Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate)


Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate)

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Reviews Counted: 11

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User Ratings: 423


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Average Rating: 4.2/5

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Movie Info

Youssef Chahine directs and stars in this bittersweet, neo-realist drama about a crippled newspaper vendor who falls for a gorgeous lemonade seller. Qinawi (Chahine) is in love with Hanouma (Hind Rostom). But Hanouma is engaged to rugged station worker Abu-Serih (Farid Chawqi). As Abu-Serih attempts to unionize the station workers, Qinawi's fixation on Hanouma crosses the threshold from innocent crush to dangerous obsession.


Critic Reviews for Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate)

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

  • The Egyptian director Youssef Chahine stars in his teeming, sharp-eyed populist drama, from 1958, which blends a sympathetic view of a wide array of characters, warmhearted glimpses of their private dramas, and audacious social criticism.

    Apr 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • It's a strikingly controlled, confident, bitingly effective display, which leaves you wondering where this film has been all our lives.

    Mar 18, 2013 | Full Review…
  • The adroit interweaving of various miniplots around the station is matched by a heady mix of moods and genres: at various junctures this movie becomes a musical, a slasher film, a neorealist drama, a comedy, and a horror film.

    Mar 18, 2013 | Full Review…
  • All human life is here: the phrase really does apply to Chahine's tragicomic masterpiece from 1958.

    Mar 18, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • With its tense score, contrasting performances of Chahine (twitchy and tightly coiled) and Rostom (sexy but cruel) and audacious moments of formal brilliance Cairo Station is a cinematic triumph.

    Aug 11, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • This was Chahine's break-through film, one that was popular in Egypt and also put him on the international map for directors.

    Jun 28, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate)


At a train station in Cairo, Madbouli runs a newspaper stand where he takes pity on Qinawi(Youssef Chahine, who also directs), who is handicapped, and gives him a job. On a personal level, he is shocked to discover that Qinawi may have a subscription to Playboy before anybody else on the block. In truth, Qinawi only has eyes for Hanouma(Hind Rostom), a flirtatious seller of illegal drinks, who in return leaves her evidence with Qinawi when she is being chased by the authorities. In truth, she is getting married to Abu Serih, a porter, who is also tryng to unionize the station. "Cairo Station" successfully uses a bustling train station as a model for the rest of Egypt which at this point in history is rapidly going through changes with many innovations being introduced like roll and roll and even feminism in the person of Women against Marriage. Working in contradictions is Abu Serih who treats Hanouma roughly but cares for the welfare of his fellow man. The only one without any ideas of his own is Qinawi and this is his tragedy. So, it is a shame that this briskly paced movie eventually turns into just another garden variety psychothriller.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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