Cairo Station (1958) - full transcript

Kinawi, a physically challenged peddler who makes his living selling newspapers in the central Cairo train station, is obsessed by Hannouma, an attractive young woman who sells drinks. While she treats Kinawi in a sympathetic way and jokes with him about a possible relationship, She is actually in love with Abu Sri', a strong and respected porter at the station who is struggling to unionize his fellow workers to combat their boss' exploitative and abusive treatment.

This is Cairo Station,
the heart of the capital

Every minute one train departs...

and every minute another one arrives.

Thousands of people meet
and bid farewell

People from North and South

natives and foreigners...
people with and without jobs.

I am Madbouli, the newsagent.

My job allows me to read
about strange incidents.

But what I see here is even stranger.

And the strangest thing of all happened
one day, after midday prayer.

I saw a miserable boy,
lying in the street...

a boy like many others
I see everyday here.

Young men who come to Cairo
seeking fortune and happiness.

I asked his name.

As he didn't answer, I turned to go.

Then I noticed
he was lame.

I felt sorry for him.

So I gave a job selling papers.

His name was Qinawi.

I found him a shed where he could live,
not far from the rails.

One day I went to his shed
to see how he was doing.

That's when I realized
how frustrated he was...

so frustrated, that he was becoming
more and more obsessed.

Poor Qinawi.

How could anyone have
foreseen his end?

The Alexandria Express is leaving
on schedule at 7:30.

It's getting hotter by the minute

- Hurry up.
- Why the wait?

- We'll miss the train.
- Calm down.

- Listen to me.
- I am listening.

I don't sell tickets for Zagazig,
just for Alexandria.

You're messing with my head!


Hide this for me!

It's so hot today.

May God make it hotter
so we can sell more drinks!

Don't be greedy. Anyway, only
the buffet owner would profit.

Mansour! We can't make
a living because of him.

- Doesn't he make enough?
- He'll never make enough.

Quiet. He may hear us.

Let him. This is our own "buffet".


- What's wrong, Hanouma?
- It's a pig, Mansour.

Did he catch you?

He sent Sgt. Hassanain after me.

- Where's your bucket?
- I left with Qinawi.

- Your sweetheart.
- I wouldn't look at him.

- He's in love with you.
- Saving his money to marry you.

Why don't you marry him, Aziza?

I wouldn't look at him.

You're leading him on, through.

Nonsense! Everyone knows
I'm engaged to Abu Siri.

He's crazy. He thinks
you'll drop Abu Siri for him.

Run for it!

Hands off.

I've been working for ten days
and haven't made a piastre.

Soon you'll be able to work
on this platform.

But first I have to grease
the foreman's palm.

What do you mean?

It takes a bribe
to work a good platform.

Watch your tongue.

Abu-Gamel is an honest man.

Out of my way.
Just you try and touch me.

Let go or I'll break your hand.

- What's your name?
- Abu Siri.

For the love of God,
please help me, Abu Siri.

I've had enough of this unholy mess.

- What's your problem?
- The train to Zagazig.

- When does it leave?
- It's leaving now.

If you run, you can catch it
in the next town!

Shame on it to leave without us!

Help me! Help me!

You're all right, Abbas. Come on.

He's fine, thank God.

How long will we remain so helpless?

Stop plotting.

We can do better without you.

He'll form a union and ruin you.

What do you want?

What's best for all of us.

A union will ensure a decent living
for everyone.

You can't be happy
with things as they are!

Last week Rizq broke his leg.
Now he's broke.

Shaheen has been sick for months
and nobody cares.

And how can Abbas work now?

Only a union will protect us
and secure our jobs.

A union?

I am the union. I am the boss,
I am everything.

That's why everything is wrong.

Get lost if you don't like it.

Your scare tactics don't work anymore.

As sure as this moustache is mine,
I'll get you fired!

Go ahead and try!

Here you are. God bless you.

Where's Qinawi, father?

Good morning, Abu Siri.

God bless you, Madbouli.

It's hot as hell today.

Is there any news about the union?

The government labor delegate
is coming today.

And you're getting married tomorrow!

Soon it wil be your son's turn.

Grow up fast, boy.

You did well...

Hanouma is a good girl.

I didn't intend to get married,
you know.

All is for the best. Be strong.

I will be.

And once I've set up the union,
I'll have no more worries.

When will you get married, Gimpy?

Stop it, Tulba.

I'm just kidding.

- He'll never get married.
- Why not?

She'd have to be lame like him.

Have mercy. Leave the man alone.

He doesn't mind.

Oh yes he does.

Only God knows how much!

For my sake, be good to him.

I konw it upsets him.


Don't forget to call out the
"Rasheed Murder" headlines.

- Tulba.
- Yes.

- Must she really be lame?
- You'll get along better.

What if she's one-eyed?

- That's also good.
- Then I'll marry your sister.

I told you he doesn't mind.

Touche, Qinawi.

Off with you.

Do you have a telephone token?

Don't mind Tulba's stupid jokes.

Your sister answered,
so I didn't give my name.

You'll away for four years.
I have to see you.

I don't care.

I'll be waiting at the station.

Find an excuse.
I'll be here. I love you.

If I see those girls here again,
you're finished.

How can I stop them?

How's everything, Zaqzouq?

Pretty bad,
when those girls are around.

Hallawatim! The police are
on the lookout!

I'll scream "Fakafiko" if they come.

- Hanouma! Hanouma!
- Yes.

Wait till I get my bucket
back from Qinawi.

Hallawatim, wait for me! Wait!

The nerve of her!

The nerve of you!

Go on, run, Hanouma!

Cold drinks!
Anyone for a cold drink?

How about a cold drink, sir?

Let me quench your thirst!


The cops? Already?

Drink it up, mister.

Move away!

Your fianc?e is going
to get killed one day.

I thought you had something
important to say.

She has nine lives, like a cat.

- Porter!
- I'm coming!

- What happened?
- Hanoume almost got run over.

Hanouma, I've saved 3 piastres for you.


To send you "care packages" in jail.

I'll do the same for you
when it's your turn.

Why can't they leave us alone?

If it's not the police,
then we have Mansour on our backs.

And when we get rid of him,
Zaqzouq comes after us.

That's our bad luck.

Stop whining. You have to struggle
if you want to make a living.

- It's no longer your problem.
- Your Prince Charming has come.

Not in front of the kid.

Kid? I wish I were in your shoes.

Get my trunk ready. I've got to pack.

Are you leaving?

For a few days. And when I come back,
I'll be Mrs. Abu Siri.

What are you doing here?

Don't be afraid.

I just want you to be more careful
with the trains.

Get out of here!

Please don't scream.

- Help!
- I want to tell you something.

Just one thing.

Let go of my hand.

Leave me alone.

- Let me kiss it.
- Let go, you're insane.

Abu Siri will skin your hide!

You're my witnesses.

Follow him! Stone him!

- Give us a smile, sweetheart.
- She's been here all day.

Come and have a drink, dollface.

Cold juice? Juice? Juice?

Don't be angry, honeypie!


Your mother's waiting.

I've already said goodbye.

Not properly, though.

I have to see someone first.

That's not right.

I'll be here at five o'clock.

A newspaper, please.

Cold drinks, anyone?

You gave me too much change.

Can I walk you to the fountain?

I don't have all year.

Do you want to race?

I'll never beat you.

- Let me help you.
- Just leave me alone.

If only I could.

And why can't you?

- I've wanted to tell you...
- Why are you always after me?

- I need to tell you something.
- I don't want to hear.

It's like a heavy burden.

What a crying shame.

- Just let me say it.
- Go ahead.

Come on, spit it out.


What now?

Do you like this?

Let me see.

- You stole it?
- It was my mother's.

- Then it must be fake.
- It's gold, I swear.

Why don't you try it on?

It's your wedding present.

Will it bite my neck?

Do you accept it?

It's too flashy.

Answer me.

What are you saying?

I'm asking you to marry me.

- Just like that?
- Why not?

- Find yourself another girl.
- But I want you.

Why me?

You're always with me...

in here.

Think it over.

I love you so much.

I'll take good care of you.

You're prettier than this picture.

You're the pretty one.

And then what?

We'll get married and go back
to my village.

And I'll introduce you to everyone.

You'll be the loveliest woman there.

Of course.

I'll build you a house by the sea...

Why the sea?

Far from the crowds... and trains.

I'm used to living in crowds.

Crows confuse me.
We'll live far from people.

We'll work the land...
have some cows...

and like happily ever after.

With our children.

We'll be very kind to them.

Why shouldn't we be?


And then what?

The children will grow up,
get married, have children...

The heat's gotten to your head.
Have a cold drink.

I'm being serious.


Come off it.

A house? Cows?
You call that serious?

Don't have a penny to your name.

So what?

use your head. Look around.

I work hard for a living,
selling drinks.

and you limp around the station
selling newspapers.

Get a grip on reality.
I've had enough.

I work and earn a living.

You call your pennies a living?

- Look at Abu-Serig
- I'm worth ten of him.

I am marrying him.
Can you complete with him, Gimpy?

Don't shout!

What's the matter, Qinawi?

- Give back the necklace.
- How uncouth!

Give me back my necklace.

Take it.

Give it back. You don't deserve it.

Don't be so upset.

Marriages are made in Heaven.

My father wants you.
Come on, fast.

Are you trying to compete with me?

- Just let me earn my living.
- You both work here, don't you?

- This man came first.
- Yes, but he's been suspended.

- Say who?
- Says me.

Time have changed.

- The train won't wait.
- Please, let's go.

- I dare them to stop me.
- You think you're tough, don't you?

The nerve of him.

- He's being backed.
- By who?

The government delegate. If you
don't fight back, he'll have his way.

What can I do?

Find a solution.
All you do is talk.

Do you think a young upstart
like him can destroy me?

I don't know what to think.

God protect us.

It's all those new-fangled ideas.
They lead straight to hell.

- Curse be these modern customs.
- Let's hurry.

God protect us.

- Thank you, Madbouli.
- Thanks be to God.

Would you like to have
some tea with me?

Then we'll see what's new
in the Rasheed murder case.

Listen to this:

The Body in the Trunk,
by our reporter in Rasheed.

"The bloodstained trunk was discovered
at the Rasheed station by a porter.

The woman inside was mutilated,
without head or arms.

The coroner's report states...

that the murderer used either a saw or a butcher's knife".

God protect us.

With a saw?

He cut her to pieces.

- And the put her in a trunk?
- Incredible, isn't it?

Did they catch the killer?

They don't have a clue yet.
He seems to have vanished.

Where are you going?
What about your tea?

- I'll take that.
- What's going on?

- And this too
- Taking my money already?

- We need to save for the wedding.
- But that's all I made!

I'm afraid you'll spend it.

Don't worry.
I know the value of the money I earn.

You can have this.

- On second thought...
- And you'll spend the rest?

I'll just buy cigarettes. Go now.

Here are your cigarettes.
Hand over the rest.

Stop working and go home.

I don't want to see you
running around the station.

I come to complain about Qinawi.

You want to complain?

The conductor, Sergeant Hassanain,

they all complain about you
night and day.

Why can't you behave?

Qinawi went too far today.

It must be your fault.

I didn't do a thing.

I'm going to tell you something,
so listen up:

Qinawi isn't quite sane.

He's got a screw loose.

But like a child,
a kind word can win him over.

But means words make him crazy.
Who knows what he's capable of?

Now I've warned you.

17, 18, 19 bottles.
God's curse on you!

Watch my stand.

I'm going to skin you alive!

- Please don't hurt her.
- Get lost. I'm mad as hell.

He's a bully.
May God punish him.

Who does he think he is?

Everybody's boss.

Let's go.

Hit her! Hit her!

Please. That's enough.

How dare you disobey me?

- I never disobey you.
- Why did you go back to work?

Why did you go back to the platform?

I wanted to make some extra money
for the wedding.

We don't need money for the wedding.

We must get married at my aunt's.
I'm no street urchin.

That's not what I meant.

What did you mean?

I'll send my trunk with Qinawi
so you can put ir on the train.

Don't break anything.

Read all about it!
A mutilated body in a trunk.

Can I help you?

This one costs 15 piastres.

What's that, Qinawi?

Where have you been?
Will you do me a favor?

Tell the men that the delegate
is coming at 5 o'clock.

I want everyone on the platform.

Are you angry with me?

Hanouma said you were upset
when I pushed you.

I'm sorry.

That man was staring at me.

He was staring at my wife!

He's a cripple. He meant no harm.

- He made googly eyes at me!
- It's your fault!

Why did you unveil your face?
Cover yourself up!

A word to the wise:
don't turn against me.

We are all with you, Abu Gaber.

I'm warning you...

if anyone joins Abu Siri,
he's finished.

I'll see to it he never works again.

You think you're God.

They just might believe you.

- Better than believing you!
- Who made you our spokesman?

I speak up because I'm right.
I want to help my co-workers.

We work ourselver to the bone.
One person profits: Abu Gader.

Why can't we be independent? Why?

You're a smooth talker, Abu Siri.
But it's a shame...

you can't make a living with words.

With you around
we can't make a living at all.

32 men have joined me so far.

We need 18 more to form a union.
You're welcome to join us.

Wait. You can't get
your way by bullying.

You're the one who's bullying.

You're looking for trouble.

What's the matter?

He's trying to take over
and form a union.

A union?
Do you want total chaos?

Leave us alone.
You already control the buffets.

If you leave Abu Gaber,
you'll be penniless.

You'll like those soft-drink
sellers on the trains.

I'll form a union for them as well.

- I'll have you thrown in jail!
- Exactly where you belong!

- Let go of him.
- Get lost!

You two are to blame!

You exploit the porters
and you, the drink sellers.

Let us make a decent living
for God's sake!

The meeting is al 5 o'clock

You're free to do as you please

Abu Siri, I'm with you!

Hanouma will give you a trunk
with her trousseau.

Can you take it to the warehouse, please?
I'm busy with the union.

Get a cart to carry it.

- You want to swap trunks?
- No.

Hanouma needs the big one
for her trousseau.

- I said no.
- Don't be stubborn.

Beat it!

I hope you drop dead
and get buried in it.

Have you seen Hanouma?

She just left.

Find a way.
Throw her in jail or something!

I can't handle them.

Just you wait and see
what's in store for you, Mansour.

The police are planning a raid.
Clear out.

The press are here.
Quick, put some rouge on!


Give me four bottles
to toast the President with.






A question, please.

Your opinion about the condition
of the rural wife...

It's an unprecedented example
of subjugation.

Wonderful, wonderful.

Would you pose
for the cover of our magazine?

Yes, all right,
though I don't like to exhibit myself.

Come here, Qinawi.

I've made 30 piastres so far.

You've got plenty of money.

Interested in the necklace?

If the price is right.

I'm Hanouma after all.

Consider it a gift...

a gift from Qinawi.

It's a deal.

I left it at the warehouse.

Let's go get it.

You think I was born yesterday?

Will you come?

Behave yourself.

- Where's your bucket?
- In my pocket!

Qinawi, quick, take my bucket.

- It they find it, I'm finished.
- I'll wait in the warehouse.

- Again the warehouse!
- To give you the necklace.

Is it really necessary? Go then.

- We have nothing.
- Why are you here then?

Drinking to the President.

I saw her bucket with my own eyes.

Go to hell.

Pain in the neck!

I gave Qinawi the bucket
He took it to the warehouse.

- Please get it for me.
- Get it yourself.

Qinawi keeps making eyes at me!

So you want me to go instead?

Do me a favor, get the bucket.

I'll wait for you in my "villa".

Hurry up, Tulba.

This is a preliminary meeting.

We'll register your names
to see if we have enough people.

We will, with God's help.

May God hear our prayers.
Hurry up, men.

Well done, Abu Siri.

I've done my duty.
The government has come to us.

Come sign your name, Gadallah.

it's better to be reasonable.

You'll see, Abu Siri.
You won't get away with this.

What's wrong? Do you feel sick?

- Where's the trunk?
- In the warehouse.

I'll be a few minutes.

Do what you have to do.
The men will see to the rest

Thank you, Madbouli.
And thank you too, Qinawi.

Go look after the news-stand.

Leave me alone.

I'm fed up with your news-stand.

Thank you, Gadallah.

You're right, Abu Siri.
It is better to be reasonable.

Of course it is.
We must help one another.

I've thought it over and decided
I'm better off joining you.

What's important
is that we be united.

- What's in this trunk?
- Hanouma's trousseau.

- Congratulations on your marriage.
- I hope you'll be next.

- We've just closed.
- Just a minute.

- I said we're closed.
- It's Hanouma's trunk.

Okay, because she's got nice eyes.
Who'll claim it at Fakkous?

I hadn't thought about that!

- Aren't you going there?
- Of course.

Then you can claim it.

Qinawi, my son...

Where have you been?
What's wrong with you today?

- Nothing is wrong. Why?
- Where have you been?

The trunk...

What trunk are you talking about?

I put on the train

I mean, I put Hanouma on the train.


we're going to be married.

No I mean, we are married.

- Have you seen Hanouma?
- No, thank God.

Go get Abu Siri immediately.

- If only I could find the bucket.
- What bucket?

The evidence to nail her with.

God have mercy on this day.

Something strange is going on.

Why is Qinawi looking for Abu Siri?

What's the story with this trunk?

When does the freight train leave?

In five minutes. At 6 o'clock.

Tell Abu Siri to load the trunk himself.
We're in a rush.

Where are you going?

- To get the bucket from Qinawi.
- Mansour will get you in trouble.


You came back.

Come and see.

I've prepared your trousseau.

A brass bed.

And an armoire with three mirrors.

The sofa is from Istanbul!

Everything is set for the wedding.
Now we can go to the village.

Now I can proudly tell everybody:

This is my wife!

I'll build you a nice little house.

A house by the sea, remember?

We'll have children there.

Far from people...

far from crowds.


So, you think I'm a fool!

You think I'm crazy!

This time you won't get away!

I'll kill you!

I'm worried about Qinawi.
He's been acting strange all day.

He did seem strange when he came
to give me the trunk.

- Hanouma's trunk?
- Here's her trunk, Abu Siri.

Hurry, the train's about to leave.

- Where's Hanouma?
- Looking for the bucket.

Where are you going now?

Get Hanouma! Fast!

Come on!

Do I look like your maid?

Do as I say and get Hanouma!

So Abu Siri interests you now?

Don't be stupid.


If I pull off my plan,
he'll be ruined

What's this?

It's blood from Abu Siri's trunk.

Who did this? Was it Qinawi?

Call an ambulance.

Here she is! Sergeant Hassanein!

It's not fair!
He threw the bucket in front of me.

I saw the bucket myself.
So did the officer.

Help me, Qinawi!

- There he is.
- Let Qinawi go.

Are you trying to put the blame on him?
You put the girl in the trunk.

That's right. Abu Siri.

Abu Siri killed a girl?
Who are you?

Get the men together fast.

Let her go now.

Hands off, guys. Scram.

Come out.

I need my bucket. Where is it?

Hurry! The train is about to leave.

- Hanouma is in danger.
- Don't pretend you're worried.

Madbouli, come here!

Qinawi has gone mad.

He stabbed Hallawitum.

- That's what I've been saying!
- Qinawi the paper boy?

The poor boy has gone out of his mind.
You've got to call the asylum, quick!

- Hanouma's in the railway yard!
- Let's go.

What's the matter?

You didn't go away?

Where to?

Tomorrow we'll go to the village.

And tomorrow we'll get married.

We'll get away from this confusion.

You know...

I'll miss this station.

But it is for the best.

Are you happy?

Very happy.

And I hope you'll find someone
to make you happy.

I've got all my stuff
except for the bucket.

Abu Siri killed Hallawitum.

What did you say?

And he'll steal your savings.

Are you crazy?

He won't touch you.

He loves me.
He's going to marry me.

No. I'll kill him first.

Or you.

Is that so?

Am I making you jealous, Qinawi?

Clear the railway yard.

A murderer with a knife is on the loose.

All policemen in the vicinity,
proceed to the yard.

Head him off
from the other direction.

Stop the train!

Come any closer, and I'll kill her!

Leave us alone.

Let Madbouli go.
Qinawi trusts him.

Qinawi, my son.

Answer me.
I'm your father, Madbouli.

Why are you upset?

I let you marry Hanouma.

We got your wedding present
in my pocket.

We'll have the wedding tonight...
but first get off the rails.

Qinawi my son.

Tonight is your wedding night.

I'll be one of your witnesses.

I'll throw a big wedding for you.

I'm talking about your wedding, Qinawi.

Don't you believe me?

Let her lie here and rest for a while.

Come along with me.

Put on your wedding costume.
It's your wedding, son.

It'll be the best wedding ever.

There will be music, lights, singing...

Only the best for you.
You'll be the groom, son.

Come, put this on.

Come on, that's my boy.

Put your arms in the sleeves.

There you go. Fine.

Fine. Now the other sleeve.

Stand tall, bridegroom.

Qinawi, my son, the bridegroom.

Madbouli, don't leave me!