Najib Al-Rihani, the leader of the comic theater.. How did his death affect the end of “Ghazl Al Banat”? | Egypt


Before the completion of filming the famous lyrical movie “Ghazl Al Banat”, its director, Anwar Wagdy, was surprised by the death of the famous comedian, Najib Al-Rihani, the hero of the movie, due to typhoid disease, on this day, June 8, 1949, to be mourned by King Farouk I and the Dean of Arabic literature, Taha Hussein. His loss is described as a national disaster.

The death threatened the fate of the movie “Ghazl Al Banat”, which includes the most prominent Egyptian cinema celebrities; Like Laila Murad, Youssef Wehbe, Mahmoud El Meligy and Stephan Rosti, with the musician Mohamed Abdel Wahab, but fortunately, Rihani only had one scene left for him with Laila Murad and Anwar Wagdy, where Rihani enters the villa to try to convince the bacha of Laila Murad’s marriage to Anwar Wagdy, so he decided Anwar Wagdy dispensed with this scene, but he was afraid of the haters of his success, so he decided to transfer all the tapes of the film to his home for fear that someone would damage them, especially with the impossibility of re-shooting any scene of Rihani.

Despite these difficult circumstances that faced the film, it became one of the most important musical films in the history of Egyptian cinema, and even one of the most famous movie roles of Al-Rihani, which the audience remembers in the role of Professor Hammam among his roles in his films, which did not exceed 10 films only.

artist philosopher

A friend of his life, the poet Badi’ Khairy, says of him that Al-Rihani was not just an actor who earned his living from the acting profession, but was a philosopher and artist, who lived only for his art, and faced persecution, deprivation and hardship, and he could have lived as a successful employee as his family wanted, but he decided to spend everything He earns it for his passion.

In the introduction to Al-Rihani’s memoirs, which were published by Dar Al-Hilal, collected 10 years after his departure, and Al-Rihani wrote them in episodes published in the magazine in 1937, Khairy tells that it never happened that Al-Rihani drank a glass of wine before acting, and that was due to his excessive respect for his art. His room is at least half an hour before appearing on stage, and no one is ever allowed to disturb his isolation for any reason, to be alone and reincarnate.

love for his art

His love for acting filled his whole heart, and at first he believed that art for him was “drama”, and that if he played a comic role, the fall would be his ally, “and the tomatoes from the audience are my share,” as Al-Rihani tells in his memoirs.

But Al-Rihani found in comedy a success he did not expect. He was the undisputed star of the theater, and he became one of the most famous comedians in the history of the Arab visual arts, from theater to cinema. He was called the leader of the humorous theater, and he was credited with developing the art of comedy and linking it to people’s daily lives, after the theater was An imitator of European theatres.

Al-Rihani refused to stay away from art despite the insistence of his doctors in 1942, saying, “It is better for me to spend my life on the stage than to die on my only bed.”

Some accused him of laziness, due to the lack of his works and taking a long time to prepare them, but he believed that it was better to confront the audience with one complete play than 10 weak plays, for this he was very interested in “rehearsals”, and he spent an entire month conducting rehearsals for only one of the chapters. theatrical play.

His belief in fortune and prophecies

Al-Rihani’s memoirs also reveal his belief in luck and fortune-telling, and he tells the story of his meeting with a French fortune-teller while he was working as an employee in the sugar company. Something the clairvoyant said years ago came true.

“Praise be to God”

Al-Rihani says that he returned from his theatrical tour in the United States with an amount of no more than a thousand pounds, despite the continuous success that he achieved, justifying that he did not present more than more than 30 nights during a whole year he spent with his band in America.

Al-Rihani adds that when he meets with Badi’ Khairi and remembers the affairs of the past, they admit that the greatest reward is having an audience that appreciates them and their work, and he adds, “And if our luck in financial terms is the luck of the writer in Egypt, but it is acceptable to him … hidden, thank God.”

Saad Zaghloul

Al-Rihani was not proud of anything as he was proud of the national leader Saad Zagloul’s appreciation of him. According to his memoirs, he was keen to attend his concerts, frequent his stage, and showed admiration for him from time to time, and that filled him with joy and pride, and motivates him to work diligently and actively and willingly.

best friend

Al-Rihani concludes his memoirs by saying, “Now, after I tasted its sweetness and bitterness in life, and after its cup made me drunk – as they say – after all of that, I acknowledge and acknowledge that I am writing my name below Najib Al-Rihani, that I came out of all the experiences that I went through, I came out of it with a friend One, a friend who is everything, and he is the loving lover with whom I reciprocate intense loyalty, and definite sincerity.. That friend is my work.


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