Naima Akef in a scene from the 1949 Egyptian film ‘Sitt al Bayt’ (Lady of the House ست البيت). From what I’ve been able to find out, this was her first credited movie role. The film starred Faten Hamama (who was married to Omar Sharif for many years). Also starring were Emad Hamdi, Thuraya Fakri, Hosna Soloman and Zeinab Sedki. Zeinab (with a ‘b’) Sedki is often confused with Zeinat (with a ‘t’) Sedki the comedienne from the same era who often appeared in films with Ismail Yassine.
The singer in this scene is Abdul Aziz Mahmoud while Emad Hamdi is at the bar getting hammered.
The commentary of this retrospective of the career of Egyptian bellydancer and actress Naima Akef (1929-1966) is in Arabic but even if you’re not an Arabic speaker, the pictures and clips give an overview of her movie career. It covers many of her most famous dance scenes including ‘Tamr Henna’ in Part 2. If you follow old time Egyptian movies you see famous Egyptian comedienne Zeinat Sedki playing the riq as part of the band in the ‘Tamr Henna’ scenes.
(One day I’ll have the time to do a translation but unfortunately I can’t see it being any time soon.)
Naima Akef wearing a white costume in a scene from the 1964 Egyptian colour production ‘Amir al Dahaa’ (أمير الدهاء ). Naima Akef retired shortly after making this film to care for her child and sadly she died two years later while still in her mid-30s.
The film is known as ‘The Prince of Cunning’ aka ‘The Crafty One’ aka ‘The Artful Prince’ aka ‘The Prince of Savvy’ (well, you get the idea I’m sure) and is based on French writer Alexandre Dumas’ book, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. It starred Farid Shawki, Shwaiker, Naima Akef, Tawfiq Daqn and Mahmoud Morsi.
Background: The film is a colour remake, complete with the same dialogue, of a 1950 black and white film ‘Amir el Antikam’ (‘Prince of Revenge’) which starred Anwar Wagdy. The dance scenes in the earlier movie were performed by Samia Gamal.
Movie trivia: 1. Farid Shawki who’s the star of this film, had a small part in the earlier production. 2. Both the 1950 and 1964 version of the story were directed by Henri Barakat. 3. The dubbed English language version of this film was released in the US with the grand title ‘Vengeance of the Desert’. (Thanks to Lynette of Serpentine.)