It's been ages since we've had a look at one of the wonders of Egyptian cinema, hasn't it? Today, we revisit the glory days of 1950, when King Farouk looked serenely solid on his post-war throne, and Hollywood on Nile was addressing its longstanding moppet shortage by starring the remarkable tot seen to great advantage in this number from a musical called Yasmin.
Her name was Fayrouz Arteen, and she occupies more or less the exact place in Egyptian movielovers' hearts that Miss Shirley Temple does for fans in the West. She made only a handful of films, but remains even today, sixty years and more later, much beloved, living quietly in retirement in Cairo. She's part of an extended performing family; two of her more famous cousins are the great stars Nelly and Lebleba, for what that's worth.
Here she's paired with veteran star Anwar Wagdi (more or less the Clark Gable of the East). It's a long number, and Fayrouz doesn't get to strut her stuff 'til 4:30, but the whole thing is worth sitting through.
It's a lavish production by Cairo standards, reaching, if one needs an equivalent, up from Monogram standards to reach, if only through the number of costumes and more-or-less dancing extras, the level of a middling Columbia second feature. Still, Fayrouz does her considerable best, and it's all really rather charming, I think.
Which must be worth something, since you know I loathe children.