With the earliest film projections using a Lumière Brothers’ cinematograph at the Toussoun Exchange in Alexandria on November 15 1896, Egypt witnessed the birth of filmmaking and screenings in their formative days, and quickly helped the industry grow because of country’s great locations and heritage.
As a result, landmark places and destinations have inspired many to come and visit Egypt to experience the glory captured on the silver screen. We look at both international and local films shot on location across the country.
Jungle Girl and the Slaver (1957)_Creative_Commons_WIKIMEDIA
Jungle Girl and the Slaver (1957)
This sequel to Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956) featured for the second-time model and singer of the era Marion Michael as Liane, a Tarzan-like German girl who was born and raised with African tribes. The film takes place mostly in Egypt where Liane is captured by Arab slave traders. A scene near the end of the film with Liane taking a bus in Cairo streets features young pedestrians looking and laughing at the camera beside the Nordic blond.
The Spy who loved me_Creative_Commons_WIKIMEDIA
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
A wonderful title track, Nobody Does It Better, by Carly Simon and a beautiful costar, Barbara Bach, mark this James Bond adventure that brought the British agent to Luxor Temple in search for stolen nuclear warheads. Roger Moore returned to Egypt some 22 years later as a goodwill ambassador for the UN in 1999 and posed in front of Cheops to promote the country’s tourist attractions.
Death on the Nile_Creative_Commons_WIKIMEDIA
Death on the Nile (1978)
Like all Agatha Christie’s mysteries, the plot revolves around a murder where everybody is a suspect. Starring the great Peter Ustinov for the first of his six appearances as the Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, this British film was shot on location in Egypt, on the steamer Karnak and in Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor, and Cairo. Re-adapted for television in 2004 as part of the series Agatha Christie's Poirot, an episode was shot across Egypt in 2004 with another great performer, David Suchet. The photo shows Ustinov and David Niven between takes.
Cairo Time (2009)
Cairo Time (2009), an exotic, romantic drama by Canadian-born writer-director Ruba Nadda, features English-Sudanese actor Alexander Siddig as an Egyptian named Tareq who is asked to watch over Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) during her visit to Egypt. A love story evolves between Tareq and Juliette with Nile and Pyramids as a backdrop.
Wa Islamah (1961)
Directed by Enrico Bomba and Andrew Marton, Oh Islam aka Love and Faith was selected as the Egyptian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 34th Academy Awards (Oscars), but did not make it as a nominee. It was the first Egyptian film to be screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Through the story of Jihad (Lobna Abd Al-Aziz) who was separated during her childhood from her brother Mahmoud (Ahmed Mazhar), the film depicts the defense of Egypt against the Tatar invasion. Andrew Marton, who has among his credits as second-unit director the famous chariot race sequence in Ben-Hur (1959), directed the Arabic version with Egyptian actors. Bomba directed an Italian version with some alternative actors including Silvana Pampanini as Queen Shagaret El Dor, a role played by Taheya Cariocca in our more familiar version. The climax scene in the photo featuring the reunion of Jihad and Mahmoud after the defeat of the Tatar was shot near the Citadel.