From ‘El Torbini’ to ‘Hafil Zefaf’, 8 Famous Egyptian Movies That Were ‘inspired’ by Other Films

By Nour El-Miligi

Egyptians have always been fond of British and American movies, often characterized by creative plots and twists that grab our attention like a magnet! That’s why it comes as no surprise that the Egyptian film industry has been influenced by foreign movies, borrowing the main ideas and merging them with its own Egyptian touch.

While there are many more, here’s a list of 8 famous Egyptian movies that were ‘inspired’ by other films. 

Leh Khaletny Ahebak – My Best Friend’s Wedding

The romantic comedy featuring Karim Abdelaziz, Mona Zaki, Ahmed Helmy, and Hana Shiha revolves around the story of a couple who couldn’t get married, consequently going down different paths, only to be reunited with one another in a coincidence in which the leading actress discovers that her old lover has moved on and is planning to marry another woman. She then decides to gradually re-enter his life, pretending to be assisting the couple in their wedding plans, but deep down she’s actually planning to ruin it. This is pretty much the same tale that took place in the 2007 American movie “My Best friend’s Wedding” starring Julia Roberts.

Khaleeg Ne’ma – Sleeping With The Enemy

Although the movies aren’t exactly the same, there are similar twists, including the wife running away from the intimidating, abusive husband to another city, and the husband going after her. While in the end, both female actresses, Ghada Adel and Julia Roberts, escape their abusive husbands, they do it in different ways; Julia Roberts murders her husband while Bassem Yakhour gets caught by the police.

Sameer w Shaheer w Baheer – Back to The Future

This groundbreaking Egyptian comedy has definitely taken humor in Egyptian movies to a whole new level! We’ve all had stomach aches from laughing at Ahmed Fahmy’s sarcastic comments seeing his mother back at the time where she was portrayed as an easy-going person, Chico’s use of slang to impress the 70’s version of his father, and Baheer being over-emotional seeing his driver in his early 20’s again. This accidental trip took three characters to the past where they re-met their young parents before they got married; trying hard to ruin their chances of getting married is very similar to the journey Micheal Fox went through when he traveled through time and encountered younger versions of his parents in his movie “Back to the Future”, released in 1985.    

Fasel Wa Na’oud – Memento

The plot of Egyptian thriller “Fasel Wa Na’oud” was taken from the American tale “Memento”, where both stories revolve around an unfortunate widowed taxi driver who happened to be left alone with a boy, who we then discover that is actually his own son. In a mysterious accident, the main character loses both his memory and his only child, and throughout the movie, the leading character fights to bring back his kidnapped son by recalling details of the incident.

Mateegy Nor’os – Shall We Dance

This is clearly a rip-off, with exact similarities between the names, posters, and plots. Yet instead of the main male character being Richard Gere, it was replaced with Yousra, who the story revolves around. With life being so boring for a woman in her mid-forties, she decides to search for new meaning in life, stepping out of the ordinary by attending dancing classes, where she feels alive again.

Ga’ana El Bayan El Taly – I Love Trouble

It turns out that this Egyptian comedy was taken from an American comedy as well! It follows the interesting journey that Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte go through as reporters who can’t stand one another yet find themselves falling in love while investigating a suspicious crash; we have to say we admired the charming and witty couple. In the Arabic version, the same journey takes place between Mohamed Heneidy and Hanan Tork, with Henedy’s jokes adding sprinkles of special humor to the movie, as usual, making us fall even deeper in love with the Egyptian characters!

El Torbini – Rain Man

The Egyptian drama film is taken from the American movie “Rain Man” which was produced back in 1988. The movie revolves around the relationship between two brothers whose father died, one of them suffers from autism, while the other is known as a “turbine” seeking to reach his goals at any cost, yet slowly through the climax of the story, we can see the two brothers getting closer to one other.

Hafil Zifaf – Urban Legend

Apparently the producers of “Hafil Zifaf” were influenced by both the plot and the poster of the American movie “Urban Legend”. Both plots are based on a bunch of friends holding a bachelor party for their friend where things go horribly wrong, accidental murder incidents happen, and lives are changed forever.

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