Hayatem (1981) هياتم

Egyptian actress and bellydancer Hayatem in a scene from the 1981 drama ‘Al Wahsh Dakhel al Insan’ (The Beast Within Mankind الوحش داخل الإنسان).  The film is often referred to as ‘Al Wahsh Dakhel’ or ‘The Beast Within’.  The English translation of the credits on the film itself refers to it as simply ‘The Beast’.  If you want a film that shows Egyptian rural life in much of its gritty reality, this is a good film to see.

Anyway moving along, the film starred Nahed Sherif, Mahmoud Yaseen and Said Saleh in the story of Sodfa (Sherif) who is married to her mentally challenged cousin Sayed but is in love with Mahmoud (Yaseen). Long story short, Mahmoud kills Sayed and marries Sodfa, they both have tortured consciences, various incriminating letters are written, the dead husband’s mother overhears a confession, she has a stroke and is paralysed, the dancer is killed and Mahmoud and Sodfa drown together when their car crashes into the harbour.
Trivia: No surprise then that the film is based on the gloom ridden novel ‘Thérèse Raquin’ by Emil Zola.

Soraya Salem (1954) ثريا سالم

Egyptian bellydancer Soraya Salem performs in a scene from the 1954 Egyptian movie ‘Al Anisa Hanafi’ (Miss Hanafi الآنسه حنفى), Comedian Ismail Yassin who is the groom, plays the chauvinistic Hanafi who lives with his father (Abdel Fatah Al Kasri ), his stepmother (the wonderful Zeinat Sedki) and his cousin (Magda). His father forces him into a marriage of convenience with his cousin although she loves someone else. This scene takes place at their wedding. On the wedding night complaining of abdominal pain Hanafi’s admitted to hospital and mistakenly undergoes a sex change.
In this movie comedian Ismail Yassin uses cross dressing decades before Dustin Hoffman’s efforts in ‘Tootsie’.

Nemat Mokhtar (1954) نعمت مختار

Egyptian bellydancer Nemat Mokhtar in a scene from the 1954 Egyptian movie ‘Al Anisa Hanafi’ (Miss Hanafi الآنسه حنفى), Ismail Yassin (who is the bride in this scene), plays the chauvinistic Hanafi who lives with his father (Abdel Fatah Al Kasri ), his stepmother (the wonderful Zeinat Sedki) and his cousin (Magda). His father forces him into a marriage of convenience with his cousin though she already loves someone else and this scene takes place at their wedding. On the wedding night complaining of abdominal pain Hanafi’s admitted to hospital and mistakenly undergoes a sex change.

Liz and Lyn Gamal (1954) ليز ولين

Egyptian bellydancer sisters Lys (Liz) and Lyn Gamal perform in a scene from the 1954 Egyptian movie ‘Al Anisa Hanafi’ (Miss Hanafi الآنسه حنفى ), In this scene comedian Ismail Yassin and Riyad al Qasabgi are enjoying a night out in a nightclub prior to Hanafi’s wedding.
Ismail Yassin plays the chauvinistic Hanafi who lives with his father (Abdel Fatah Al Kasri ), stepmother (the wonderful Zeinat Sedki) and cousin (Magda). His father forces him into a marriage of convenience with his cousin though she already loves someone else (Omar al Hariri). On the wedding night Hanafi complains of abdominal pain so he’s admitted to hospital and mistakenly undergoes a sex change. In this movie comedian Ismail Yassin uses cross dressing decades before Dustin Hoffman’s efforts in ‘Tootsie’.

Rania Farid Shawki (1994) (red) شوقي فريد رانيا

Rania Farid Shawki, this time wearing a red bedlah, dances in a scene from the 1994 film ‘Al Muqamer’ (The Gambler المقامر) which starred Ashraf Abdel Bagi and Hisham Abdel Hamood . The film tells the story of two men who plan to rob the bank where one of them works.  One decides to go behind the other’s back and it ends badly for everyone.

Trivia: (1) To prepare for her role in an Egyptian tv series in the early 2000’s Rania Farid Shawki took bellydance lessons from an unnamed ‘famous dancer’ in Cairo.  (2) Rania Farid Shawki is the daughter of famous Egyptian screen actor Farid Shawki.

Rania Farid Shawki (1994)(orange) رانيا فريد شوقي

This is actress Rania Farid Shawki in an orange bedlah in a scene from the 1994 film ‘Al Muqamer’ (The Gambler المقامر) which starred Ashraf Abdel Bagi (the guy sitting at the bar in the opening clip) and Hisham Abdel Hamood . The film tells the story of two men who plan to rob the bank where one of them works.  One decides to go behind the other’s back and it ends badly for everyone.

Trivia: (1) To prepare for her role in an Egyptian tv series in the early 2000’s Rania Farid Shawki took bellydance lessons from an unnamed ‘famous dancer’ in Cairo.  (2) Rania Farid Shawki is the daughter of famous Egyptian screen actor Farid Shawki.

The Great Unknown (1986)

Another one for the Dance Detectives, can anyone ID the dancer in this clip please? Starring Younes Shalaby, Lebleba, Abu Bakr Ezzat and Dalal Abd El Aziz (the wife of Egyptian comedian Samir Ghanem) the film was released in 1986.  The words ‘Al Mokhbir’ are sometimes translated as ‘The Informant’, but the title of this film is usually listed as ‘The Detective’. The actor in the white suit who is shown several times in this clip is Ahmed Rateb who went on to play a major part in the film ‘The Yacoubian Building’.
This film was directed by the late Yassin Ismail Yassin the son of cinema comedy legend Ismail Yassin.

Samia Gamal (1959) سامية جمال

Samia Gamal dances in a scene from the 1959 Egyptian film ‘Al Rajol al Thani’ (The Second Man الرجل الثاني) which also starred Lebanese singer/actress Sabah, Salah Zulfikar and Rushdi Abaza. Its interesting to see Gamal, Sabah and Abaza in the same film. As you probably know, Egyptian actor Rushdi Abaza was married to Samia Gamal from 1958 to 1977 but he married Sabah in 1977 prior to the end of his marriage to Gamal. The Sabah-Abaza marriage lasted less than a week as, according to Sabah, he’d omitted to tell her that he was still legally married to Samia. Nobody really seems to know the truth. Did Sabah and Abaza had a mut’ah which is a legal though temporary marriage known over here as ‘The 5 Minute Marriage’? Or did he just like dancers? (He’d previously been married to Taheya Karioka.) Who knows.

Samia Gamal (1954) سامية جمال‎

Samia Gamal dances in another scene from the 1954 drama ‘Al Wahsh’ (The Beast or The Monster الوحش ). This scene was filmed outdoors using many of the local inhabitants as extras and the music has been dubbed in later. The film also starred Anwar Wajdi and Mahmoud al Meliji who’s the man shown sitting on the bench drinking tea.