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Baya'a ElKhawatem/Rings for Sale
The Plot:
The mayor of a small village invents a fictional character called 'Rajeh' which he claims he fights on the outskirts of the village. But some people question the mayor's stories and call him a bluffer. He admits to his niece, Rima, the truth. He made it all up. Fadlou and Eed carry on a number of crimes and blame Rajeh for it. It's the time for the annual singles festival where males and females still unmarried get engaged, and it's when Rajeh appears. People start getting scared forming community watches looking for Rajeh. Driven with their fear from Rajeh, Fadlou and Eed confess by themselves to the crimes and place themselves in prison. Rajeh meets with the villagers on the wedding/engagment day and he turns out to be a ring seller. He gives away his rings and scarves to them in exchange that Rima marries his son.

Quick Notes:
The film was mostly shot in the Asry studio. The design of the set was colorful and seemed a little compact which gave the film a dreamy look. Of all films, Rings for Sale is the most dependent on songs while being light on action, probably because it was a direct theater to film conversion.

Things to look for:
1. The early dabke dance. I really liked the way the camera panned to the dancers. The coordination was spectacular.
2. The water scene. This is really funny, even though it looks like outdated farce, I enjoyed and laughed at it a lot.

Miscellaneous information:
1. The film is entirely based on an earlier produced successful play with the same title. However there is an obvious number of changes between the two versions. For instance, the subplot which can be found in the play, regarding the road structures, is missing in the film. As a consquence, Philemon Wehbe plays a different role. There is more to the Zbayda character than in it was in the play.
2. This is the first film Fairuz stars in. Same thing goes for all the other actors including Nasri Shameseddine whose one of his early dreams was to star in movies. Mansour Rahbani has a small role as Mkhoul.
3. Youssef Chahine living in self imposed exile in Beirut was approached by the Rahbanis because they wanted to work on a film. Chahine refused to work on a totally new story because as he said he didn't live in Lebanon long enough to direct films with an authentic feeling and approach, and so they picked the previously produced play, Rings for Sale.
4. This is a link to the film's page when it was shown in the 1996 Festival Internazionale Del Film Locarno.

1964 / Lebanon
Color / Approx. Time 90 minutes

Click here for pictures from the film.

Download Ya Mersal Elmarasyl

Fairuz ... Rima
Nasri Shameseddine ... Elmoukhtar
Huda ... Layla
Mansour Rahbani ... Mkhoul
Philemon Wehbe ... Sabe'a
Joseph Azar ... Rajeh
Salwa Haddad ... Zbayda
Joseph Nassif ... Fadlou
William Haswani ... Ashawish
Elie Chouirie ... 'Eed
With Mohamed Mar'ei, Souad Karim, Fawzi Elkayali and Michel Elhaji.

Phenicia Films
Distrubted by the United Trade and Cinema Company - Fernand Khoury and Nader El Attasy
Written by the Rahbani Brothers
Music and Songs Written by the Rahbani Brothers
Music of 'Al Ali Adar' and 'Ya Mersal Elmarasil' Written by Philemon Wehbe
Based on a musical play directed by Sabri Sharif
Produced by Nader El Attasy
Director of Photography Andrée Domagé
Directed by Youssef Chahine

Filmstock developed in L.T.C. labs - Paris
Shot in Asry Studio
Special Equipment MidEast Studios
Sound Recoreded at Baalbeck Studios
Sound Engineer Stanley Khoury
Assistant Directors Samir Nasri, Berge Fazlian and Andree Edde
Assistant Producer Mounir Massrai
Choreographer Sarkis Pascalian
Edited by Saheb Haddad
Make-Up Nadine Frino
Make-Up Assistant Yola
Assitants William Néme, Zekardia, Sarkis and Rafat Al Seda
Hair Dressers Elie Messara and Elie Abou Diwan
Costumes of Fairuz by Madame Salha Wasibo
Costumes of The Troupe by Badia Awar
Set and Costume Design Joseph Rabat
Set Production Habib Khoury
Production Manager Tannous Frangié
Produced by Nadir El Attasy
Photographed by Roger Tellier
Camera Assistant Rober Saad
Artistic Managment Sabri Sharif