Throughout the Night

English Title: Throughout the Night

Original Title: Dar Emtedad-e Shab

Country of Origin: Iran

Studio: Filmiran Cooperative

Director: Parviz Sayyad

Producer(s): Bahman Farmanara

Screenplay: Jila Sazegar, Parviz Sayyad

Cinematographer: Alireza Zarrindast

Editor: Roohollah Emami

Runtime: 111 minutes

Starring/Cast: Googoosh , Saeed Kangarani, Jahangir Foroohar, Giti Foroohar, Naser Mamdooh, Ashraf Saghar, Farideh Varjavar

Year: 1977

Volume: Iranian

Parvaneh, who is a famous singer and movie star, has an affair with Kaveh who has a family, after she gets divorced. A student named Babak, who suffers from leukaemia, falls in love with Parvaneh and writes her letters expressing his love. They meet and have a good time together for a while. Parvaneh hears about Babak's disease and decides to send him abroad for medical treatment. Babak rests his head on Parvaneh's shoulder on the plane and passes away.

There was more than one reason for this film's success at the box-office: a story line with an already proven success, a superstar cast, a highly successful TV star in his first movie role as the main protagonist, and half a dozen songs by a legendary artist Iran never managed to forget even after three decades of state-imposed silence.  
The familiar love story in which one side falls victim to cancer was reminiscent of Arthur Hiller's Love Story (1970) with Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw. Here, however, it looked even more familiar, with the legendary singer Googoosh and the leading actor of an extremely successful TV series, My Uncle Napoleon (Saeed Kangarani).
The formula became even more powerful with a few revealing shots of the singer, and the intriguing bond between an older woman and her younger lover. The movie is still one of the peaks; some would say the only summit, among Iranian blockbusters, although an ongoing Islamic Revolution halted its success. In the years after the Revolution the film was obviously banned. However, many millions managed to watch it on bootlegged VHS tapes. Apart from Iran, the film was a hit in Tajikistan where the singer enjoys tremendous popularity. The film's director, who had made and starred in several comedies (in the role of comedic alter-persona of a rural stereotype, called Samad), proved himself to be a master film-maker in other genres as well as comedy, although it was too late as he had to leave Iran for the United States soon after the Revolution.

Author of this review: Behrouz Turani