Great Books Behind Omar Sharif’s Films

Omar Sharif is perhaps best-known for his role in Dr. Zhivago, based on the classic novel by Boris Pasternak. But many of his films were based on acclaimed books:

amanSharif starred in Francophone, Anglophone, and Arabophone movies, including a 2003 film adaptation of Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran and Nahr al-Hob, (River of Love), based on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Indeed, Sharif could act in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and Greek productions, although he had an accent in all.

Classic Omar Sharif films based on Arabic books:

A Beginning and an End (1961), directed by Salah Abouseif, based on the novel of the same name by Naguib Mahfouz, the first of Mahfouz’s novels to be made into a film. The film was nominated for a Grand Prix at the Moscow International Film Festival. Omar Sharif played Hassanein.

Omar Sharif also recorded an audio version of Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy.

There Is a Man in Our House (1961), based on a novel by the popular writer Ihsan Abdel Quddous, who had many books turned into films. Directed by the legendary Youssef Chahine. Sharif played Ibrahim.

The 13th Warrior (1999) was based on a novel by Michael Crichton, Eaters of the Dead, but that in turn was inspired by Ibn Fadlan’s tenth-century travel narrative, Mission to the Volga. In the film, Sharif played Melchisidek.