Tuesday, June 29, 2010

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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