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The Dupes (1972) More at IMDbPro »Al-makhdu'un (original title)


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Ghassan Kanafani (novel)
Tewfik Saleh (writer)
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Release Date:
17 November 1980 (Denmark) See more »
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
The 10 best Arab films
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 6 July 2013, 4:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Fine, but difficult See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Tewfik Saleh 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ghassan Kanafani  novel "Men Under the Sun"
Tewfik Saleh  writer

Original Music by
Solhi El-Wadi 
Cinematography by
Bahgat Heidar 
Film Editing by
Farin Dib 
Saheb Haddad 
Sound Department
Zoheir Fahmy .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Al-makhdu'un" - Syria (original title)
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107 min | Germany:100 min

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Fine, but difficult, 30 August 2007
Author: Virginia_Farmboy from USA

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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