Cairo Station (1958)

باب الحديد‎, / Bab el hadid / The Iron Gate / Central Station
Feature Film | Drama | Egypt | Arabic | 1h17m | Dir: Youssef Chahine | Scr: Abdel Hay Adib & Mohamed Abu Youssef | Ph: Alvise | Prod: Gabriel Talhami | Mus: Fouad El Zahiri | Ed: Kamal Abul Ela | AD: Gabriel Karraze | Cast: Farid Shawqi, Hind Rostom, Youssef Chahine, Hassan el Baroudi, Abdel Aziz Khalil, Naima Wasfy, Said Khalil

A homeless, gammy-legged newspaper vendor’s unrequited sexual obsession for a feisty soft drinks seller threatens to take a turn for the bloody, after his piteous marriage proposal is laughed off mercilessly, in Chahine’s discomfitingly unpredictable drama. Deftly mixing comedy, romance, music, melodrama, and suspense, the film entertains throughout, often going off in disarmingly strange and unexpected directions. However, some of the supporting turns are perhaps just a little too shouty and awkward for me to deem it quite worthy of its lofty reputation.