A Husband's Confession
Director: Fatin Abdulwahhab
Year:  1965
Rating: 7.0

Country: Egypt

From what little I could find out about this Egyptian film from the 1960's, it is considered a comedy classic. Some of it doesn't hold up that well all these many years later but most of it does in a sweet, chaotic and silly way with some great comic performances all around. It also seemed clear that even with the good English subtitles, that I was still missing a fair amount of the rapid fire word play. But I really enjoy these Egyptian films from the Golden Age and wish more were available with subs. This one though is up on YouTube with subs in decent if not great condition.

It has a great comic manic arc. It begins with a loving wife and husband, the wife's parents and their very good female friend who lives next door. So much loving between all of them. Sweet words pass between them like honeysuckle. The husband and wife (Fouad El-Mohandes and Shouweikar, who were married in real life at the time of the film. Shouweikar just passed away a short time ago) go off on a vacation on a plane. The plane loses a motor, then another one, then another one and expecting to die she confesses to him that she cheated on his eggs in the morning; he stupidly confesses that he dreamed about kissing the buxom blonde next door. She being actress Hind Rustum (incredible in the classic Cairo Station) who was sort of the Marilyn Monroe in Egypt - not my comparison but others. But she is great so you can understand a man dreaming about her. Kind of a Va-Va-Voom girl.

Well, that is the beginning of the collapse of everything as relationships fall apart like a house of cards. The wife Latifah is furious with her husband Waheed. The father-in-law (Youseff Wahbi) who is all lovely dovey with his enormous wife in person tells Waheed that he wants to put her in a space capsule and send her into space (so do we), then he persuades Waheed that it wasn't a dream but real and that he got Bossa pregnant and then he makes a play for Bossa (Hind) himself. The screechy crazy as a loon mother in law persuades Latifah to not divorce him yet but wait to catch Waheed and Bossa (which means kiss in Egyptian) in the act. But Bossa is in love with Essam (Amed Ramzy) who pays her no attention so she decides to make him jealous by flirting with Waheed. A combustible mix.

This all runs around like a chicken that has lost its head and is frantic and nutty - at times getting a bit too broad but overall good fun. In an old fashioned way. It is the parents-in-law who make this film - the sneaky father who could talk his way out of a blender and the mother (Mary Mounib) who is just a non-stop stream of in your face. Mounib was a comedy icon in her time especially for her sharp acidic tongue as a mother-in-law in a number of films. In fact, the film is filled with very popular actors in Egypt and they are all given space to put on a good performance. If this has been made in America in the 1930's, it would have been termed a Screwball comedy.