One of the most lavish Egyptian productions of its day, Oh Islam! is a swoony mix of history, folklore and plain old Hollywood style hogwash. The Egyptians have proven themselves adept at this kind of thing, but in this case they turned to the real experts, hiring American director Andrew Marton, a television mainstay who also served as either an AD or 2nd unit director on such A-list epics as Ben-Hur, Cleopatra and The Fall of the Roman Empire.
IMDB entry for the film is one of that site’s more Frankensteinian, and whether that’s more indicative of the basic nature of the IMDB or of Oh Islam! I will momentarily withhold judgment. What I can say is that the version of Oh Islam! that was eventually released in Italy, under the title La Spada dell’Islam (The Sword of Islam), was altered to the extent that some of its original Egyptian stars were replaced by Italian ones, most notably Italian screen siren Silvana Pampanini, who was substituted for famed belly dancer and actress Taheya Cariocca in the prominent role of Shagrat al-Durr.
Why look, here’s a photo of Cariocca in the role, followed by one of Pampanini, standing beside Egyptian actor Imad Hamdi, essaying the same role in a still from the Italian cut:
The primary credited director for La Spada dell’Islam was Enrico Bomba, who also has a production credit. The IMDB credits Marton and Bomba as co-directors of Oh Islam!, even though Marton alone is given onscreen credit as director in the original Arab language version. This is likewise the case for Italian cinematographer Marcello Masciocchi, whom the IMDB credits alongside Egyptian cinematographer Wahid Farid, despite the latter having sole screen credit in the original.
Wikipedia’s assertion that the film was submitted as Egypt’s bid for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1961 under the title Love and Faith. This is contradicted by the IMDB’s listing of Egypt’s Oscar submissions, which claims that the country’s 1961 entry was something called Teenagers, while also erroneously including on the list a 1973 film called Love and Faith which was actually Japanese. FFFUUU…
Bride of the Nile -- as well as “The Beast” himself, Farid Chawki, who here gets to truly unleash his trademark ferocity in the role of an irredeemable villain. Shoring up the frontline, along with Cariocca, is Egyptian screen heartthrob Ahmed Mazhar, who plays the male romantic lead opposite the radiant Aziz.