7.7/10
3,120
15 user 33 critic

Cairo Station (1958)

Bab el hadid (original title)
A newspaper salesman at the train station in Cairo develops an unhealthy obsession with a woman who sells refreshments.

Director:

Youssef Chahine

Writers:

Mohamed Abu Youssef (dialogue), Abdel Hai Adib
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Farid Shawqi ... Abu Siri (as Farid Chawki)
Hind Rustum ... Hanuma
Youssef Chahine ... Qinawi
Hassan el Baroudi Hassan el Baroudi ... Madbouli (as H. el Baroudy)
Abdulaziz Khalil Abdulaziz Khalil ... Abu Gaber (as Abdel Aziz Khalil)
Naima Wasfy Naima Wasfy ... Hallawatim (as Naima Wasfi)
Said Khalil Said Khalil
Abdel Ghani Nagdi Abdel Ghani Nagdi
Loutfi El Hakim Loutfi El Hakim
Abdel Hamid Bodaoha Abdel Hamid Bodaoha
F. El Demerdache F. El Demerdache
Ahmed Abaza Ahmed Abaza
Hana Abdel Fattah Hana Abdel Fattah
Safia Sarwat Safia Sarwat
Asaad Kellada Asaad Kellada ... (as Assaad Kellada)
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Storyline

Kinawi, a physically challenged peddler who makes his living selling newspapers in the central Cairo train station, is obsessed by Hannouma, an attractive young woman who sells drinks. While she treats Kinawi in a sympathetic way and jokes with him about a possible relationship, She is actually in love with Abu Sri', a strong and respected porter at the station who is struggling to unionize his fellow workers to combat their boss' exploitative and abusive treatment. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

User Reviews

 
An interesting story because it is a rare film in which the audience might find themselves applauding murder!
9 March 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Cairo Station" is a very sad film...there's no getting around that. The story is tragic and when the film ends, you'll likely feel a bit drained...so don't day I didn't warn you. But I am not saying to avoid this Egyptian flick...it's well worth seeing.

The story begins with Madbouli introducing the film and explaining how me met and befriended Qinawi*. Qinawi was a poor guy with a limp without a friend in the world...so he adopted him and helped set him up at the train station selling newspapers. What follows for much of the film is showing the plight of all the many workers at the station-- the porters, women who work there illegally selling drinks and the rest. They get paid next to nothing and life is very, very hard.

About midway through the story, Qinawi approaches Hanouma and proposes to her. But he's poor, limps and seems a bit slow intellectually...and Hanouma is an obnoxious pig. So she laughs at him and belittles him for proposing to her! Qinawi is crushed...and soon has murder on his mind. Here is where it gets interesting because although everyone watching the picture knows murder is wrong, within many or perhaps most watching the film, there is a part of them that wants to see the coarse and horrid Hanouma die! This reminds me of the great 1944 film, "The Suspect"...where the audience naturally cheers for the leading man to kill and hopes he gets away with it!! I don't want to say more...other than the plan does NOT go as Qinawi hoped...and ends on a very sad note.

The film has a good story but there are other interesting things going for it. The camera-work is pretty amazing...especially coming from a nation not known for filmmaking. Many of the scenes have an almost film noir style to them with the lighting and camera angles. And, the film is rather daring--especially choosing to make the movie about folks near the bottom of society. Worth seeing.

*Like many films not in English and from countries with non-Western alphabets, there is no one way to spell the characters' names. The subtitles call him Qinawi and IMDb Kinawi...both are correct.


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Details

Country:

Egypt

Language:

Arabic

Release Date:

16 January 1962 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Cairo Station See more »

Filming Locations:

Cairo, Egypt See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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