Although broadly sharing the same film unit (director, editor, etc.), Two different versions of the film (one in English and the other in Arabic), were shot simultaneously, scene by scene. Two completely different sets of actors shared the same set; once a scene had been established, one actor would play a character in one language, and then the whole scene reshot with his corresponding number speaking in the other language.
The film follows Muhammad’s first years as a prophet starting with Islam’s beginnings in Mecca in which the Muslims are persecuted, the exodus to Medina, and ending with the Muslims’ triumphant return to Mecca. A number of crucial events, such as the Battle of Badr and Battle of Uhud are depicted, and the majority of the story is told from the point-of-view of peripheral individuals such as Hamza ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (Muhammad’s uncle), Abu Sufyan (the leader of Mecca) and his wife Hind bint Utbah (enemies of Islam who later become Muslims themselves). —IMDb
Akkad was making an epic about the Islamic world called The Lion of the Desert when he was approached by the director John Carpenter, who said that he wanted to make a picture for $300,000. “I laughed,” the producer later recalled. “You get worried when the budget is high or low. I asked him about the story. He told it to me in four words and I grabbed it. He said, ‘Babysitter to be killed by the boogie man.’ The babysitter part grabbed me because every kid in America knows what a babysitter is. I told him, ’Let’s do it.’ I was spending $300,000 a day on Lion of the Desert.”
Halloween came in on budget, and was a success at the box office. Akkad once asked one of his sons, then aged 17, why people were prepared to pay good money to be scared. The boy replied: “Dad, I take a girl with me to the cinema. After five minutes, I’m either grabbing her or she’s grabbing me.”
Born at Aleppo, Syria, in July 1930, Moustapha Akkad was the son of a customs officer, who, when his son… read more