Saturday, May 17, 2014

Amber [عنبر] (Laila Mourad) - (1948)

Amber [anbar] (Laila Mourad) - (1948) Egyptian film poster

This is an undated rerelease Egyptian poster made to promote the 1948 Anwar Wagdi 123-minute black-and-white film Amber [anbar] starring Laila Mourad as Amber based on a story by Mohamed Kamel Hassan with screenplay and dialogue by Anwar Wagdi and cinematography by Abdelhalim Nasr. Plot summary: Reshwan Basha [Abdel Waress Assar] is on a sickbed surrounded by family members. They are treating him quite harshly and refusing to give him water. They have his only daughter Amber [Laila Mourad] locked in the mansion bedroom. They are doing these things to force the Basha to tell them where he has hidden his wealth, which they desire. Anwar [Anwar Wagdi], owner of the Gold Star Casino, arrives with his attorney Hassan [Hassan Fayek]. While they are waiting to see the Basha, Anwar suddenly hears a sweet melodious voice coming from the bedroom. He looks through a panel in the door and sees Amber singing. After a short conversation with her, he finds himself surrounded by the members of the gang that wants Reshwan Basha's wealth. He tells them that he and his attorney Hassan have come to buy the clothing of Reshwan Basha's late wife. The gang agrees to sell him the clothing. These garments include a dress Amber once wore. After Anwar and Hassan leave the gang members take Amber and her sick old nanny to the bedside of Reshwan Basha, who is about to die. They leave Amber with her father according to his wishes. The Basha tells his secret to his daughter while the men in the gang are eavesdropping outside. The Basha tells his daughter Amber he married her mother against the wishes of his family, who fought him throughout the years of the marriage; he was sure they were going to fight his daughter after he died. This unhappy situation had led him to sell all of his property and use the money to buy jewelry. He put the jewels in a chest and hid it. He drew a map to its location and sewed the map into the collar of a black silk evening dress, the same dress Amber used to wear when she sang, and the same one Anwar has purchased. Amber collapses in tears as the members of the gang rush to the Gold Star Casino, which is a westernized nightclub where the orchestra, led by Anwar as its trumpet player, plays jazz standards such as Benny Goodman's I Found a New Baby. These melodies are mixed with performances by Laila Mourad and others of show tunes composed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, some in the style of Western jazz, others with Egyptian scales and rhythms. Anwar tries to persuade Horia [Zeinat Sedki], a woman singer in his troupe, to wear the dress he has purchased, but she vehemently refuses. During the argument the hidden map comes out of the collar of the dress; Anwar gives it to Hassan, not knowing its value. After he learns what it is, he and Amber evade the gang, eventually make their way back to the mansion and find the hidden chest of jewels. This discovery is followed by a fight with the covetous gang, then a gala celebratory marriage between Anwar and Amber.

Cast and crew: Laila Mourad, Anwar Wagdi, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Abdelhalim Nasr, Mohamed Kamel Hassan, Bechara Wakim, Hassan Fayek, Said Abu Bakr, Ismail Yasseen, Mahmoud Choukoukou, Elias Moadab, Stephan Rosti, Farid Shawqi, Reyad El Kasabgy, Zeinat Sedki, Abdel Moneim Ismail, Aziz Osman, Abdel Waress Assar

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