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

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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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