Friday, June 22, 2007

The best 15 Egyptian films in 100 years

I forgot to mention them in the previous post but here are they the best 15 Egyptian films in 100 years chosen by 20 critics

1. The Mummy "المومياء" by Shady Abd El-Salam in year 1975 starring Nadia Lotfy and Mohamed Marr'i "Well it is not like the American Mummy for sure , it is much more serious ,to put it in simple words its story happens in the 19th century about the tomb raiding in Luxor , it was highly received inside and outside Egypt , this is the only long film for Abd El-Salam before his death , Abd El-Salam was mad about ancient Egypt , already if you watch Cleopatra then you must know that the man who designed the entrance of Cleopatra in Rome was him , he had another fantastic short movie called "The wise peasant" based upon the famous ancient Egyptian story with the same name , he died while preparing for his long film about the life of king Akhenaton"

2. The sin "الحرام" by Henry Barkat in year 1965 starring Fatan Hamma and Abdullah Guith "Not cheerful at all , I think it was based upon Youssef Idris short story , I am not quite sure , it is about the tough life of the peasants who work from one field to another , it is very sad and I don't usual complete it till the end"

3. The Land "الارض"by Youssef Chahin in year 1960 starring Mahmoud El-Maligy and Nagwa Ibrahim "This is from the very few films I like for Youssef Chahin , also about the struggle of the Egyptian peasants in early 20th century , Mahmoud El-Maligy proved to be a diamond in the mud ,his unforgettable performance deserved an Oscar, the soundtrack was a historical especially the ending music by Ali Ismail"

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4. A Beginning and an Ending "بداية و نهاية"by Salah Abu Seif in year 1960 starring Omar El-Sherif and Farid Shawaky "Big drama with black comedy from Farid , great performance of Sana'a Gamil and it is enough to know that it was based upon a novel with the same name written by Naguib Mahfouz , Shawaky proved to be a great comedian in that dull film"

5. The Bus driver by Atef El-Taib "سواق الاتوبيس" ,in year 1983 starring Nour El-Sherif "Unfortunately among all late El-Taib films ,I didn't see this one but I heard and read it was great , late El-Taib was famous for his realistic political films”

6. The Collar and the bracelet "الطوق و الاسورة" by Khairy Beshara in year 1986 starring Sherihan ,Ezzat El-Alali and Fardos Abd El-Hamid “drama and family tragedy in upper Egypt ,so dull”

7. The Well "العزيمة"by Kamal Salim in year 1939 starring Hussein Sadaky and Fatima Rushidy “this film is a remark in the history of Egyptian cinema , a classical realistic piece of Art with giants in it , it wasn’t funny at all a romantic drama , Rushidy told Sadaky in it {I love you Mohamed} , by the way Angelina Jolie Arabic tattoo means the well”

8. Cairo Station “Bad El-Hadid” "باب الحديد" by Youssef Chahin in year 1958 starring Youssef Chahin ,Hend Rostom and Farid Shawaky “This film when it was first shown back in 1958 made the fans of Farid Shawaky destroy the cinemas , the psychological drama and also the acting of Chahin were not respected by many back then, a piece of trivia one of the leading men in the Egyptian Cinema ,shokary Sarhan was casted for the leading role presented later by Chahin , Sarhan was chosen by then the produced turned him down when he asked for 50 Egyptian Pounds more of his salary “

9. The Wife of an important man"زوجة رجل مهم" by Mohamed Khan in 1988 starring Ahmed Zaky and Marvet Amin “This film as far as I know is shown in the police academy in Egypt to make the students beware of their police influence in their life , but with no use , Zaki was one hell of a bad ass police officer who should be killed , the end was dramatic”

10. The Flirtation of girls "غزل البنات" by Anwar Wagdy in year 1949 starring Naguib El-Rahany ,Laila Murad and Anwar Wagdi “ A romantic comedy , a little bit of black comedy , great fantastic music where Laila Murad Sang one of its most romantic songs ,the best Arabic Tango with music of Mohamed Abd El-Wahab who appeared in the film and also sang in it and the lyrics of Hussien El-Sayed”

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11. Death or Life "حياة اوموت" by Kamal El-Sheikh in year 1954 starring Emad Hamdy and Madiha Youssry “I don’t know how this silly film made to the list ,it isnot the best films for El-Sheikh nor for Youssry or for Hamdy , for God sake it is the movie of {in the medicine there a deadly poison} already a piece of trivia this film was made to make people understand the importance of the Egyptian 911 police alike when the service entered Egypt , it was very silly , in fact it was a comedy of itself when I remember it”

12. The Nightingale prayer "دعاء الكروان" by Henry Barkat in year 1959 starring Fatan Hamma and Ahmed Mazhar based upon a novel by Taha Hussein “What can I say a sad love story ,the old story of vengeance that turns to love and guilt , in the heart of the upper Egypt , the film is magical despite its sadness ,it is very sad and ends very sad , this film was one piece of art that could have reached to the Oscars but it did not because Ahmed Mazhar was a close friend to President Nasser “

13. The innocent "البرىء" by Atef El-Tayeb in year 1986 starring Ahmed Zaki “One of the most important political films in Egypt , it is said that it is the favorite for the MB”

14. The Kitkat "الكيت الكات" by Dawood Abd El-Sayed in year 1991 starring Mahmoud Abd El-Aziz “It reminds me with the scent of a woman , seriously I don’t find it that great or special ,yes it is good but come on there are other important films than this by the way the Kitkat is a populated area in Giza not the chocolate”

15. Terrorism and Kebab "الارهاب و الكباب"by Sherif Aref in year 1992 , starring Adel Emam and Youssra ,story by Wahid Hammed “ at last a real political comedy , despite all what you think about Emam and Hammed , this film is great and what is great about it was about this era , the era of President Mubarak “

Ok here is the list now if we read it again we will find that Henry Barkat, Youssef Chahin and Atef El-Tayeb made to the list twice more than any director, good for them

Yet the big surprise that there are other great films for great directors that was included like the great film “Something from Fear” by Hussein Kamal and starring Shadia who presented a great performance

Also there are other directors in the lists who should have mentioned more than one time like Salah Abu Seif as I hinted before this man got a very important list like “Between Heaven and earth,”Raya and Skina”, “The Start” and “Cairo ‘30

Another two films I remember should have been included are “Song on the pass” by Ali Abd El-Khalk about the 1967 six days war and “The Karnak” by Ali Badrakhan and starring Soad Hosni

Anyhow this is a critics’ list not the people list

in Wikipedia


  1. They should have included " darb el- mahabeel" by Tawfik salih and " Hamam el-Malateely"

  2. You should have left the names in Arabic. Those "translated" titles are really ruining the effort you have put in the post!

  3. @I didn't see Dar El-Mahabeel but I know Tawfik Salih is a good director , but Hamam El-Malateely ,for God Sake it is banned in Egypt due to its sex and nudity scenes ,I don't know I read its story and I think Salah Abu Seif made a mistake when he tried to present something like Thartha fok El-Nile

    @rude anonymous , do I have to cancel your comments on a daily basis , I am sorry but Amr has his own blog why don't you go there , also are not you interested to comment on anything else in the blog here beside calling Amr names !!??

    @JPierre , thanks for the hint ,I think this is good idea

  4. I would be interested in having your opinion, which egyptian movies would you recommend ?
    I've only seen a few (less then 10 I would say, and only a couple listed here) some of which should have been mentionned. For instance Omaret Yacobean should have been stated in my sense, is it not politicaly correct enough ?

  5. well Sag. I like the Mummy it is a piece of art so much also the wife of an important man , this film is wonderful , the story is a real life example of the corrupte police officer
    Fliteration of girls is a look to the golden age of Egypt and its cinema
    terrorism and Kabab is the best film in my opinion to describe the relation between the people and regime now
    About Yoccabian well it is great but it does not deserve to be included with these movies for sure , because it is the not first time that the Egyptian cinema presents such kind of a film shock kind with the mix of self criticism and sex
    many critics don't see it so great more than return to the political novels mine
    Naguib Mahfouz novels always had this mix and he was known from the cinema through it
    Yoccabian I think is describing of what we became of in the last 25 years , despite that it attacks the revolution "despite the author is a hardcore nasserite"
    where as several films in this list despite their production was from decades are still describing everlasting political-social-economic conditions like El-Haram or the sin ,like the wife of an important man ,like the earth

  6. I don't know who were the so-called "critics" who chose these 15 best movies in the last 100 years of the Egyptian cinema; or on what basis did they choose these films. For one thing, I strongly disagree with at least ( 5 ) of their choices, and for another, how could they claim to be unbiased in their decision and NOT to include the following movies: el-Qaaherah 30, el-Zoga el-Thaanyah, Inni Raahelah, Ayna Omri, Ghoroub wa Shorouq, el-Karnak, Seraa' fil Waadi, el-Moraahiqaat, Jameelah Buhreid, al-So'oud ilal-Haaweyah, Ahl el-Qimmah, al-Tareeq, Ibn el-Haddaad, Darb el-Mahabeel, el-Takhsheebah, Laylah Saakhenah, el-Bostagy, Ihna el Talamzah, Ahlaam Hind wa Kamelyah, Shey' minal Khoaf, Shabaab Imra'ah, el-'Aar, el-Kaif, Imra'ah fil Tareeq, Fee Baytena Ragol, el-Fetewwah, al-Ragol el-Thaani, Ga'alouni Mogreman, el- Mashbooh...etc. I could go on and on, but this is just to mention a few. As for the films that I gree with the "critics" on, they are: Baab el-Hadeed, el-Momyaa', Bedaayah we Nehaayah, Zawgat Ragol Mohim, el-Ard, el-'Azeemah, Sawaaq el-Otobees, Do'aa' el-Karawaan, el-Haraam, AND el-Baree'.

  7. Iman , the movies you said are sure desvere to be in the list and that's why people must have their own list

  8. how come your list is all serious political or controversial movies.
    why not a comedy like liebet el set a great movie

  9. Do not ask me , ask our critics who put this list and refuse to recognize comedies !!

  10. your translation of the names is not accurate. However i see that you made a lot of effort and commend you on it, but excluding tharthara fowq al nil or chit chat on the Nile since you like to put the English names does not make your list complete. Furthermore hamam el malatyly is not banned in Egypt, and having sex and nudity does not necessarily mean that it is not a great movie. It is exactly like banning Awlad haretna for a while. If you took it upon yourself to write about Egyptian Cinema then you should write about it objectively, voicing your opinion but not banning the material just because it doesn't comply with your ideas or beliefs. If you don't like a movie or a book others might like it, excluding it from your list because you disagree with what it represents does not give you credibility

  11. Number1 is a great film but I felt that the plot could have been a lot more rich, that something's missing in the ending, (which wasn't the case in "The Land").

    Number 2, 4, and 12 are obviously appreciated for the stories upon which they are based; because their mise en scène is mediocre.

    Number 6:The Collar and The Bracelet is a horrid, cmpelling masterpiece that leaves you stone cold, it should be placed much higher.

    Number 10 and 15 are a joke... hopefully.

    Many films deserve to be among the best 15 : "Zawjati Wa Elkalb", "Tharthara Fawqa Annil"..., and the classic, bittersweet masterpiece: Mohamed Khan's "Kharaja Wa Lam Yaaod", a gripping, entertaining and beautifully done film.

  12. just a question did you intentionally remove the films of Soad Hosni does she has to suffer dead and alive , how come u miss El kahera 30, ghoroob we shrook, el zoga el tanya, el karnek,

  13. If Egy.Chronicals and its followers ,kindly allow me to Nominate 15 best movies since 1947-1975, the year i was born and the year when HAPPINESS seized in LEBANON due to the civil war 1975-1990??,Even though some Cinemas kept open in other areas such as Bourj Hammoud/AL Hamra Street in the inner city ,but the city centre- Sahat AL BOURJ or Martyrs Square in downtown Beirut, the OASIS of all cultures..was in turmoil,as cinemas, over 20 big theatres closed their doors,some converted into ammunition depots for street fighters then?..Such as & Cinemas like METROPOL/ROXY/RADIO CITY/EMPIRE/ODEON/CAPITOL/RIVOLY/HOLLYWOOD/OPERA(Today a-VIRGIN -store in the same location)& many more, where We Lebanese movie lovers attended them from <<1940>>>1975!!!In my HUMBLE list,the movies i personally watched and consider CLASSICS ,Were/ARE forever remembered :(WIDAA FIL AL FAG-ER)1955 with Madam Madeeha Youssry+Great Emad Hamdy ,a Very romantic LOVE STORY ....(BAYN AL ARDI WAL SAMAA) in1960 ,by Lady Hond ROSTOM+ great comedianMr.Abdelsalam NABOULSSI+other famous cast, all cramped in a building lift(or ASCENSEUR in French)that stopped on its way..up?!tragic situation turned into a comed1959 a tear jerking Romance..even made almost 11 years before, Author Erich Segal*s Hollywood infamous movie <>1970 with Ali Mac Grow? with a slight change and acted by GREAT crooner Abdel Halim HAFEZ+Marriam Fakhr EDDIN,She was considered Arabs Meryl Streep or The Grace Kelly of the Arab screen,a type of tear jerker??....(YASM>OLIVER<<, in 1955,played by child prodigy Fayrouz (Peruz Artin Kalfayan)+Genius Actor Anwar WAGDI also the Director, another Tear Jerking film....(DALILA)< A Girl s name>1956 ,acted by SHADIA+Abdel Halim HAFEZ<1957,with Arab Sreen s immortal Queen Mrs. Faten HAMAMA+Immortal Gentleman of the Arab screen Mr.Imad HAMDY, a Fine Romance film,....(HAMIDO) a villain s name 1953,acted by Great Arab Screen s Villain Mr. Farid SHAWKI+singer,once his wife, Mrs.Houda SOLTAN,Married couple whom made many Great films..together,in early 1950s,also a love story with songs included....(LAHN EL KHOULOOD)1952, from Great Musician/Crooner Mr.Farid AL ATTRASH+Ladies, Faten HAMAMA+...Madiha YOSSRY, heart breaking romance too....(MAABOUDAT AL GAMAHEER) 1967 with,again Great Mrs. SHADIA+Immortal Abdel Halim HAFEZ, A romantic musical,....(ANTAR WA ABBLA) 1956,similar to Dustin Hoffman s- The GRADUATE? acted by unforgettable actor Mr.Shokri SARHAN+Madam Tahia KARIOCA(Excellent Belly dancer of that Era)& SHADIA too singing,....(ANEESA MAMA)1947/8? many comic situations film,about a girl wrongly accused of being a MOM of an adult.. and VERY FUNNY too,from Great SABAH or Al Sabbouha singer+ immortal crooner Mr.Mohamed FAWZI, and a musical movie...So those were the movies that entertained US,most were made in Black&White,sometimes in poor technical conditions,still we were happy then with the people whom acted /wrote the stories/directed/sang/danced..and grateful too them whom brought smiles & laughter to our faces ,even tears of happiness & sadness some other times..and changed lives for many , for some, these may be not REAL MASTERPIECES IN ARAB FILMS,yes i agree ,but they were as they sa>AL GOUMHOOR A YEZ KIDAH<,meaning (majority s favourits)?? and made GOOD box office income ..too?!..Some stayed over 20 weeks in a theatre of 800 seats or more!!....I, as a child & my late MOM s Mrs.KNARIG s little companion were real FILM BUFFS/And with my Late Father Mr.Yervant ,A Western cow-boys, addict!!Swinging between 2 giant cultures for that i am much obliged to both of them...Regards from London/Is-Hak Barsoumian

  14. TERRIBLY TERRIBLY SORRY,Dear Zeinobia and Blog followers,in my previous Comment about My Humble choice of 15 remarkable Egyptian movies between 1947-1975, A CLICK ing error cancelled a line that mentions the Following about ( WIDA-A FIL FAGR)1958, A war movie in the Middle East then,played by marvellous voice & singer Madam SHADIA+ Arab screens 1940/50/60/70/80 s playboy late Mr.Kamal EL SHENNAWI/Unforgettable Film!! In fact Madam Madeeha YOUSSRY+Arab screen s Gentleman Mr.Emad HAMDY were together in a film called (ENNI RAH-HEELA)<I am LEAVING in 1955/ ...My Sincere APOLOGIES to You all ..FOLKS/From LONDON with LOVE/ Is-Hak....I ll Do my best to avoid such unnecessary ERRORS/MISTAKES...In Sha-aa ALLAH.

  15. JUST TO PUT WRONG THINGS ..RIGHT........(ANTAR WA AABLA) or semi W.Shakespear s OTHELLO novel, in 1956/7?and first in the Arab movies an Arab desert HERO in-dark skin-,even though acted by light skinned late/Great Actor Mr.Sirag MOUNEER+Actress KOKA, as kids we were nasty to call her koka kola??an Medeival actipn MOVIE..THE Semi LOVE STORY i mentioned was HEKAYET HOBB) With Arab screen s GRACE KELLY Madam Maryam Fakhr EDDIN+Singer ,a tear jerking love story..Abdel Halim HAFEZ also to mention the look -alpke to THE GRADUATE A MOVIE CALLED (SHABAB IMRA-A) 1947/ with Shoukry SARHAN+Madam Taheya KARIYOKA..famous BELLY DANCER & Dance teacher too...YASMIN or Arab version of Charles Dickens OLIVER??///SORRY..SORRY really SORRY from i.Barsoumian/London


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