IMDb > The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
The Thief of Bagdad
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The Thief of Bagdad (1924) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   4,520 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lotta Woods (scenario editor) and
Douglas Fairbanks (story)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Thief of Bagdad on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 April 1924 (Brazil) See more »
Plot:
A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
"Happiness Must Be Earned" See more (52 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Douglas Fairbanks ... The Thief of Bagdad

Snitz Edwards ... The Thief's Evil Associate
Charles Belcher ... The Holy Man

Julanne Johnston ... The Princess
Sôjin Kamiyama ... The Mongol Prince (as Sojin)

Anna May Wong ... The Mongol Slave

Brandon Hurst ... The Caliph
Tote Du Crow ... The Soothsayer

Noble Johnson ... The Indian Prince
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sam Baker ... Sworder (uncredited)

Mathilde Comont ... Persian Prince (uncredited)
Jesse Fuller ... (uncredited)
Sadakichi Hartmann ... Mongol Prince's Court Magician (uncredited)
Eugene Jackson ... Child (uncredited)

Jesse Lasky Jr. ... (uncredited)
Etta Lee ... Slave of the Sand Board (uncredited)
Paul Malvern ... Gigantic Bat (uncredited)
Scotty Mattraw ... Eunuch (uncredited)
K. Nambu ... Mongol Prince's Counselor (uncredited)
Jack Parker ... Child (uncredited)

John Ralesco ... Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)

David Sharpe ... (uncredited)

Charles Stevens ... Persian Prince's Awaker (uncredited)
Charles Sylvester ... Eunuch (uncredited)
Jess Weldon ... Eunuch (uncredited)
Laska Winter ... Slave of the Lute (uncredited)

Directed by
Raoul Walsh 
 
Writing credits
Lotta Woods (scenario editor)

Achmed Abdullah  screenwriter (uncredited)
Douglas Fairbanks  (story) (as Elton Thomas)
James T. O'Donohoe  adaptation (uncredited)

Produced by
Douglas Fairbanks .... producer
David Shepard .... producer: video (1975)
 
Original Music by
Mortimer Wilson (1924) (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Arthur Edeson (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
William Nolan (film editor)
 
Production Design by
William Cameron Menzies (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
William Cameron Menzies 
 
Costume Design by
Mitchell Leisen (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
George Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Theodore Reed .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James T. O'Donohoe .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Park French .... associate artist
Harold Grieve .... associate artist
Anton Grot .... associate artist
H.R. Hopps .... associate artist
Edward M. Langley .... associate artist
Irvin J. Martin .... consulting art director
William Utwich .... associate artist
Paul Youngblood .... associate artist
Paul Burns .... property master (uncredited)
Charles Gemora .... sculptor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Hampton Del Ruth .... mechanical effects
Coy Watson Sr. .... mechanical effects
Coy Watson Sr. .... special effects
 
Stunts
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Stoney .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Holahan .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Kenneth Gordon MacLean .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Charles Warrington .... still photographer (uncredited)
Albert Wayne .... master electrician (uncredited)
Phil Whitman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Paul Burns .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
James C. Bradford .... music compiler: alternative score (1924)
Gaylord Carter .... musician: musical setting (1975)
David Cullen .... orchestrator (1984 score)
Carl Davis .... music score (1984)
Carl Davis .... orchestrator (1984 score)
 
Other crew
Robert Fairbanks .... technical director
Arthur Woods .... research
Edward Knoblock .... consultant (uncredited)
Edward Knoblock .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Harold MacChesney .... technical crew (uncredited)
Clinton Newman .... technical crew (uncredited)
Walter Pallman .... technical crew (uncredited)
J.C. Watson .... technical crew (uncredited)
Arthur Woods .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Gaylord Carter .... thanks: to whom this edition is respectfully dedicated (1975)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Thief of Bagdad: An Arabian Nights Fantasy" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
155 min | Spain:139 min (DVD version)
Country:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
For the scenes in the underwater mermaid kingdom, Douglas Fairbanks had the cameras shoot through a curtain of thin gauze, to give the illusion that the Thief was swimming underwater. The mermaid kingdom scenes were then tinted blue in post-production.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the guards prevent The Thief, carrying his friend on his head, from entering the gates, they completely disappear in the next shot after the gates are closed.See more »
Quotes:
The Thief of Bagdad:I am not a prince. I am less than the slave who serves you-a wretched outcast-a thief. What I wanted, I took. I wanted you-I tried to take you-But when I held you in my arms-the very world did change. The evil within me died. I can bear a thousand tortures, endure a thousand deaths-but not thy tears.
Guard:This Arab Prince is but a thief. Seek him out!
The Princess:Quick! Hide thyself. If thou art found with me, they will be merciless. I love you.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hugo (2011)See more »

FAQ

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43 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
"Happiness Must Be Earned", 3 August 2002
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (United Artists, 1924), directed by Raoul Walsh, is an original Arabian Nights fantasy that remains one of the most visually stunning of all silent films with trick photography and lavish sets (compliments of William Cameron Menzies) taking top form over anything else. Considering the time this was made, with musical score and title cards taking place over spoken dialog, this gives the impression of being made decades into the future in the days of advanced film technology. Then again, this is 1924, running 150 minutes (depending on the projection speed), and a small wonder how audiences felt watching this lavish tale during its initial premiere, focusing on mythical events set in "The Dream City of the East." It was quite obvious then this was something never before presented on screen, making the current products of director DW Griffith seem old-fashioned and out of date. Fortunately, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD doesn't fall into that category, and hopefully never will.

It's star attraction, Douglas Fairbanks, having made a reputation for himself in costume swashbucklers, previously appearing as Zorro, Robin Hood and the leader of The Three Musketeers, assumes another challenge, an Arabian Nights Fantasy. Fairbanks is cast as The Thief (no actual name given), in the crowded city of Bagdad. Almost immediately, the Thief, bare-chested and sporting baggy pants resembling the bottom half of a pajama, lives up to his title picking pockets, stealing food from the ledge of a balcony, and living by his philosophy, "What I want, I take." The movie opens and closes with a Holy Man (Charles Belcher) raising his arm towards the glittering stars in the heavens spelling out "Happiness Must Be Earned." In between those words, the moral of the story is told to a young lad how this thief earned his happiness.

Lengthly with some lulls, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD never ceases to amaze. Compared to the 1940 Technicolor sound adaptation starring Sabu, where both versions differ, the sole focus being on fantasy, with highlights being the flying carpet and a nasty villain. The Fairbanks version doesn't include what many would expect to see, a genie from the magic lamp granting three wishes. It doesn't really matter because the 1924 production has enough magic and visual fantasies to go around. Fairbanks excels in his role by climbing a magic rope, riding a winged horse across the clouds, fighting underwater sea monsters, and his battle with the valley of fore. The special effects reaches its climax where the thief materializes his army of thousands, possibly millions, from puffs of smoke, entering the castle by wrapping himself with an invisible cloak, whisking by his enemies. A magical tale, brilliantly told, full of surprises too plentiful to mention here.

THE THIEF OF BAGDAD is Douglas Fairbanks' finest hours on screen. Aside from being in a far away land, Doug resumes his athletic skills as in previous films, ranging from visual stunts to his trademark smile. It's unlike anything he has ever done before and something that could only be accomplished on screen once. Reportedly the first million dollar production, every penny of it shows on screen. How fortunate for THE THIEF OF BAGDAD not to have ever been the victim of neglect and put on the list among many titles as a "lost" film? How many lavish film productions such as this will never see the light again? The Douglas Fairbanks legend lives on with films such as this.

A supporting cast of not so famous performers, only Anna May Wong as the Mongol Slave, did make a name for herself in future films up to the sound era. Julanne Johnston, possibly a screen beauty that will never be known considering she spends the entire time with her face covered by a veil. Aside from Brandon Hurst (Caliph), and Noble Johnson (the Indian Prince), Sojin stands out in his spine chilling performance as the evil Mongol Prince.

THE THIEF OF BADGAD was one of 13 feature films broadcast on the PBS 13-week series, "The Silent Years" (1971), hosted by Orson Welles. Before the start of the movie, Welles talks about how the movie influenced him as a boy, having seen it multiple times in the theater. Though its TV presentation runs 132 minutes, missing footage would be restored in later years, including the underwater sequence as the Thief encounters a harem of beautiful maidens; the thief's battle with a prehistoric bird; as well as his encounter with a living statue with foot long fingernails. Video copies since the 1980s were distributed in various ways. Companies carrying public domain titles at bargain prices would distribute this very long movie minus any type of music soundtrack. Other distributors, namely Blackhawk, contained organ scoring by Gaylord Carter, while others had Thames Orchestration. THE THIEF OF BAGDAD has been available at different time lengths as well, with the standard being 150 minutes. There have been others as Video Yesteryear to have distributed a print as long as three hours at correct silent speed. The KINO company includes what's been missing from numerous prints over the years, that being the cast listing of actors in its conclusion. Aside from the wonders of video and current DVD, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, which did get some exposure on American Movie Classics (1997) and Turner Classic Movies' "Silent Sunday Nights," hosted by Robert Osborne with Gaylord Carter organ scoring, since September 10, 2013, it's been presented on TCM accompanied by Carl Davis Orchestration from the Thames Video Collection.

In closing, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD is worthy screen entertainment for all ages and future generations to come. The thought of this to still be available and appreciated today would have made Fairbanks proud, thus, the moral of the story, "Happiness Must Be Earned." (****)

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