Sunday, February 17, 2013

Girls of the Night [بنات الليل] (dir: Hassan Al Imam) (1955)

Girls of the Night (1955) - (Madiha Yousri) Egyptian one-sheet

The poster shown here was designed by Stamatis Vassiliou to promote the 1955 135-minute black-and-white Hassan Al Imam film Girls of the Night [banat al-lail] based on a story by Hassan Al Imam with screenplay and dialogue by El Sayed Bedeir and cinematography by Alevise Orfanelli. Plot summary: One of the girls of the night, the daughter of a decent man, fell into the ways of seduction and became a cabaret professional, but she was deeply unhappy and wanted to return to a pure upright life. One night the girl happened to see a conservative family who had been her neigbors before her fall. They loved her and made an agreement with her to save her. They welcomed her back into the old friendship that had connected the two families and agreed to a marriage between her and their son, believing she was still pure. The girl was pregnant and felt that her hopes for marriage had died, but the nurse who treated her told her to sell the child at birth to a barren woman who was afraid she would lose her husband if she could not give him a child.

However the girl refused to sell her baby and decided to tell her fiance everything. Her fiance's father discovered the truth about her life and what she had done, forbade his son to marry her and threw her out of the house. Then the boy had an accident at work, broke his spine and was taken to the hospital. He was told an operation would be needed that would cost his father a lot of money. The girl learned about it and agreed to sell her baby and give the money to the hospital. The boy she loved was saved and then she had her baby and gave it to the barren woman, who took advantage of her husband's travel as a naval officer and told him she had borne the child in his absence. The days passed and the girl left Egypt for Lebanon. There she ran across her daughter with the woman who had bought her, and motherly emotions stirred in her heart. She followed the woman to Egypt, where she asked her to return her child to her. However the woman told her husband the whole truth and he went with her to the cabaret where the girl worked. There the fiance and his father met and tried to intervene to resolve the situation. They found the girl doing her dance on a high platform. She died after it became clear that the woman's husband was the baby girl's father, the one who had previously had a relationship with her.

Cast and crew: El Sayed Bedeir, Madiha Yousri, Kamal Al-Shennawi, Hind Rostom, Zuzu Hamdi, Souraya Helmy, Hassan Al Imam, Hussein Riad, Ahmed Allam, Alevise Orfanelli, Zuzu Hamdi, Ferdoos Mohammad, Nadia Al-Shennawi, Soraya Hassan, Abdel Azim Kamel, E'tedal Shahin, Khayria Khayri, Saleha Qasin, Mohamed Shawky, Mohamed Sabih

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