Director: Atef Salem
This one has three of the biggest stars in Egyptian cinema at the time. The
sex symbol Hind Rustum (sometimes spelled Rostom), Rushdy Abaza and one that
you will know - Omar Shariff, three years before he became famous worldwide
in Lawrence of Arabia. The film is a dramatic tale of their changing relationships
to one another with touches of humor and music along the way. But much of
the film's pleasure for me was simply the sailboat going up the Nile, the
sails up high billowing with the wind and against the sky.
It begins in Luxor underneath the grand columns and temples from over two
thousand years ago - just a part of the city structure. A group of shippers
have decided to stay up with the times and have sold their sail boats in
order to buy a motorized barge. The head of this group asks Mujahed (Rushdy
Abaza) and the head man's son Muhasab (Shariff) to sail the Bride of the
Nile (not to be confused with a film of the same name) to Cairo and sell
it and add it to the money they have been given to buy the barge. Mujahed
is an old hand and as honorable as the Nile is long while Muhasab is a novice
and on his first trip as a "man". But a gang hears of the money they are
carrying and aim to steal it.
They stop along the way and Muhasab who has been given the responsibility
to carry the considerable cash gets off at anchor and goes to a local circus
and soon every pickpocket in town seems to hear about it through the pickpocket
grapevine. It is a wonderfully shot scene full of energy and local color
and crowds in which Muhasab is the main target. He stops to watch the Great
Nargis (Hind) dance and nearly explodes with lust and pheromones as she gets
close to him - also wanting to steal his money. The next day she connives
her way on board and the sexual tension builds (particularly when she dances
on board swaying her large hips like a swing in motion) and the antipathy
grows between Muhasab and Mujahed as she plays Muhasab like a spinning top
and incites a rivalry. She is a classic honey trap in league with the gang.
The virgin is in way over his head and wasn't too bright to begin with. This
is not a heroic role for Sheriff by any means - he starts off stupid and
ends up just as stupid. Hind rocks in this film sending out insincere sexual
desire like a telegraph on fire with every smoldering look and phony come-on.