Naima Akef and the flute playing giant. A scene from the 1955 film ‘Bahr al Gharam’ (Sea of Love بحر الغرام) which starred Naima Akef, Youssef Wehbi and Rushdi Abaza. The film was directed by Hussein Fawzi who later became Akef’s husband and directed her in over a dozen films until they divorced in 1958.
Trivia: the Arabic word ‘bahr’ meaning sea (or harbour) which is used in the title of this movie can also be found in the name of the Middle Eastern country, Bahrain. Bahrain means ‘two seas’ though there’s endless argument about exactly which two seas. The word Bahrain breaks down as bahr (sea) +ain (the form of the word for ‘two’ used at the end of a plural noun).
Naima Akef in an orange costume in a scene from the 1964 Egyptian colour production ‘Amir al Dahaa’. She 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, which is known as ‘The Prince of Cunning’ AKA ‘The Crafty One’ AKA ‘The Artful Prince’ AKA ‘The Prince of Savvy’ (well, you get the drift I’m sure) is based on French writer Alexandre Dumas’ book, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. Starring Farid Shawki, Shwaiker, Naima Akef, Tawfiq Daqn and Mahmoud Morsi. The film is a colour remake, complete with the same dialogue, of the black and white 1950 film ‘Amir el Antikam’ (‘Prince of Revenge’) starring Anwar Wagdy. The dance scenes from that 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 versions 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.)