With the likelihood of rainy afternoons increasing and, with it, the need for cozy and undemanding entertainment, I’m here once again to point out that there are more exotic alternatives to the usual roster of Hollywood chestnuts on TCM. Consider, for instance, Ebn Hamido, a classic crowd pleaser from Egyptian cinema’s golden age. Provided you don’t mind your romantic comedies delivered with a lot of shouting, it could just prove an invaluable weapon in your war against the holiday blues.
Haram Alek). But Hanafi is so pleased to see the attraction between Hamida and Hamido that he instead offers the men room and board. (The quirkier looking Sedky is apparently meant to be playing the “ugly” daughter.) He then arranges for them to buy a ramshackle fishing boat that, after an absurdly jubilant christening ceremony, immediately sinks.
Bride of the Nile, as well as the less so The Haunted House), Ebn Hamido is as slickly accomplished as we’ve come to expect from Egypt’s studio system of this era, and is imbued with no small amount of comic energy and generous good humor. Ismail Yassin is his dependably rubber-lipped self, playing, as is so often the case, a character whose slow witted demeanor masks a deceptively shrewd intelligence -- even if it is a bit hard to buy him as a sure-footed undercover cop. Furthermore, Ahmed Ramzy and Hind Rostom bring to the film an undeniable A-list glamour, providing satisfying weight where an admittedly frothy script does not. And, hey, even those wary of cultural dissonance will be heartened by the film’s attitude toward arranged marriage, which appears to be on the progressive side -- although a later sequence, in which the wife of a perpetually henpecked husband reacts with jubilation when he slaps her, will understandably undo a lot of that.