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The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,173 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 50 critic

A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess.

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(scenario editor), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
The Thief of Bagdad
Snitz Edwards ...
His 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
Noble Johnson ...
The Indian Prince
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

thief | suitor | magic | princess | treasure | See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Release Date:

23 March 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Thief of Bagdad  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Douglas Fairbanks was inspired to make this film by an episode in Paul Leni's German film Waxworks (1924) (US title: "Waxworks"). See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Long before tigers crouched and dragons hid...
7 June 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

...Douglas Fairbanks brought grace and poetry to physical action on the movie screen. Fairbanks essentially invented the action/adventure movie genre, known in his day as swashbucklers.

"Thief of Bagdad" was made in 1924 when Fairbanks was half way through the heyday of that part of his career. He already had "Zorro" "The Three Musketeers" and "Robin Hood" behind him. "Thief" was something of a departure, however, for it depended less on Fairbanks ability to dance his way though physical stunts than it did on the Arabian Nights tableau it presented on the screen. And frankly, nothing like it has every been done since. Only Griffth's "Intolerance" created the same kind of feel, and it was gritty and warlike, where as "Thief" was a sort of wondrous dream about what it would be like to live by your wits, go off and slay dragons and eventually, win the hand of a princess by saving her father's kingdom.

Fairbanks was over 40 when he made this film and yet seems so perfectly suited for it that we forget his age. He is the embodiment of the dashing hero.

But what almost overshadows him are the sets themselves. Designed by William Cameron Menzies, they are beyond spectacular. Almost every frame of this film is a work of art and of course, the amazing thing is, this was not done through computer animation. So skillful are the designs and the camerawork, that it is almost impossible to tell where the sets stop and the matt paintings begin.

Credit for all this must also go to Fairbanks,who wrote the script and produced the film. Raoul Walsh's direction is also great, although the film is a little long in some spots and would be aided by some skillful editing.

Fairbanks acting style seems today very much of the silent era, yet at the same time, there is always the feel of joyous celebration to it. He was always something of the happy rogue or perhaps, a guy who realized he was getting to make a living by playing in the world's most wonderful sandbox. He was blessed with good fortune and he knew it.

Of the others, Julanne Johnston, who plays the princess, probably comes off the worst of the main characters. She is beautiful,but comes off as little more than window dressing. But cudos to the incredible Anna May Wong who plays the treacherous Mongol slave girl. Wong's great beauty and strong screen presence allow her to steal almost every scene she is in. That Wong never got the chance to play many lead roles is one of the great tragedies of Hollywood history.


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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