8 Foreign Films Influenced By Egyptian Productions

Adapting the stories of foreign movies into local productions has been an ongoing tradition in international cinema since the establishment of the industry. Through the restructuring of the original content to suit local tastes, movie creators have gradually propagated this form of filmmaking to be applied on a frequent basis and wider scales.

Throughout history, European and Latin films have been known to be the most adapted and remade productions. However, little do people realize the former superiorities of Egyptian movies and how their pioneering ideas managed to impact American and foreign projects in the past decades. We wanted to shed light on the eight most renowned foreign films that were significantly influenced by Egyptian productions, so prepare to be proud of Egyptian cinema!

1- Inside Man - El Erhab Wel Kabab

In addition to dazzling the local audience, the impact of El Erhab Wel Kabab’s ending sequence reached Hollywood to be presented globally in Denzel Washington’s Inside Man 14 years later. Despite the differences between their plots, the two films based their stories on common hijacking crimes, where law enforcement parties surround the occupied buildings and start negotiating with the abductors. However, what was distinctive about both films was their design for the escape plan, using the hostages as camouflages for the criminals to hide within their groups to supervise a successful flee. While El Erhab Wel Kabab’s story wasn’t really felonious, it definitely portrayed innovation through one of the most satisfying endings ever.

2- She’s The Man - Lel Regal Faqatt

Among all historic periods, the sixties were the most elegant and stylish, which was reflected in the quality of Egyptian cinema at the time. Consequently, it yielded our best romantic comedies, topped by Soad Hosny’s Lel Regal Faqatt. Throughout its story, the 1964’s black and white project premiered the personification of masculine roles by female characters trying to fit into the men’s community and benefit from their exclusive privileges. That setup was adapted later in 2006 with She’s The Man, only with slight changes to the plot and the character’s objectives.

3- John Tucker Must Die - El Zoga El 13

Continuing with the joyous romantic comedies of the sixties, light must be shed on 1962’s time-transcending El Zoga El 13, with the classic portrayals and appealing romance of Roshdy Abaza and Shadya. Crafted in comical atmospheres, the plot is centered on a playboy whose former 12 ex-wives get together with his newest sweetheart to tell her about the womanizing side of her man. Following this, the ladies team up for a chance to retaliate and punish him for his doings, which are the exact same proceedings followed by 2006’s John Tucker Must Die, with mere alterations to suit the American society.

4- El Callejon de los Milagros - Zoqaq El Madaq

Based on the novel by Naguib Mahfouz, 1963 introduced us to its classic drama Zoqaq El Madaq, with Shadya in the starring role. The film profoundly portrays the impact of poverty on individuals through centering its events on an ambitious young girl that introduces stories of betrayal, vengeance and regret. 32 years later, the very same story was presented in the Mexican film El Callejon de los Milagros, starring Salma Hayek in her first leading part. Later on, the film was honored with 49 international prizes which crowned it as the most awarded film in Mexican history and drifted Hollywood’s attention towards Salma Hayek.

5- Kingdom Of Heaven - El Nasser Salah El-Din

With the longest runtime in the history of Egyptian cinema came the masterful Youssef Chahine, with his three-hour biographic project El Nasser Salah El-Din to revolutionize local productions. In addition to the film’s early utilization of color features, Chahine’s visualizations to Salah El-Din’s character were the first thorough representation of the historical militant, aided by the film’s lengthy duration and its massive-at-the-time budget. Consequently, it influenced Ridley Scott’s revival to the iconic character in his film Kingdom of Heaven, which resembled Chahine’s 1963 production in the character’s design and acting performance that followed -to a great extent- Ahmed Mazhar’s personification.

6- Memories Of Murder – El Erhab Wel Kabab

Due to its splendid setup, adapting the ending of El Erhab Wel Kabab wasn’t solely restricted to Hollywood, as its closing dialogue also inspired the finale of the Korean classic Memories Of Murder. In the Egyptian film, after the protagonist successfully escapes, he’s questioned about the identifiable features of the hijacker. He then responds by stating the normality of the criminal’s characteristics, implying that he could be anyone from the masses and arresting him would almost be impossible. Substituting hijacking with murder, the ending of the Korean movie followed its Egyptian precedent after the two-hour narrations of the real unsolved series of murders that took place there in 1986.

7- Just Go With It – Nos Sa’a Gawaz

You’ve always known Adam Sandler for his pleasant appearances and delightful comedies, but what you probably missed is that his 2011 film Just Go With It was the American adaptation of Nos Sa’a Gawaz. Embodying his preferable type of characters, Roshdy Abaza in the 1969 film played his habitual playboy role, but this time as a doctor who persuades his assistant to pretend she’s his divorcee while meeting the girl he fell for, to convince her that his personal life is stable and earn her love in return. Except for spicing up the story with the involvement of kids, Sandler’s feature showed no modifications compared to the vintage Egyptian comedy.

8- Night At The Museum – Ismail Yassin Fi Mathaf El Shama’

Despite the lack of proper visual effects back then, Ismail Yassin preceded Ben Stiller in elaborating how vicious still statues could transform to while wandering in the wax museum back in 1956. Fifty years later, Night At The Museum renovated Yassin’s story into a modern adventurous plot. Due to its distinguished idea, fascinating visuals and comical atmospheres, Night At The Museum was widely praised by the audience, which had its makers extend the story to two further sequels.

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