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The Dupes (1972)

Al-makhdu'un (original title)
Set in Iraq (but shot in Syria), this is the story of three men who try to leave their impoverished and hopeless lives to get get work in Kuwait. They hire a water-truck driver to transport... See full summary »



1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Mohamed Kheir-Halouani ...
Abou Keïss
Abderrahman Alrahy ...
Abou Kheizarane
Bassan Lofti Abou-Ghazala ...
Saleh Kholoki ...
Thanaa Debsi ...
Om Keïss
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ahmad Addas
Yolande Asmar
Saadeddine Bakdunes
Adnan Barakat
Ali Elrawas
Laila Ghanem
Nagah Hafiz
Youssef Hanna
Selim Kalas
Kamar Mortada


Set in Iraq (but shot in Syria), this is the story of three men who try to leave their impoverished and hopeless lives to get get work in Kuwait. They hire a water-truck driver to transport them illegally across the border in the tank of his truck... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

17 November 1980 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

De bedragna  »

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Fine, but difficult
30 August 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I watched this film in college. "The Dupes," as it is known in English, is the story of three Palestinian men searching for a job opportunity in Kuwait. They must be smuggled in, and they must traverse the desert under the searing sun to get into Iraq and then to their destination. "The Dupes" reminded me of a Bergman film, in that characters are philosophical and the focus is on them rather than a plot. Perhaps it was because "The Dupes" is a black-and-white foreign film that it reminded me of the late director, but who knows? This was not an easy film. For one thing, the subtitles are white and in a black and white film, especially one set in the desert, these can be very hard to read. I missed some sentences. There are also a few too many flashbacks, which makes the story hard to follow. However, there are some good moments. The film has some of the best desert scenes I'm ever seen, including two where the smuggled Palestinians must hide in a blazing hot iron truck while they pass through checkpoints.

There is a political message supporting Palestinian statehood. However, the film works better as a study of the characters and there motivations for risking their lives for work.

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