Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tough Guy [الفتوة] (Farid Shawqi) - (1957)

Tough Guy [al-fotuwwah] (Farid Shawqi) - (1957) Egyptian film poster

Pictured is an Egyptian rerelease poster by an unknown designer made to promote the 1957 120-minute Salah Abouseif black-and-white film Tough Guy [al-fotuwwah] starring Farid Shawqi based on a story by Mahmoud Sobhi and Farid Shawqi with screenplay by Naguib Mahfouz, Salah Abouseif, Mahmoud Sobhi and El Sayed Bedir and cinematography by Hesham Wadid Serri.

The man pictured on the poster is the late Farid Shawqi (1920-1998), one of Egypt's most popular and prolific actors, who appeared in 275 films made in Egypt, Turkey and Syria. The poster shows Shawqi as a peasant wearing a traditional galabiyya, holding the tail of it between his teeth to make it easier to run.

The film is about a man from a rural area who comes to Cairo looking for work, rises to social prominence as the owner of a successful produce business and then eventually loses most of what he has and almost his life in an altercation with an arch competitor. It is a black-and-white thriller with overtones of an old-time urban gangster film. The film is included on critic Ahmad Al-Hadari's 2007 list of Egypt's 100 most important films, and it is also in the top 100 according to film critic Sa'ad al-Din Tawfiq.

Plot Summary: A man from upper Egypt named Haridi [Farid Shawqi] is looking for a way to feed himself working in a vegetable market. The work is hard manual labor but he succeeds in the employ of an important merchant named Abu Zayd [Zaki Rostom] and also with the help of a experienced woman named Husseinia [Taheyya Cariocca]. Haridi becomes one of Abu Zayd's close associates and learns all his secrets, ways of taking bribes, holding public auctions and peddling influence. Haridi then separates from Abu Zayd, marries Husseinia and becomes an important merchant. After a long series of heated and sometimes violent clashes with Haridi, Abu Zayd goes to prison and Haridi becomes the social boss of the market using Abu Zayd's methods and following in his footsteps as another oppressor. He even acquires the title "Bey." When Abu Zayd is released from prison there is a dispute between him and Haridi over a big auction. The dispute becomes a hot confrontation in which Abu Zayd dies and Haridi is arrested.

Cast and crew: Farid Shawqi, Taheya Cariocca, Salah Abouseif, Zaki Rostom, Mimi Shakeeb, Tewfik El Dekn, Fakher Fakher, Mahmoud El-Sabbaa, Naguib Mahfouz, Hassan el Baroudi, Mohamed Reda, Abdel Alim Khattab, Hoda Soltan, Mahmoud El-Meliguy, Hesham Wadid Serri, Wadid Serri, Naima Wasfy, Loutfy El Hakim, Salwa Mohamed, Mahmoud Sobhi, El Sayed Bedeir, Kamal Yassine, Nazim Shaarawy, Ahmed al-Hamaqi, Abdou Youssef

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