic, historic, nationalistic and patriotic; it lacks the wit and the careful and somewhat more pessimistic character studies and contemporary urban street scenes for which Naguib Mahfouz is best known in his later work. The story was written in 1945 and was Mahfouz’s first work for film. Its release was delayed until 1948. Directed and with screenplay by Salah Abouseif; story by Naguib Mahfouz and Abdel Aziz Salam, cinematography Mustafa Hassan; starring Seraj Munir and Kouka, with Zaki Toleimat, Negma Ibrahim, Khairia Kheiry, Abdel Hamid Zaki, Fakher Fakher, Stephan Rosti, Said Soliman and Farid Shawqi.

Plot summary: A magnificent celebration was held for the wedding of Antar and Ablah. The group was surprised on the wedding night when the governess of Antar and Ablah declared that they were siblings and that marriage was forbidden to them. Antar was overcome with sadness. He went into the desert where he encountered a band of Arabs under Roman attack. Antar observed in their ranks a brave warrior who was captured by the Romans after a fierce battle. The news reached his family and clan and they rushed to help him fight the Romans. They were joined by other Arab tribes. The Arabs defeated the Romans after a violent battle. The governess admitted she had fabricated the story that Antar and Ablah were siblings because of the demand by the prince who had hired her to separate the lovers because he wanted to marry Ablah. In the end the lovers returned to each other and married.

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