This essay is an attempt to read popular melodrama as a reflection of changing societal appreciations of sentimentality, romance, family relations, and, ultimately, political authority over the course of a tumultuous decade in Egyptian and Middle Eastern history, the 1960s. I focus my gaze upon two particular films that were in their day popular hits, one of them an unprecedented blockbuster, and that remain genre classics. Both feature popular screen icon ءAbd al-Halim Hafiz, the greatest vocalist of his generation, a recording and performing artist who came of age with the onset of the July 1952 Free Officers' revolution and was intimately associated with the Nasserist project. Both films treat generation gaps relating specifically to issues of dating and courtship—what might be called, in the context of their era, “free love.” Both are concerned with troubled relationships between a son and his disapproving, authoritarian father. Halim's father in both films is played by the same actor, ءImad Hamdi, and Halim's love interest—albeit in very different contexts—is played by the same ravishing starlet, Nadia Lutfi. Finally, both films turn upon a single powerful dramatic act of parental discipline, a slap (or series of slaps) delivered by an outraged patriarch across the cheek of a rebellious, yet ultimately dutiful, son.