Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate) (1958) - Rotten Tomatoes

Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate)1958

Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate) (1958)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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

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.


Farid Shawqi
as Abu Siri
Hind Rostom
as Hannuma
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Critic Reviews for Bab el hadid (Cairo Station) (The Iron Gate)

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

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.

April 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.

March 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.

March 18, 2013 | 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.

August 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.

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

It's a microcosmic melodrama that uses a bustling symbol of progress to analyse a state divided not just by social injustice, but also by cultural and religious chasms that are widened by external forces.

March 18, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | 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.

Super Reviewer

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