7.9/10
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48 user 57 critic

The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Approved | | Adventure, Family, Fantasy | 11 April 1924 (Brazil)
A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess.

Director:

Writers:

(scenario editor), (story) (as Elton Thomas)
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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Snitz Edwards ...
The Thief's Evil Associate
Charles Belcher ...
The Holy Man
Julanne Johnston ...
The Princess
Sôjin Kamiyama ...
The Mongol Prince (as Sojin)
...
The Mongol Slave
Brandon Hurst ...
The Caliph
Tote Du Crow ...
The Soothsayer
...
The Indian Prince
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Storyline

A thief falls in love with the Caliph of Bagdad's daughter. The Caliph will give her hand to the suitor that brings back the rarest treasure after seven moons. The thief sets off on a magical journey while, unbeknownst to him, another suitor, the Prince of the Mongols, is not playing by the rules... Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

11 April 1924 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

The Thief of Bagdad: An Arabian Nights Fantasy  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked #9 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Fantasy". It is also one of only two silent films chosen for the AFI's "10 Top 10" lists (the top 10 films in 10 genres) in June 2008; the second was City Lights (1931). See more »

Goofs

The bloody mark The Thief leaves on the wall disappears in the next shot. See more »

Connections

Referenced in She Was an Acrobat's Daughter (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
1924's Best and still number one!
13 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

I fully agree with the rapturous review by Mordaunt Hall in The New York Times. Hall went on to name the movie as his number two choice for the Ten Best Films of 1924. In this choice, however, he was out of step with the majority of his comrades. 450 American motion picture critics selected The Thief of Bagdad as the year's Best Film!

I have little to add. The only person who has any valid reason to complain is Snitz Edwards. Incorrectly billed in the credits as an "evil associate" (he's nothing of the sort!), Snitz figures mightily in the introductory sequences and the modus operandi of the plot, but then abruptly disappears. The lovely Anna May Wong would also get my vote for more footage, but at least she runs true to form right through the movie.

Some people have complained about "primitive" special effects. Whilst it's true the effects range from the brilliant to the amateurish and even quaint, this is a movie that has an abundance of "heart", a quality that most computer-generated 21st century films signally lack.

As for the stupendous sets by William Cameron Menzies, the superb cinematography by Arthur Edeson (why hasn't someone written a book about Edeson's mind-boggling career? After all, he photographed at least twenty of the current top cult favorites) and the magical acting by the athletic Fairbanks, the scheming Sojin and the entrancing Miss Wong, all not only contribute richly to the film's success, but each actually presents a compelling reason for making this Thief of Bagdad an absolute must-see!


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