The “SABAH the Songbird” page on Facebook has revealed, for the first time, details about the artist, Sabah, and the film “Fatina Al Jamaher”.
The page admin said in a post: “At the end of June 1963, Sabah returned to Lebanon, on a visit that was supposed to be temporary, to implement some of the artistic commitments she made in Cairo, including the operetta Al-Shallal, then the film Fatina Al-Jamahir, in addition to another reason. It was a priority for Sabah, who was to transfer the residence of her daughter Howaida to Lebanon, for fear of being kidnapped, by her father’s family, so that she would remain between Cairo and Beirut, but the circumstances that arose after her departure made her a permanent residence.
And he continued: “After finishing the operetta Al-Shallal, which was screened from August 2 to 10, 1963, Sabah began shooting the film “Fatna Al-Jamahir” and recording his songs at the Baalbek studio in Beirut. , which she had agreed upon and made arrangements with director Muhammad Salman while still in Cairo, the film Fatna Al-Jamahir began screening on April 20, 1964, on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, at the Byblos cinema, the most modern and beautiful cinema in Lebanon at that time, and it was located next to the Rivoli cinema in downtown Beirut.
He continued: “This film was the second film shown by Sabah in 1964, after the film ‘Afrah Al Shabab’, which I started shooting in November 1963, that is, after the film Fatna Al Jamaher , but it was shown before the movie Fatna Al Jamaher, more precisely on February 15, 1964 and not on April 20, 1964. As mentioned by one of the groups from Sabah, who also mentioned that the movie Fatina Al Jamaher was shown in April without mentioning the exact day, and in a personal diligence after the ads for the CDs of the two films appeared in the same issue of Al-Shabaka magazine, which was published on April 20, 1964, and unlike the film Afrah Al Shabab, which was a great success. The show was moved to another cinema, and the film Fatina Al Jamaher was lukewarmly received by Lebanese audiences.
Film Fatfatah Al-Jamahir, produced by Arab Film Company – Sabah Brothers, story and dialogues by Sayed Al-Maghrabi, screenplay and direction by Muhammad Salman, photography and song recording at Baalbek Studio, development and printing at Eclair laboratories in Paris, Sabah’s costumes: Madame Salha, with Sabah, Youssef Shaaban, Abdel Salam Al-Nabulsi (whose name in the title of the film, it should be noted, featured the name of the hero Youssef Shaaban in a larger font), in addition to Sharifa Maher, Jacqueline, Kigham, Hassan Al-Meligy, Abu Al-Fahm, Naga Nassar and others.
How was the film Babeah born for the masses, and what were Sabah’s conditions for accepting it?
He added: “The idea for the film began in the summer of 1962, following Sabah’s participation in the film Lebanon at Night. Sabah asked to postpone it until the following summer as she was concerned about work ties in Cairo and some Arab countries. .
The idea fell asleep, then Salman re-proposed it to Sabah in mid-March 1963, and Sabah was associated with parties in Cairo until June-June 1963, and was linked with parties in Tunisia, Kuwait and in Damascus, on top of that her personal circumstances were confused, after she got custody of her daughter, her married life with journalist Ahmed Farraj was at the end of her life and she started divorce proceedings, in addition of that she was in a state of instability, between staying in Egypt or the definitive return to Beirut, so Sabah repeated her request to postpone the matter until next summer, and there is no doubt that Sabah was also And, apparently, she was hesitant and worried about a film directed by Muhammad Salman, and that’s what Salman himself felt, so he turned to his friend, the great journalist, owner and editor of both Al-Mawd and all magazines, Professor Muhammad Badi Sarbih, so he went to see him and asked to speak to Sabah in Egypt, and convinces her of his ability as a director, to agree to act in a film he directed.
Salman said to Muhammad Sarbie: “My future as a director is in your hands. If Sabah agreed to act in a film directed by me, all the stars of the Egyptian screen would join her, and then he would join the ranks of good – known directors, and my films would be screened in Egypt.
So Sarbia asked him, why don’t you talk to him? Between you and her there is brotherhood, love, and an old, continuing friendship.
Salman replied: I approached her about it since last summer, and she expressed her initial approval, and asked to postpone the film to next summer, but I did not get a final approval, and every time I approached her about the subject, she postponed the search, it seems that she is hesitant and worried, and you can talk about me as a director in front of her What I can’t not.
Sarbih said to her: How can I convince her and talk to her about you as a director, when I haven’t seen any film directed by him yet?
Salman replied in a reprimanding tone: Even if my friend, how do you know the talent of your brother Abu Samar?
At the end of the dialogue, Muhammad Sarbeeh promised her that Sabah would talk about it when he met her in Cairo, which he would visit in a few days.
Mr. Serbeh traveled to Cairo, met Sabah, talked to her and managed to persuade her, according to Mr. Serbeh, and she agreed to star in the film, but she gave him time to review his program engagement and study her special circumstances, to determine the appropriate time for her to travel to Lebanon and shoot the film.
But Sabah’s approval to star in the film was conditional on several things, namely:
First: That she has the freedom to choose the hero who will be represented with her in this film.
Second: To have in the film a song composed by the musician Mohamed Abdel Wahab, so that the film is strong from the lyrical and musical point of view if it was weak from the point of view of the realization.
Third: During the filming of the film, she should use her own makeup, which she has been dealing with for years in Cairo, which means that it will be with her during the filming in Lebanon at the expense of the production.
In this context, Sabah, accompanied by Serbia, visited the musician Mohamed Abdel Wahab and obtained his consent to compose a song for him for the next film.
Sarbayeh took this good news to Muhammad Salman in Beirut, and Salman flew with joy, meeting all the conditions of Sabah, expressing his willingness to implement any other condition or request, even if it was Laban al-Asfour , in exchange for being a heroine in a film directed by him.
As an expression of his joy and gratitude for Professor Muhammad Sarbieh’s success in persuading Sabah, he chose the name “Fatna Al Jamahir” for the film, which is the title that Al-Mawd magazine has always used. to describe the artist, Sabah. A telegram from Sabah informing her of the name of the star she has chosen to co-star in the film, in addition to the date of her arrival in Lebanon to start shooting the film.
The telegram arrived in early May 1963, in which Sabah asked Muhammad Salman to contract Egyptian actor Youssef Shaaban to star in the film, adding that she would provide him with the date of his arrival.
The name surprised Muhammad Salman and Professor Muhammad Badi Sarbih, as it was the first time they heard the name of star Youssef Shaaban.
It turns out that the great Egyptian director and producer Helmy Rafla was in Beirut at the time, so they asked him about him, and he told them that he was an excellent actor, he had given some roles in the cinema , but he is more famous in Egypt through TV series.
Then Muhammad Salman telegraphed Sabah in Egypt and told him that he agreed and would contract with Youssef Shaaban immediately, and that producer and director Helmy Rafla would terminate the contract with Youssef Shaaban upon his return to Cairo. in his name.
Sabah returned to Lebanon in June 1963, and as the shooting of the film approached, Youssef Shaaban came. Filming has started.
Musician Mohamed Abdel-Wahhab kept his promise and gave Sabah a melody, for free, and it’s a happy new year song, Jamil.
And not only that, but the Rehani brothers also dedicated Sabah to a second song, the song “Jeeb Al-Maghouz Ya Aboud, which was composed and composed by them, of course”.
The beauty of the crowds at the Beirut Film Festival in 1963?
It was supposed to show the film Fatna Al Jamaher at the third Beirut Film Festival, held in the last week of September 1963, but it was not prepared in time and it had a few days left to finish. So, Muhammad Salman screened a short film as part of the festival activities, which included scenes from the film and its scenes and scenes of him while he was making it, sealing it with the song “Happy New Year, Jamil “, as an advertisement for the film. , and of course for himself, as a director, and this was his golden opportunity, in front of this crowd of great Egyptian and European cinema stars and filmmakers.
Mohammed Salman also invited most of the festival’s guests, including stars and filmmakers, to the Baalbek studio to watch the filming of the final scenes of the film. Indeed, according to the newspapers, more than three quarters of the stars were present.