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15 June 2005

How Omar Sharif is the Sheikh of Araby and plays damned good bridge, and kisses (no tongue)

Okay THIS better be Trebuchet Large.

OMAR SHARIF has starred in many Excellent movies, and OMAR SHARIF has starred in some World-Class Drek. Such is the life of an actor, and OMAR SHARIF is still working and getting big paychecks which don't bounce, he is Happy.

If you should ever chance to run into OMAR SHARIF in person, and he invites you to play a friendly little game of Contract Bridge for Money, run.

OMAR SHARIF is the captain of one of the Earth's finest Contract Bridge for Money teams, it is called something like "Omar & the Flying Aces." Run.

(Bridge comes from the Turkish word birritch, I think. Like the Dutch domesticated the species tulip which originally comes from Turkey, British travellers domesticated the Turkish card game birritch and eventually turned it into Bridge.)

Once long, long ago, OMAR SHARIF was a very young, very unknown, very broke Egyptian actor. The Arab Cinema was at that time a little bit censored by every Imam, Mullah, Ayatollah and his Son-in-Law. But Cairo is always a little bit daring compared to the rest of the Arab World, a little bit more naughty. So a Cinema Producer had the chutzpah to make le Cinema Arabique which would contain the first on-screen Kiss (no tongue) between a very attractive, healthy Arab Female, and a startlingly handsome young lox hunk of an Arab Male. OMAR SHARIF auditioned for this role, I imagine this involved a lot of kissing (no tongue). He got the role: First On-Screen Male Kisser in le Cinema Arabique du Monde. After that he was known and financially sitting a lot prettier, also constantly mobbed by screaming women of all shapes and ages throughout the Arab world. Very shortly thereafter he tried his luck at English-lingo and Euro cinema and did pretty good at that. He's a lox buff healthy-looking Male who plays Contract Bridge.

Sometimes he plays unbelievably gorgeous ( -- screams Barbra Streisand) Jewish Male. For Jewish females watching movie, this is not a problem, this is not an annoying distraction. Hey, we're all Semites. Don't be picky.

OMAR SHARIF is still working. In most recent SuperPanorama Coloriffic Dolby Quad Pop-o-Popic Popcorn Anamorphic Big-Screen Epic, he plays -- are you sitting down? -- an Arab Sheikh, the Grande Fromage of most of the Sahara Desert. He is also Grande Fromage of annual Arab Guy Long-Distance 10,000 Kilometer No Rules Anything Goes All's Fair Horse Race from one end of Sahara Desert to the other end (the long way, not the short North-South way).

The riders are 100 Arab and Bedouin guys with crazy knives and weird engraved old (but still very accurate) rifles. By tradition, riders are allowed, encouraged, expected to try to murder other riders.

And one Cowboy, I think from like Montana or maybe Utah. Cowboy and his Western-Saddle Old Reliable Cowboy Horse thinks it would be cool to win this race, also the $50,000 in gold in a canvas bag would be cool. Puts Cowboy horse and Cowboy self on trans-Atlantic ship, one-way ticket to Sahara. (If wins gold, will return to America in new yacht, this is his Cowboy plan.)

Apparently according to Movie Hype, this is a True Story, Really Happened circa 1900. Sahara Bedouin Sheikh Arabian Stallion Race Held Every Year, bigger than Kentucky Derby. But this is the year the Cowboy and Giddyup Old Paint enters race.

Cowboy (Vigo Mortennsen) has nice couscous supper in tent with Sheikh OMAR SHARIF before race. (For supper in-tent entertainment for all-male supper guests, Arab hoochy-koochy danceusse. Another cliche nailed! but a very pleasant cliche to watch for one of the two most well-known human genders. She is a very healthy and talented young danceusse.)

Sheikh Omar has heard about Cowboys. Never actually met one, but he has seen the silent black-and-white Cowboy movies. Over and over again. He bought the movie projector from Italy.

Cowboy is wearing his Cowboy Six-Shooter in his Cowboy Gunbelt with Cowboy Holster.

Sheikh Omar points at the Cowboy Six-Shooter.

"May I ............ touch it, please?"

Cowboy removes six-shooter, twirls it once or twice, smiles, hands it butt-first (the safe way) to Sheikh.


Cowboy GIVES Cowboy Six-Shooter to nice hospitable Arab Sheikh (borrows some fancy Euro-pistol, it shoots just as good).

Sheikh Omar Sharif realizes the Authentic Real Actual Cowboy Six-Shooter now belongs to him.

He spins the cylinder.

He opens the watchamacallit and examines each cylinder (to see if there's a Cowboy Bullet in it).

His eyes grow increasingly Huge. He rubs the Cowboy Six-Shooter. I think he says (to nobody in particular): "Cowboy."

His face at that moment is the most wonderful performance he ever gave. The Sahara Sheikh is now the most wonderful thing on Earth, as far as he's concerned: a Cowboy.

Soon, very soon, Sahara Cowboy Horse Race Movie will be available on DVD. Very pretty movie to look at, a little brain-dead screenplay. (But sort of True! This Cowboy really did gallop this wild Sahara horse race!)


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